The RSA’s Future Work Centre has published 4 scenarios which they hope will illuminate the various possibilities and challenges when it comes to the future of work:
1) The Big Tech Economy: new machine age; everyday goods cost go down; unemployment and economic insecurity goes up.
2) The Precision Economy: hyper-surveillance; pervasive rating systems; hyper-connected society; algorithmic optimisation.
3) The Exodus Economy: economic crash; public backlash; low-skilled, low-productivity, low-paid; alternative economic models explored e.g. cooperatives; poverty wages; drive towards self-sufficiency.
4) The Empathy Economy: technological advancement in line with regulation and public awareness; managed automation roll-outs; growth of empathy sectors (education, care, entertainment); emotional labour exploitation/burn-out.
The RSA also makes various recommendations: a Sovereign Wealth Fund should be established and the Universal Basic Income should be piloted; we need to strengthen unions and create a new union for tech workers; we need to establish individual training budgets for citizens; we need to introduce new consumer transaction charges that pays for workers access to benefits; and finally, to professionalise low-skilled jobs via occupational licensing.