Archives for category: Forecast/Outlook

pexels-photo-workerBy Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist, Glassdoor, reports on trends that will shape the job market in 2017. Glassdoor, as stated in the report, “has a unique perspective on the labor market, with access to millions of real-time job listings, salaries and company reviews that helps [them] keep a pulse on what’s happening today in hiring, pay and the broader labor market.” The five trends identified are:

The transformation of HR into “people science” – Thanks to low-cost workforce analytics that provide data “on every stage of the employee life cycle,” companies will use data to make HR more scientific.

Automation will change every job – Even though automation mostly effects routine jobs, white collar jobs are also vulnerable. Ongoing skill building that complements technology is key for job seekers.

Shifting away from flashy benefits packages – “In coming years, we’re likely to see large tech employers re-evaluating their benefits packages, more carefully focusing them on core benefits that offer the biggest bang for the buck in terms of engagement and productivity — rather than splashy headlines about unusual workplace perks.”

Taking action against the gender pay gap – “In 2017 and beyond, we are likely to see more companies taking positive action on the gender pay gap, using HR data to correct problems proactively in their own payrolls.”

Realizing the limits of the “gig economy” – “The fastest growing jobs today are ones that require human creativity, flexibility, judgment, and ‘soft skills’ like personal relationships such as health care professionals, data scientists, sales leaders, strategy consultants, and product managers. Those are exactly the kind of jobs least likely to function well in a ‘gig’ economy platform.”



Photo by Daniella Winkler via Unsplash

Here is a strong contender for the best quote of 2016: “We talk a lot about information and the information age, but really what I think people are looking for is wisdom and knowledge.” -David Pescovitz, co-editor at Boing Boing and research director at the Institute for the Future.

Pescovitz, in a recent Business Insider article written by Chris Weller, offers some futuristic views on how libraries are going to change in 50 years’ time. Read the entire article here.


Libraries “are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing — to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to ‘check out’ brand-new realities [experiences], whether that’s scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog.”

“What probably won’t change that much are librarians and the physical spaces they watch over…humans will always need some sort of guide to make a foreign landscape more familiar. Whether humanity turns that job into one for artificial intelligence is another matter.”

16_Skills_FutureofWorkImage Source: Tanmay Vora, QAspire Blog, August 31, 2015

I ran across a great article through a post shared on LinkedIn (thank you John Semanik). Entitled, Skills For Future Success in a Disruptive World of Work, author Tanmay Vora starts out with the story of his father retiring as a Library Science professional right before libraries were completely transformed by digital disruption. Questioning what skills will be required in a future world of work that will continuously be disrupted by technology and innovation, Mr. Vora lists the “skills young people should be learning to be prepared for a career in 2020,” which are from a 2012 Elon and Pew study, and included in Janna Q. Anderson’s article: The Future of Work? The Robot Takeover Is Already Here.

My favorites:

  • The ability to concentrate, to focus deeply.
  • The ability to search effectively for information and to be able to discern the quality. and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well.
  • Synthesizing skills (being able to bring together details from many sources).

Mr. Vora, added a few of his own; which are depicted in his graphic shown above:

  • The ability to learn constantly in a self-directed mode.
  • Social Intelligence and ability to connect with people beyond geographical barriers virtually in a deep/meaningful way and collaborate.
  • Adaptive mindset to evolve the thinking and learning to keep pace with the pace of changes around us.
  • Interdisciplinary thinking
  • Critical thinking


Jim O’Donnell, writing for Slate, is a professor of historical, philosophical, and religious studies and university librarian at Arizona State University. In the article, O’Donnell ponders the question, which is also the title of the article, “What Will Libraries Be Like in 2100?” The article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. O’Donnell provides interesting and optimistic predictions about collections and global accessibility.

Here is the best quote ever about libraries and librarians:

But we do need libraries. In a world of superabundant information, they curate and collect and discriminate and care for the good stuff—the stuff really smart people have worked to create and preserve, the stuff you can rely on when you want to understand the world deeply and accurately, the stuff too complicated to come into existence by crowdsourcing, too unpopular to be foisted on us by corporations or politicians. Librarians—smart, professional, dispassionate about everything but the truth—are the Jedi knights of our culture’s future and deserve to be respected for that.

