06 May Working in 2050
I was lucky enough last weekend to participate in a TedXSydney and JLL co-creation workshop, exploring what our workplaces, community and cities might look like in 2050, facilitated by the wonderful Gauri Bhalla. There were 40 of us altogether, my sub group of 6 included a farmer, a writer and an innovation university professor. As you can imagine we had some intense discussions about what people in 2050 will find challenging, and what life could look like.
What stood out to me over the course of the weekend was that every person in the room came to the same conclusion: helping people find purpose and meaning within their work and lives will be one of the most important challenges of the future. It’s interesting that we find this is already a major challenge today, as more people purchase socially and environmentally sustainable products and services, and value working for ethical companies. While at the same time the complexity of many organisations makes it much harder see the direct impact of your efforts.
One of the ideas my group came up with was an exoconscious (like an exoskeleton); an AI that keeps you on track to concentrate on the kinds of work you want to be doing, and links your tasks into the wider context and purpose. For example it would send you a gentle reminder if you’re doing emails when you could instead concentrate on writing – the kind of work you enjoy and will allow you to create more impact.
It’s an idea that’s unlikely to come about anytime soon, but the sentiment is something that leaders and organisations could start doing right now by framing strategies, tasks and communications within the context of purpose. It’s important that companies start prioritising this now, because it will only become more important to get it right in the future.