JUST AS CONSULTING firm A.T. Kearney asked its analysts to
imagine the future of digital technologies (see “Preparing
for Digital Disorder”), The Millennium Project,
a global think tank based in Washington, D.C., asked experts
worldwide to imagine the future of work. In September, the
organization released Work/Technology 2050: Scenarios and
Actions, which describes the results of a three-year study.
The think tank held 30 workshops in 20 countries, where
it asked futurists to identify looming disasters and assess
plans to address problems ranging from widening income
gaps to the effects of AI and automation on employment.
The Millennium Project created three scenarios that
might exist in 2050: a dark era of political and economic
turmoil; a vibrant future in which humans pursue self-actualization;
and a complicated future that includes elements of
both. Experts from The Millennium Projects Nodes—groups
of institutions and researchers—identified how their countries
might address the issues raised by each possibility.
The think tank distilled hundreds of suggestions into
93 potential actions. These include establishing agencies to
help governments forecast technology’s potential impacts,
creating lifelong learning models, creating international
standards for artificial intelligence, determining the feasibility
of a universal basic income, and embedding memes in
advertising to ease the transition to new forms of work.
Says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project,
“The more of these actions are implemented, the smoother
our transition will be to the next age.”
Learn more about The Millennium Project.