The Future of Work: Preparing for Disruption
About this courseSkip About this course
Workers of the future will need new sets of skills to compete. Recent advances in technology are changing how we live, communicate and do business, disrupting traditional industries and redefining the employee-employer relationship.
Thousands of routine and low-skill jobs will be eliminated by automation, A.I. and digital hyper-connectivity. However, these same advances present new opportunities, like:
- New job creation
- Increased productivity
- Improved delivery of public services
This course emphasizes the urgency of developing human capital in meeting the challenges of the coming decades. Developing countries will need to take rapid action to invest in their people as innovation continues to accelerate. Themes in the course include: artificial intelligence, the gig economy, world of work, the future of work, labor market, policy makers, new technologies, digital economy, jobs of the future, machine learning, and labor force.
Participants will learn through Ted-like talks, podcasts, readings, interactive quizzes and scenario based exercises. They will also have an opportunity to share and dialogue with peers and experts including practitioners, government officials, academic and private sector. This course will introduce students to forward-thinking approaches that will build the new skill sets required in the 21st Century, including:
- critical analysis
- problem solving
- “soft skills” like teamwork and empathy
At a glance
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Factors behind the changing nature of work
- Which new sets of skills required for future workforces
- Human Capital Index and its methodology
- Social assistance programs and insurance schemes
- Policy measures available to governments
Week 1 - Changing Nature of Work
This module focuses on understanding the factors at play in the changing nature of work. It introduces participants to new technologies that are transforming day-to-day life, new types of automation, and new types of businesses, including firms that operate through digital platforms that enable them to scale rapidly without vertically integrating. It will show how the demand for low-skilled labor is decreasing as Artificial Intelligence and new production methods take root. Learners will be able to describe and discuss the main issues and challenges that workers of today face.
Week 2 – Human Capital: A New Framework
This module introduces the World Bank’s new human capital index, highlighting the links between investments in health and education and the productivity of future workers. Making the most of this evolving economic opportunity will depend on prioritizing the development of individual capacity. This module emphasizes the importance of building skills that are increasingly important in labor markets while also exploring the dangers of leaving workers in informal sectors.
Week 3 – Lifelong Learning: From Birth to Retirement
This module highlights the fact that despite historically low poverty rates and growing life expectancies, the dangers that remain, especially to children under 5, pose a significant risk to development. Poor health care and nutrition at this critical stage of child development, especially during the “first 1000 days” from conception, lead to decreased cognitive function that last into adulthood. Subpar primary schools often don’t ensure basic literacy. Youth employment programs fail to effectively prepare young people transitioning into the workforce. This module explores programs from pre-natal care to youth employment.
Week 4 – Returns to Work & Social Protection
Skills development does not end in school. Module 4 is examines those new required skills that will necessitate a lifelong approach to learning for today’s workers. Innovative pedagogy, technology platforms and linkages between industry and schools are enabling developing countries to train huge numbers of workers, including older ones, in new capabilities. The module also demonstrates how productivity gains can be made by advancing three priority areas: decreasing informality in the economy, removing blockages to women in the workplace and enhancing training for Agricultural workers. This module looks in-depth at social programs that address these ends.
Week 5 – Investing in Social Inclusion
This final module focuses on the new social contracts required to provide for larger investments in human capital and more universal social protection programs. It discusses several new ways of protecting people, including: a societal minimum that provides support independent of employment; expanding overall coverage that prioritizes the neediest people in society; placing community health workers on the government’s payroll; a universal basic income; enhanced social assistance and insurance systems that reduce the burden of risk management on labor regulation. The module ends by illustrating methods for financing such programs.