Future of Work Roundtable: The Macro View on Transitioning to the Next Economy

In early December, the Berkeley Work and Intelligent Tools and Systems (WITS) working group hosted a conference to discuss working, earning, and learning in the age of intelligent tools. A number of conference participants sat down with Reinvent to talk about how they would explain the moment we’re in, what challenges we face, what solutions might get us through these challenges, and how optimistic they are about our future. These innovators, hailing from UC Berkeley, McKinsey & Company, and Schmidt Sciences, OECD, among other organizations, shared their thoughts and insights on what many of them see as the biggest economic and technological shift since the Industrial Revolution. They expressed concerns about income inequality and the skills gap, as well as the decline of corporate spending on workforce training. Many described themselves as cautious optimists. If we want to make sure that tomorrow’s economy works for everyone, not just the most highly skilled workers, the participants emphasized, we’ve got our work cut out for us.