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Conference Papers Year : 2020

The Five-Dimensional Space of the Futures of Work: A View to 2030

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Steve Sawyer
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We advance a structured view of the Futures of Work (FoW) using a futurist’s lens to advance two goals: advancing core dimensions to the FoW while outlining the Futurist’s approach to considering possible futures. Professional futurists point out that they do not predict the future, but rather, build a number of futures – in plural. These views of the futures are presented as scenarios to help decision makers consider alternatives and better understand interactions among the planning dimensions. The scenarios that drive planning are constructed by drawing on characteristics or dimensions that will shape our futures. It is these dimensions that we present here. We offer five foundational dimensions for the FoW, articulating them as opposing perspectives to frame the issue: (1) Virtuality versus Compressed working arrangements; (2) Atomistic work versus Holistic work; (3) Algorithmic versus Human decision-making; (4) Neoliberal capitalism versus Safety-net capitalism; (5) Übermensch versus Nihilists. We use these dimensions to provide scenarios to illustrate their use. We conclude by reflecting on the shock of the 2020 pandemic and the roles of firm size relative to the futures of work.
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hal-03450701 , version 1 (26-11-2021)


Attribution - CC BY 4.0



Erran Carmel, Steve Sawyer. The Five-Dimensional Space of the Futures of Work: A View to 2030. IFIP Joint Working Conference on the Future of Digital Work: The Challenge of Inequality (IFIPJWC), Dec 2020, Hyderabad, India. pp.295-309, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-64697-4_22⟩. ⟨hal-03450701⟩
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