Scenario planning and the future of education
Exhibit 1: Critical uncertainties for the future of work
The Future of Work team collaborated with various stakeholders to create a list of critical uncertainties and suggested polarities (table 1-1).The categories that make up this list entail a number of questions, including the following:
• Does globalization continue unfettered, or do ideological, economic, or political forces drive toward a return to regionalization?
• Do people get to retire, or do they continue to work in order to retain a work identity or to fund a lifestyle, including healthcare? While demographics are more determinate in the ten-year horizon, this question becomes more uncertain at longer timeframes.
• Will decision making be ideological or pragmatic? This question may have a large impact on workforce and immigration policy, in that an ideological framework may shut certain classes of workers out of the economy or create less fluid immigration policy than local, regional, or national interests may dictate if examined in a rational, pragmatic way.
• Will the organization structure of the world be hierarchical or networked? Perhaps more pointedly, will the world recognize the networked aspects of work and create management practices, representations, and technology that explicitly manage through networks rather than hierarchies?
|Polarity A||Critical uncertainties||Polarity B|
|Segmented||Blend of work and home||Punctuated|
|Regional/local||Geopolitical and social world||Open/global|
|Rediscovered childhood||Multi-tasking||Old Younger|
|Highly protected||Intellectual property||Open|
|Low adoption/human integration||Self-organizing technology||High adoption/adaptive systems|
|More of the same?||What’s after the Internet||Semantic Web|
|Emerging markets||Locus of innovation, wages, and capabilities||Western-centric|
|Reused and reapplication/nostalgia||Invention vs. reapplication||Innovation and invention/vision|
|Slow and managed||Pace of innovation and adoption||Rapid and fast|
|Distributed||Population and wealth||Concentrated|
|Antagonistic/disruptive||Popularity of the United States||Popular/influential|