Scientists should be the ones designing the jobs of the future, say Michael Fischer and Mandë Holford. The Jobs of the Future initiative enables them to do so.
The modern growth in cross- and multidisciplinary research in academia has already had huge impact on the world around us, and is set to reshape the jobs market for scientists globally. With this in mind, the UN recently announced their 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes the goal to create jobs with competitive salaries that lead to sustainable economic growth. We believe young scientists should be the ones establishing the new fields and areas of employment for the future, to address the 2030 SDGs.
The Jobs of the Future (JOF) initiative will provide a platform to do just that – it’s a that allows young scientists and engineers to describe their dream job of the future.
To answer this call, a group of early career scientists and engineers at the 2015 World Science Forum pitched ideas on tangible ways to address the SDGs to a panel of international judges composed of high profile decision makers from UNESCO, InterAcademy Panel, and The Academy of Science of South Africa. The winning pitch, made by a team including the authors, was the JOF initiative.
JOF will utilize an existing online platform, the World Lecture Project (wlp)o, as a vehicle for posting entries and to motivate scientists to elaborate on their findings and ideas, which can be leveraged to create future jobs that will address societal issues. Early career scientists globally will have the opportunity to present their ideas in online videos that can be easily and rapidly shared with a diverse audience of scientists, policy makers, industrial enterprises, students and the general public.
Forward-thinking enterprises are highly invested in researching the jobs of the future in their area. In collaboration with supporting companies, JOF will create learning environments on the (wlp)o, accompanied by video lectures and other material, where early career scientists can find the expertise and the skills necessary for their future jobs.
We hope the JOF initiative will lead to new professional profiles that emerge to reflect the on-going inter- and multidisciplinary overlap we now see in science. An example of this could be a biological complexity expert, with skills to deal with chaos theory and complex systems within the context of the biological and health sciences.
JOF’s goal is to identify scientist-driven jobs and skill development that ensures young scientists obtain competitive employment in the future. Young scientists and engineers will be drivers of the JOF initiative, and will create job profiles that match their scientific intuition about the future. This will guide their career development so that both academic and industrial institutions can use JOF to address the professional qualifications we need for the new world we’re creating in 2030.
You can register to JOF here.
Michael Fischer is the founder of World Lecture Project (wlp)o, a central platform for delivering academic videos from faculties worldwide.
Mandë Holford is as an Associate Professor in Chemistry at Hunter College and CUNY-Graduate Center, with scientific appointments at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medical College. Holford is a WEF-New Champion Scientist and is actively involved in science diplomacy, education and innovation.