Just 20 years into the 21st century, we have already seen remarkable changes that we could never have anticipated. We've come up with 20 predictions that explore what the next 20 years may have in store for your organization.

Two decades from now, technology will be ubiquitous: Artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotics will create efficiencies and drive profits, ultimately displacing many traditional jobs—impacting as much as 20 per cent of the global workforce by 2030. But our new innovation economy won't mean people will be left behind. Bots will perform most menial tasks while people are upskilled and reskilled – by both business and government – to take on new and higher-skilled work.

Policies to support workers in the innovation economy become universal

New policies that support workers in an inclusive innovation economy will allow us to fully exploit technological advances that drive innovation without neglecting the needs of individuals who may be impacted by these changes. There will be more jobs in AI, for instance, but workers will be trained to excel in the new world of human-machine collaboration.

Governments will have programs to support workers by bridging their income as they shift from one job to the next and will share employment income costs with employers. We'll see such things as childcare support, particularly for disadvantaged populations. Training and upskilling programs will let citizens quickly gain new skills complementary to their existing skill set to enable a swift transition to new employment opportunities.

Upskilling and reskilling will prepare the workforce for new jobs that don't exist yet, such as data detectives and cyber city analysts. Traditional approaches to training and education will be updated; micro-credentials and lifelong learning will become commonplace. Many countries will develop national future-of-work strategies so companies can stay competitive and citizens can engage in more meaningful work.

People will have the opportunity to pursue supplementary jobs or focus on their interests and passions as governments introduce policies for alternate work arrangements, such as four-day work weeks, that will be more productive and efficient. Efforts over the next few decades will be spent examining how to fund policies to support workers through tax reforms, with a range of policies and debate about the role of corporations to support worker displacement.


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