The Future of Work

Future of Work cover

For decades, we have imagined the future through the eyes of comic book heroes — from boy-next-door Peter Parker’s Spider-Man to Amazon princess Wonder Woman. As we approach our next Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Lab, focused on the Future of Work, I thought we might explore that part of our future in the same way.

The Future of Work is a huge topic. How will we attract and retain the worker of the future? How can we leverage the latest technology to augment the worker of the future? What will the workplaces of the future be like? It’s the subject of conferences, white papers, speculation, pontificating, and hand-wringing. Yet with all the talk, most of us have a hard time picturing the future in a way that brings the all high-flying ideas down to earth. We’re not wired to imagine what the world might be like in ten or twenty years time...maybe such a long-term view wasn’t helpful for us back when we were cavemen...

That’s why we’ve chosen to literally paint a picture of what the future will be like.

In my work with Cisco’s Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL), I’ve found science fiction prototypes to be a useful tool. In this case, it’s a story based on extensive research of trends, technologies, economics, and cultural change. These prototypes make it easier to visualize the future in a concrete way so that we can more easily identify areas that are ripe for innovation.

That is what this comic book is about. It’s a way to imagine the future so we can then create the future we want. My team is currently designing a cohort of corporations who will come together to design the future of work—a Future of Work Living Lab – where we will design and jointly invest in innovation we feel will create this future. But first... let’s meet Gail our Superhero and come to understand some of the challenges that face us in the Future of Work.