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?
Background Information: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.
Let's Get Started!
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
- What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
- What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
What are your thoughts on The Future of Work? (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.
- 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?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- 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?
- 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?