People Power. Future of Degrees. Flexibility .
Jan Owen blasts out a tune that is urgent and passionate and inspirational.
She heads up the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) which she has spent the past 8 years driving to the forefront to influence government policy, drive world class careers research and become a conduit for 21st century success strategies.
I heard Jan speak at SpaceCubed on Tuesday night.
The main messages that I took away were:
1. People Power
Young people want ethical work where they are making a difference. Saving the planet is their number one concern and they are becoming more focused in doing work that will make the world a better place.
To emphasize her point Jan had with her two young West Australian social entrepreneurs who are making a difference:
Nat Foo from threeonesix who identified a link between poverty and exploitation of tea farmers and now manages an ethical tea retail business… a giant leap for an occupational therapist.
- Both said that you need to pick a problem – research a solution – get people involved.
- Start small to learn how to work on a project.
- Neither could have done it without support from others. Both were, for example, participants in the Young Social Pioneers Program run by FYA.
- Resilience comes from knowing its the right thing to do.
- Don’t do you degree at one university. Do units at universities around the world.
- Both quickly and consciously used their degrees as a springboard to challenging lived experiences and to formal study which overcame barriers to them undertaking their projects.
2. The Future of Degrees
- Degrees have a two-year shelf life. You can no longer get a degree and know that you have the in depth knowledge you need to succeed for a lifetime.
- Employers are recruiting workers who have a lifelong learning mindset, then investing in them through ongoing training.
3. Flexibility is Key
While people still choose to gather in workplaces to engage in joined up problem solving, the nature of the workplace is changing.
- Health professionals call in a range of experts to work together to develop a collaborative solution to a problem. This model is being adopted across all industries.
- Lindfield Leaning Village and The New Work Mindset in Action are examples of collaborative problem solving ecosystems.
- Building the personal capacity, physical infrastructure and communication networks to operate in an ecosystem of agile experts, is the key to successful 21st century problem solving.
- Bosses now manage staff who are also working on their own gigs. It used to be that workers went home to family responsibilities. Now they go home to Uber driving, AirBnB businesses and AirTasker jobs.
- The next FYA research report is being done on the Flexible Economy.
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