Giving Compass' Take: 

• New America Foundation and Bloomberg imagine what the future of work will look like and how to prepare for a technologically advanced society. 

• In what other areas will technology permeate and create disruption in people's lives? Will this disruption be beneficial? 

• Read the global perspective on how to prepare for the future of work.

At a time when machines are getting smarter and more capable and traditional jobs are being replaced with looser forms of employment (from freelancing to gigs), America is agonizing over the future of work. Will there be enough well-paying jobs or “tasks” for everyone? Can we continue to depend on work as a universal provider, or will other forms of income have to take up the slack? Can we support growing numbers of elderly people who might not be able to work?

A year-long effort by the Shift Commission–a group formed by the New America Foundation and Bloomberg and involving 100 leading figures from technology, business, policy-making, and culture–took on some of these questions, imagining what the future of work might look like in 10 to 20 years, and, to a lesser extent, how we might prepare for that future.

“The question is essentially unknowable–which is how dramatically and how quickly technological change will affect work?,” Bahat says.

“Instead of trying to do another prediction, we asked if there was some other way of going about solving this? Once we got ourselves in this frame of mind, scenario-planning arose as a fairly obvious solution to that problem.”

At the same time, the rhetoric of work “purpose” or “meaning,” while attractive to everyone, is a luxury for many. Only people making more than $150,000 a year valued “doing things I feel are important” more than “earning as stable and secure an income as possible,” according to the survey.

Going forward, we’ll need to take account of all factors, not just the least controversial ones.

Read the full article about working together in the future by Ben Schiller at Fast Company.