Managing Work, Life, and Learning in 2030: Impacts of a Digital Workforce, Freelance Economy, and Fractal Education

Boston College’s Work, Life, and Learning 2030 Round Table will explore how AI in the workplace will combine with increased reliance on freelance workers, and the availability of on-demand education, to transform the future of work. Executives Steve Conine, co-founder of Wayfair, a $10 billion global online retailer, and Jerry Nine, co-founder of Skillsoft, a global e-learning company, will join Katy Tynan, business author, and Boston College professors Mary Cronin and Tiziana Dearing, the co-editors of Managing for Social Impact: Innovations in Responsible Enterprise (Springer 2017) to share their perspectives on work in 2030.

By 2030 managers will oversee an increasingly diverse and digitally connected workforce, in fluid, rapidly changing organizational clusters with near-constant shifts in the skills required for productivity and competitiveness.  Corporate executives, public policy makers, and educational leaders will have to respond to these changes, reimagining the social and employment contract and designing new paths for workforce engagement, performance, and training.

Session host and moderation:

Professor Mary J Cronin, Boston College

Format:

Round Table – presentations and facilitated discussions by all Round Table speakers on the following topics:

  • Round Table – Welcome and Introduction (Tiziana Dearing)
    Overview of key issues related to Managing Work, Life, and Learning in 2030, followed by an introduction to the Boston College Round Table speakers and an outline of how the session will work.
    Overview of Work, Life, and Learning in 2030. Start of the Boston College Round Table.

  • First Round Table presentation (Mary Cronin)
    Overview of the digital technologies impacting work and learning in 2010
    Impacts of AI, freelance work, and on-demand learning on leading industries.
    Discussion of how the adoption of AI, freelance work, and on-demand learning in 2030 will transform organizations across industry sectors.

  • Second Round Table Presentation (Steve Conine)
    Executive perspective on employment and the digital workforce in 2030.
    Steve Conine will discuss the current strategic issues faced by Wayfair as it prepares to compete successfully in the 2030 world of work and the C-suite investments business should be planning for and making now.
    C-suite level view of strategic challenges and investments at the intersection of work, education and digital life.

  • Facilitated discussion by all Round Table speakers
    Discussion and debate by all parties on topics raised by presenters to this point.
    Professor Dearing will ask follow up questions and seed debate among all roundtable participants on the most innovative, intriguing and/or controversial assertions by the first two presenters. The goal will be to invite an interdisciplinary examination of each presenter’s perspective.
    Debate across disciplines and professional perspectives on executive and technological challenges posed by the Future of Work.

  • Third Round Table Presentation (Katy Tynan)
    Managing and Preparing for a Freelance Future.
    Katy Tynan will explore the challenges and opportunities for professional development, satisfying career trajectories, work/life balance and financial security in a freelance economy. She will explore best practices and suggest business and public policy initiatives that help ensure a productive, engaged workforce.
    The opportunities, threats and challenges workers experiencing in an increasingly freelance landscape.

  • Facilitated discussion by all Round Table speakers
    Discussion and debate by all parties on topics raised by presenters to this point
    Professor Dearing will ask follow up questions and seed debate among all roundtable participants.
    Continued debate across disciplines and professional perspectives on workforce models and the challenges to them posed by the Future of Work.

  • Fourth Round Table Presentation (Jerry Nine)
    Transformation of education to meet the needs of the 2030 workforce and employers.
    Jerry Nine will explore models for higher and ongoing professional education necessary to maintain a prepared workforce and respond to rapid, real-time changes in required skills, especially as driven by technological innovation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
    Significant changes in how we educate our workforce and keep them skilled at the pace of technological innovation.

  • Facilitated discussion by all Round Table speakers
    Discussion and debate by all parties on topics raised by presenters to this point
    Continued debate across disciplines and professional perspectives on workforce models and the challenges to them posed by the Future of Work.

  • Summary and closing
    Brief summary of the themes and perspectives raised during the Round Table
    Professor Dearing will summarize key points and invite closing thoughts by each Round Table speaker.
    Summary of the roundtable’s key themes and closing thoughts from each speaker triggered by their discussions with each other.

Key message:

An important success factor of the design of tomorrow’s working world is implementing innovative corporate and social policy programs designed to empower, motivate, and educate an increasingly diverse digital workforce in ways that will enhance performance and support work-life balance.

Speakers / Panelists:

Steve Conine, Co-Founder of Wayfair

Mary J Cronin, Professor, Boston College

Tiziana C Dearing, Professor, Boston College

Jerry Nine, Technology Executive, Co-Founder of Skillsoft Corporation

Katy Tynan, business author, Strategy and Organizational Development Consultant