BCII Envisioning Futures Showcase — 2019
When most people think about the future of work, they tend to focus on artificial intelligence, automation, and the growing gig economy. Yet these things are only a small part of a much bigger picture.
The future of care work is, arguably, a less enticing topic than the robot vacuum apocalypse, yet its social and economic importance is expected to grow exponentially. So what does the future of care work look like?
As part of a futures thinking elective, I worked with a transdisciplinary team to research and design an interactive experience around this question. The experience was delivered as part of a future of work showcase in April 2019, in partnership with the City of Sydney.
Design an experimental future/encounter to provoke an audience to ask questions about the desirability of future work scenarios, and engage them in exploring the generative potential for innovation, inspiration, and learning in the imagined future world. The vision should be provocative, yet relevant, and include a compelling ‘call to action’ to engage diverse audiences.
Causal Layered Analysis
We found there is a stark contrast in general perceptions of work that is caring, like raising children, versus work that is productive, like managing an office.
While it is underrepresented in formal economies, care work helps people do their jobs effectively. For instance, a working parent may rely on their partner or other family members to assist with childcare.
Automating more-technical forms of work could provoke us to reconnect with intrinsically human qualities, including our capacity to care and nurture.
Drawing on our research findings, we shifted focus from the workplace to the education system as a key peripheral element to the workforce. The experience we delivered was an open day session for a new combined degree called the Bachelor of Care and Emotional Intelligence (BCEI), modelled on our own degree in transdisciplinary innovation.
Gabby Head, Eliza Lucas, Clara Smith and Ella Williams
Honourable Recognition, UTS TD School