In 2018, Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) and Institute for the Future (IFTF) set out to explore how present and future work conditions impact the health, broadly defined, of workers, their families, and their communities. At the time we started our research project, millions of California workers were experiencing challenging economic realities—rent was growing much faster than typical hourly wages so much so that one in six California residents struggled to afford basic necessities. Meanwhile, the economy was experiencing the longest economic expansion in recorded history.
We chose to share our findings through future scenarios, or stories from the future, because stories humanize topics that are often discussed through data, charts and policy briefs. We wanted people to experience firsthand the emerging trends and drivers shaping the future of work to better imagine how work will impact the overall health and well being of California workers and their families. Visualizing how diverse future forces intersect, interact and shape people’s lives together all at once drives us to act today to design health-affirming work. Stories remind us that the future is not something that is preordained, and we all have the power to shape our collective outcomes.
View these three possible futures:
- How can more California workers and their families reap the benefits of changes happening to the way they work?
- What new risks and potential innovations are California workers and their families exposed to?
- What action could you take today to amplify and accelerate this future? Or, what action could you take today to prevent this future from occurring?