When I attended the Axios 360 Workforce Development Summit, I watched as Ivanka Trump explained that for the first time in our history, we now have more vacant jobs than unemployed people. However, she noted that while the Bureau of Labor Statistics could identify what industries these vacancies are in, it couldn’t explain where the vacancies are geographically, nor could it explain the underlying skills needed, or the training programs required to acquire them. For this, the Trump Administration will look to the private sector for solutions.
True Leadership Empowers Others
Success in the digital era will require responsive, engaged leadership and collaborative action through public-private partnerships if we are to effectively manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable. This is why we structured my company as a public benefit corporation: to help facilitate these vital partnerships. We have 89,004 communities that each face unique challenges — challenges that will be exacerbated by the digitization of our workforce.
While robotics have plenty of economic and cost-saving benefits, digitization will also have negative consequences. Up to 40% of the U.S. workforce could lose their jobs by 2030. One of the greatest challenges that we’ll face in the coming years will be in how we adjust the wealth creation model once human labor is no longer driving the economy. Many suggest a universal basic income (UBI), and while this is a debate we need to start having, I see UBI with no strings attached as a missed opportunity for community problem-solving. We may be about to lose our warehouse, delivery and service jobs — but we’ll always have community challenges that will require human solutions.
A New Era Of American Enterprise
For businesses small and large, effectively connecting with the modern consumer in any meaningful way is both challenging and expensive. For most businesses, developing lasting brand loyalty has become a thing of the past. Concurrently, consumer values are changing. Consumers are looking to become involved in their communities and make a difference locally through the businesses they frequent and the brands they purchase from. I believe if we can utilize emerging market technologies to help consumers better identify community challenges and engage and educate them through interactive impact-focused methods such as social media and other methods of communication, then businesses will be able to spread empowerment through commerce connections of impact. Then, we’ll see a paradigm shift in community problem-solving. This is something my team and I actively work toward, and we feel the rest of the business world should do the same.
The High Value Of Thinking Different
As I was leaving the Workforce Development Summit, I learned Apple had become the world’s first trillion-dollar company. Steve Jobs viewed computers as a tool for the human mind. I often reflect on a Scientific American article that Mr. Jobs would quote. He explained that while we may be slow compared to other species of the animal kingdom, our ability to innovate thanks to computers and technology makes us the most efficient, by far.
We build and use tools to problem-solve. They help us reach greater potential and progress. Ever the consummate salesman, Jobs would then point out that computers were the most remarkable tool that we’d ever created. He believed they were “the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”
We’re getting a whole new set of tools, and they’ll empower consumers like never before. As we connect our homes, appliances, products and clothing to the internet of things (IoT), our progress will enable AI to automate the majority of our purchases. Auto-replenishment will provide the opportunity to automate social impact into the consumption cycle.
The market has incentivized community problem-solving. A $12 trillion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear. Smart businesses will incorporate community impact into mission and strategy.
Challenges That Unite
We were put here to connect with one another and solve problems. Any great effort requires teamwork. In fact, it’s the only way significant projects are accomplished. We all have unique talents; it’s not until they’re put to work in unison that we realize our great potential and our ability to achieve the unachievable. When inspired people work together with a shared goal and sufficient resources, there are no incurable diseases or unachievable technological advancements. There are no goals too large, too ambitious or too grand. There is nothing out of our reach. If we work together and properly utilize the new market technologies, we can set civilization-sized goals and achieve them.
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When I attended the Axios 360 Workforce Development Summit, I watched as Ivanka Trump explained that for the first time in our history, we now have more vacant jobs than unemployed people.