Talking about . . . the future of work
For huge numbers of people jobs provide income and a sense of purpose. We are fast approaching a time when artificial intelligence and robots will be trusted do a better job than humans at everything from driving to diagnosing medical conditions and more. But our economy is structured to thrive with a robust engaged workforce. What happens when the nature and number of jobs change substantially? Do we have more leisure time to enjoy our families, contribute to our community and deepen our creative and spiritual practices? Do we find a way to share the benefits of these technological advances or does homelessness and poverty grow? If we think together now can we create a future we all want to embrace?
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Background reading (optional)
While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.
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Now that you are all together, here we go!
This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.
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One. Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this topic?
Two. Your core values
- what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
- what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
- what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
Three. The Future of Work
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.
- How do you describe the paid work you do and have done? The non-paid work?
- What role does work play in your life?
- What is important about working? Or is it important?
- What types of work do you think people will do in the next 50 years?
- If we had the same or better productivity with people spending half as much time doing paid work, what would you hope to see happening in your community and in this country?
- in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
- what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Five. Accomplishment and moving forward
- name one important thing that was accomplished here;
- is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
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