“Technology has and will continue to replace human labor with machine labor, causing the composition of jobs and tasks to change as some are eliminated and others are created. The jobs that appear most vulnerable are those that involve routine cognitive and manual tasks: repetitive, predictable activities like operating machinery, preparing fast food, and collecting and processing data.” – “Automation and a Changing Economy,” The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, April 2019.
According to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, an estimated 400 million to 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world. And, of those displaced, 75 million to 375 million may need to switch occupational categories and learn new skills. (“Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained.” McKinsey Global Institute, 2017.)
The challenge before us is clear: The wave of automation has already begun and will only continue to grow in the coming years.
And while we fervently believe in the power of these technologies to move our society forward, we also know that the companies developing and distributing them need to be doing more than profiting from them — they also have a responsibility to the members of our population who are being displaced, and/or otherwise marginalized as these technologies are adopted in new ways.
These companies should play a role in developing and providing new opportunities to those displaced workers — and that is where the WFF comes in.
Founded in 2019, and funded in part by AI industry leaders, the WFF is currently building the infrastructure to both:
- Support and augment successful workforce development efforts
- Develop an innovative community focused on displaced workers where members can develop, fund and launch new ideas of their own
In this early stage of our journey, we are currently looking to partner with:
Existing workforce development/training programs that have a proven track record of success
- Other nonprofits and advocacy groups focused on this and related issues, and
- Businesses that are powering all aspects of workplace automation
As the current wave of automation only grows, the number of workers negatively affected is growing as well. We can help these displaced workers transition to their next area of vitality (whatever that may be).