O Palsson, The Library and Learning Center by Zaha Hadid, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria, via Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0) license

O Palsson, The Library and Learning Center by Zaha Hadid, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria, via Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0) license

Futurist Thomas Frey (DaVinci Institute, August 6) writes in an interesting article entitled, “The Future of Libraries: Beginning the Great Transformation”:

We have transitioned from a time where information was scarce and precious to today where information is vast and readily available, and in many cases, free…People who in the past visited libraries to find specific pieces of information are now able to find that information online. The vast majority of people with specific information needs no longer visit libraries.  However, others who read for pleasure as example, still regularly patronize their local library.

The Institute has put together ten trends “that are affecting the development of the next generation library,” and also “give clear insight into the rapidly changing technologies and equally fast changing mindset of library patrons.” Here are the trends (directly quoted). Click here to read more detail about each trend.

Trend #1 – Communication systems are continually changing the way people access information

Trend #2 – All technology ends. All technologies commonly used today will be replaced by something new.

Trend #3 – We haven’t yet reached the ultimate small particle for storage. But soon.

Trend #4 – Search Technology will become increasingly more complicated

Trend #5 – Time compression is changing the lifestyle of library patrons

Trend #6 – Over time we will be transitioning to a verbal society

Trend #7 – The demand for global information is growing exponentially

Trend #8 – The Stage is being set for a new era of Global Systems

Trend #9 – We are transitioning from a product-based economy to an experience based economy

Trend #10 – Libraries will transition from a center of information to a center of culture has just posted an interesting article on the future of business. These trends “are not the usual suspects regarding technology, AI, robotics and the like.” Here are the five trends summarized (directly quoted).

The nature of motivation – simply working for a paycheck does not suffice for increasing numbers of people

The idea of a basic income – when wage-paying jobs become more scarce the a guaranteed basic income will enable people to pursue personal fulfillment

The role of education – education shifted in past decades from a liberal education to being job centered, but now is poised to back toward learning for personal growth and a well-rounded life

Human capital – as work shifts toward technology then companies and governments may invest less in employee development, leading to a void there and a need to address continuing eduction

Voluntary entrepreneurship – rather than entrepreneurs focused on making big money, with a basic income guarantee entrepreneurs could focus more on simply doing good if that is their passion

Click here to read the entire article.

This year’s Accenture Technology Vision highlights five emerging themes “that reflect the shifts being seen among the digital power brokers of tomorrow.” These five trends represent Accenture’s newest stance that “every business is a digital business,” which was first introduced in the 2013 report. Each year, Accenture’s Technology Vision identifies the emerging technology trends that will impact large enterprises in the next 3-5 years. The 2015 Executive Summary has been made available and the full report will be released Feb. 17. You can read the Executive Summary and overview of the report hereThe five key trends are: The Internet of Me, Outcome Economy, Platform(R)evolution, Intelligent Enterprise and Workforce Reimagined. Here are selected trend highlights, directly quoted from the Executive Summary:

The Internet of Me: Our world, personalized. As everyday objects are going online, so too are experiences—creating an abundance of digital channels that reach deep into every aspect of individuals’ lives…. To gain control over these points of access, they are creating highly personalized experiences that engage and exhilarate consumers—without breeching the customer’s trust.

Outcome Economy: ….As leading enterprises come face-to-face with the IoT, they are uncovering opportunities to embed hardware and sensors in their digital toolboxes. They are using these highly connected hardware components to give customers what they really want: not more products or services, but more meaningful outcomes.

The Platform (R)evolution: Defining ecosystems, redefining industries. Among the Global 2000, digital industry platforms and ecosystems are fueling the next wave of breakthrough innovation and disruptive growth….In short: Platform-based ecosystems are the new plane of competition.

Intelligent Enterprise: Huge data, smarter systems—better business. ….Business and technology leaders must now view software intelligence not as a pilot or a one-off project, but as an across-the-board functionality—one that will drive new levels of evolution and discovery, propelling innovation throughout the enterprise.

Workforce Reimagined: Collaboration at the intersection of humans and machines. ….Advances in natural interfaces, wearable devices, and smart machines will present new opportunities for companies to empower their workers through technology.