Thought Leadership on the Future of Work

As preparations for the Future of Work Summit continue, we will be sharing key reports and articles that are evaluating and, often times, challenging traditional concepts of community and workforce development.  Suggestions for additional reports are always welcome.  Please make referrals to:  

The Future of Work:  Journey to 2022

The Human Resources Division of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) released a survey on 2016 which documented their opinions of 10,000 people from the US, United Kingdom, Germany, China, and India on the future of work.  PWC is a corporate think tank that serves corporate clients from around the world.  Among other findings, the survey found that 66% believed that they would be successful within the future economy.  In envisioning the future of work, PWC identified three distinct, yet intertwined workplace scenarios:  The Green World, dominated by companies with core beliefs about corporate social responsibility; The Blue World, where the economy is ruled by large corporations and minimal individualization that are driven by profits; and The Orange World, in which small size businesses and specialization are valued.  The push and pull drivers of these scenarios are based on individualism vs. collectivism; integration vs. fragmentation.  The report and survey include discussions of current and future examples of how these drivers impact business needs, including the use of supply chains and procurement to access worker skills, the development of a social and environmental conscience as a means to retain workers, and the degree to which technology can be used to maximize employee performance.

Technology, Jobs, and the Future of Work

The May 2017 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, a think tank serving the private and public sectors, examines how automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work.  Among other trends, there is a growing polarization of market opportunities between high- and low-skills jobs, which correlates to stagnating incomes, unemployment and underemployment among Millennials, and income inequality.  The report recommends that understanding the impact of these shifts is important to business leaders and workers, as well as policy makers.

Fair Shake Commission on Inequality in California

The Fair Shake Commission was created by Tom Steyer to find ways to address the growing economic inequality in our state, and to help ensure the dream of entering or staying in the middle class remains a reality for all Californians.  Key findings from the 2017 report include:  Too many people are left out of the modern economy; a robust public sector is vital for a robust private sector; targeted investments are needed to expand opportunity to strengthen and grow the middle class; and an engaged and empowered citizenry and an inclusive government.  Following the analysis, the report makes recommendations for addressing the state's inequality, as it proposed methods for supporting upward mobility.

Public Policy and Investments in Quality Jobs

This report, by Pacific Community Ventures, explores the potential for smart, targeted public policies to encourage private sector investments in quality job creation. The research expands upon an earlier report on the impact of the federal Community Development Financial Institutions and seeks to answer a broader set of economic and community development questions: how can policy direct more capital (primarily private, but also public) toward quality job-creating businesses? Which existing federal programs and regulations already facilitate investments that lead to quality job creation? And how could these policies be altered most effectively to encourage the creation of more—and higher quality—jobs?

Boardroom Diversity:  Why it Matters

This 2013 legal article, Mr. Lawrence Trautman, past president of the New York and Metropolitan Washington/Baltimore Chapters of the National Association of Corporate Directors, addresses several core questions related to good corporate governance.  Key questions include:  What exactly is board diversity and why does it matter? How does diversity fit in an attempt to build the best board for an organization? What attributes and skills are required by law and what mix of experiences and talents provide the best corporate governance?  Among other interviews and research discussed, Mr. Trautman assesses the different roles diversity may play within a board and a board's need for a range of specific talents in order to meet its fiduciary duties.

Diversity Matters

McKinsey's 2015 article on Board Diversity, Why Diversity Matters, summaries findings from their report, Diversity Matters, which found that gender-diverse companies out perform the national median performance by 15% and ethnically-diverse companies outperform the national median by 25%.   "Our latest research finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.  Companies in the bottom quartile in these dimensions are statically less likely to achieve above-average returns. And diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time."  

Final Report:  Recommendations from the G20-Sponsored Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures was established by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors for the purpose of developing a framework for improving access to comparable data on climate-related risk and opportunities.   Chaired by Michael Bloomberg, the Task Force recommends that businesses make voluntary disclosures around 4 key themes. : the organization's governance pertaining to climate change risks and opportunities; actual and potential impact on climate risks on business, strategy and financial planning.  how this climate risk is being managed; and the metrics and targets used to make the assessments.  In making the June 2017 recommendations, the Task Force underscored that the framework if not designed to supersede national disclosure requirements, rather, the framework is intended to enhance these governmental actions.  In developing the framework, the Task Force received over 300 responses from 30 countries; Supporters include over 100 companies (representing $11 trillion in assets), including Bank of America, Barclays, HSBC, ING, Aviva PLC, and AXA Group.

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