An urgent public dialogue is unfolding about the state of the US workforce and its prospects for the next decade as a result of changing labor dynamics, growth of on-demand workers, and erosion of middle class wages and access to benefits. To support those conversations and to set an agenda for 2017 and beyond, IFTF's Workable Futures Initiative, has created a new report: 10 Strategies for a Workable Future.
This report draws from 40 years of research on the future of work and technology and builds on IFTF’s latest ethnography, workshops, and forecasts. The ten strategies were synthesized after a Workable Futures Initiative convened in October 2015 of over 70 well-known thought leaders, technologists, and social inventors.
According to IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis, the time is now to shape how things will play out during the coming decade.
“All the stakeholders are finally talking,” Gorbis says. “But often their conversations are centered on ‘turf and power’ debates focused on the short term. There is an unprecedented opportunity now, while we are all in dialogue together, to collaborate to make a truly workable future.”
The ten strategies included in the report chart an agenda for platform designers and policymakers alike:
1. Combine the best of investor-owned and commons-based platform models
2. Solve for both transparency and privacy
3. Integrate marginalized workers in a sustainable economy
4. Ensure opportunities for workers to advance outside of traditional organizational hierarchies
5. Support worker-owned identities
6. Create ways for workers to bring their voices together
7. Reinvent benefits to follow workers everywhere
8. Integrate learning and work
9. Prepare youth for “the hustle”
10. Champion a good work code
In 2016, IFTF expanded its Workable Futures Initiative through ethnographic research, studies of the labor economics of digital platforms, and a series of hackathons and convenings in an effort to prototype technological, social, and regulatory solutions using these 10 strategies. The result of the research can be found in the report, Voices of Workable Futures.