Insights November 9th, 2020

Futurist Speaker Nikolas Badminton joins The Social to discuss the future of post-pandemic work. He chatted with hosts Melissa Grelo and Cynthia Loyst on which jobs are disappearing, and which will be in demand in the future? Those questions are more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people out of work, and many more worried about the future of the labour market. Here is the recording of the show:

Nikolas Badminton appears on CTV’s daytime television chat show, The Social

And, here are some of the big questions, and answers.

What jobs do you think are at risk of disappearing?

‘Algorithmic Work’ is at risk – work that follows simple steps that can be replaced with robotic process automation – in software or with actual automated machinery

  • Fast food servers – replaced by automated systems – think McDonalds on steroids
  • Retail assistants – replaced by automated ‘just walk out’ stores like Amazon Go 
  • Truck drivers – replaced with autonomous trucking
  • Taxi drivers – replaced with autonomous vehicles
  • Office administrators – replaced by automated (Artificial Intelligence) systems

What fields of employment should people be looking into right now?

  • Mental and Physical wellness, especially nursing and psychological therapy, will be on the rise.
  • Urban and workplace design. Cities and workplaces need to be fundamentally redesigned for a world where humans are at the center vs. convenience and services to make money.
  • Data Scientists and Ethicists. Data analysts, business strategists and developers lay the foundation of our modern technological world and we need guardrails for the applications and platforms that will permeate society.
  • Media Producer / Content Creator / Storyteller – we need hope and it’s best delivered from the storytellers creating it.
  • Entrepreneurship – it’s in these times of difficulty and collapse amazing ideas are hatched and businesses started. There is nothing better than a business you’ve created for yourself.

What jobs do you see becoming in demand five to ten years from now?

  • Artificial Intelligence Trainer/Psychologist – from the revolution in apps, the office, smart cities and beyond we’ll need people to make sure that smart systems stay on track with how we want our lives to be. That means we have to ensure that the automated systems fit to who we are and how we operate as humans.
  • Nurse technician – healthcare is getting more technical so nursing will advance forward faster.
  • Micro-school Teacher – the education system is failing – class sizes are too big and it’s a ‘one-size-fits-all’ curriculum – so new ways of schooling will emerge as a middle ground between home-schooling and public schooling. Micro-schools will become a common service – think 5 to 10 kids in a class, paid for by small groups of parents..
  • Ghost kitchen head chef and virtual restaurant creator – this is a big trend. Large scale commissaries that can serve restaurateurs – it’s the next step beyond the UBER Eats / DoorDash and Restaurant relationship (which is currently under stress due to commissions eroding restaurant profit and worth).
  • Family Brand Creative Director – with more people taking their families online – creative services to support that need for ‘authenticity’, brand representation, and merchandising will be needed.

What skills should people focus on building to make themselves more employable in the future?

  • Human-centred design – Every place and every system needs to be designed / redesigned with humans benefit at the centre vs. profit. This needs to come into the curriculum today.
  • Community building – our society is fragile. We are stronger together and communities have become weaker over the years. It’s time for that to change.
  • Speaking Mandarin and Hindi – English, Mandarin and Hindi will be the 3 main business languages of the world by 2030. The Chinese economy will be #1 by 2030 and India will be at #2 in terms of GDP and they will be calling the shots.. The current geopolitical stresses will need to be worked out and we’ll need to all work together to create abundance in the world.

We have seen businesses hit hard by the pandemic, and many are pivoting. What business models are shifting the most and how?

We have seen businesses hit hard by the pandemic, and many are pivoting. What business models are shifting the most and how?

  • Retail – curbside pickup and ecommerce has exploded. The idea of the mall will change towards being a distribution hub and place for central services to be based and send their goods out via delivery.
  • Restaurants – takeout and delivery are no longer add-on to business – they are now core to survival. Successful restaurants will know how to simplify and create scale. This is not exclusive to quick service restaurants
  • Algorithmic work – administrative office jobs, city maintenance workers, cleaners – these are all ripe for disruption with the use of robotic process automation.

According to statistics Canada, 40 per cent of Canadians are now working from home. In five years do you see traditional offices existing?

  • At the beginning of the pandemic everything has changed in 2020 – businesses went digital in weeks, not years. And, employees are working from home.
  • Offices will become flexible workspaces – creative places to meet and to collaborate on new ideas. Employees will only aim to be there for 2 or 3 days per week with time at home, or remote, used for productivity.
  • The new efficiency – people will work being measured on what they produce, not the hours they put in and, that means collaboration together and productivity working alone

How about the future of education? Do you see education remaining virtual in part for the next few years?

  • Micro-schools – classes of under 6 children run by private teachers – big disruption is coming to education and the industry will be booming by 2030.
  • Hybrid schooling – students will find themselves with 2 days home-schooling and 3 days in-school attendance – the impact will be re-designed schools and reconsidered curriculum (I hope).
  • Tech companies running their own degrees – Dyson just announced – Students will pay no tuition fees, earn a salary of £18,000 and end up with an engineering degree apprenticeship after four years. The Dyson Institute until now offered qualifications approved by Warwick University but from September next year will be able to award its own degrees. Google also launched it’s ‘Career Certificates’ where students will be able to take courses to become trained data analysts, project managers and UX designers in around six months. 
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Futurist Speaker Nikolas Badminton

CEO of EXPONENTIAL MINDS and an award-winning Futurist Speaker, researcher and author. His expertise and thought leadership will guide you from complacency to thinking exponentially, planning for longevity, and encouraging a culture of innovation. You will then establish resiliency and abundance in your organization. Please reach out to discuss how he can help you, and read on to see what is happening in the world this week.

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