Meant to post this earlier. Via Time Magazine, a thoughtful and provocative essay on emerging models of work, especially in this country. The Way We'll Work - The Future of Work - TIME
Basically, it looks at how expectations of what constitute work and "jobs" are going to shift in the near (and perhaps distant) future given less expansive economic growth. Some of it is depressing, but not all. My partner at That's Capital, Titus Levi, sent me another older (2008) Toronto Star article that explores similar ideas.
Titus, having relocated from Los Angeles to Guangdong, China (adapting to his own work-cycle as newly appointed Associate Professor in the International Journalism Program of United International College), will be able to share working styles in a more robust economy.
What's a bit scary (or very) is imagining what will take the place of service-sector jobs without a consumer-based economy. What will fuel the need for services outside of health? I find hope in the creative potential of digital technology to assist formation of activity-generating local markets. For instance, look at Pickupalooza. For folks wanting to gather for pick-up ball games (or other sports), it's not a "market" in the traditional sense. And it doesn't focus on jobs. But you can imagine the imagination behind it, a company called Deep Local, coming up with ways to empower local entrepreneurs. Today's NYTimes had an article on another real-world activity generating site called Groupon. Again, it's not immediately about jobs, but its ability to collect people sharing various real world interests to take some type of collective action lends itself to market activity.
While such activity is less about traditional growth of big organizations (which might employ lots of people), to me they suggest the possibility of an artisinal or craft-based economy.
Anyway, lunch break is over. Need to keep my own job. In the meantime, here's a more slightly more downbeat, but also thoughtful look at the future of work, or hearing on the radio. Worth a listen. And check out Deep Local, it's an interesting company. No personal plug, as I have no affiliation with them.