Culture

Future of Work

Future of Work explores monumental changes in the workplace and the long-term impact on workers, employers, educators and communities. Employment is part of the American Dream. Will the future provide opportunities for jobs that sustain families and the nation?

Changing Work, Changing Workers

55m 6s

Companies rethink the need to even have offices, or how to redesign places of work. The traditional work shift - 9-5, 5 days a week – is losing relevance. Many companies are adopting the remote work models, spawned by the pandemic, as their new normal. Does the nation need new policies of Guaranteed Basic Income, (UBI) or a drastic rethinking of the social safety nets?

Episodes

  • Changing Work, Changing Workers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Changing Work, Changing Workers

    S2021 E3 - 55m 6s

    Companies rethink the need to even have offices, or how to redesign places of work. The traditional work shift - 9-5, 5 days a week – is losing relevance. Many companies are adopting the remote work models, spawned by the pandemic, as their new normal. Does the nation need new policies of Guaranteed Basic Income, (UBI) or a drastic rethinking of the social safety nets?

  • Futureproof: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Futureproof

    S2021 E2 - 55m 6s

    Frontline and service workers have borne the health consequences of the pandemic, increasing racial and economic disparities. Certain robotic and AI applications are accelerating as the value of human workers is further questioned. Determining the likely areas of job growth and training needs is difficult. Post-secondary education has become more virtual and its costs, more controversial.

  • The New Industrial Revolution: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The New Industrial Revolution

    S2021 E1 - 55m 6s

    In addition to illuminating the ongoing drivers for disruptions to the world of work – AI, robotics, platform technology, globalization, labor practices -- the pandemic has been a driver of change. Unemployment flipped from lowest in 50 years to highest in a century.

Extras + Features

  • Changing Work, Changing Workers - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Changing Work, Changing Workers - Preview

    30s

    Companies rethink the need to even have offices, or how to redesign places of work. The traditional work shift - 9-5, 5 days a week – is losing relevance. Many companies are adopting the remote work models, spawned by the pandemic, as their new normal. Does the nation need new policies of Guaranteed Basic Income, (UBI) or a drastic rethinking of the social safety nets?

  • Futureproof - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Futureproof - Preview

    31s

    Frontline and service workers have borne the health consequences of the pandemic, increasing racial and economic disparities. Certain robotic and AI applications are accelerating as the value of human workers is further questioned. Determining the likely areas of job growth and training needs is difficult. Post-secondary education has become more virtual and its costs, more controversial.

  • Can We Futureproof Our Work?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Can We Futureproof Our Work?

    2m 53s

    A.I. Technologist and Entrepreneur, Kai-Fu Lee believes routine jobs will be displaced faster than new jobs will be created in the next 10-15 years. Though we’ll see a net loss of jobs, there will be many jobs invented and created. But how do workers future-proof themselves for jobs that don’t yet exist? What skills will be needed, and is college really worth it?

  • Future of Work Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Future of Work Preview

    1m 43s

    Since early 2020, the world has been rocked by triple crises: the global pandemic, the ensuing economic disruptions, and the acknowledgement of long-existing racial inequities. With U.S. unemployment sky-high, a majority of Americans are concerned about the future. The usual ladders to security - education, hard work, life-long employment - appear to have broken down.

  • Farming and the Technological Revolution: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Farming and the Technological Revolution

    2m 45s

    Technology has completely changed the way that farmers do things today, from the seeds that they plant to the way they drive their equipment. Sarah Lovas’s family has been farming in North Dakota for four generations. Today a farm labor shortage has forced farmers like Sarah to embrace the latest technologies, and agriculture is being digitized.

  • American ‘Workism’ and the COVID Pandemic: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    American ‘Workism’ and the COVID Pandemic

    2m 20s

    Each year Americans work longer and take fewer vacation days than others in the developed world. American ‘Workism’, logging long hours with little time off, might inspire people to make amazing things, but at what cost? While the COVID pandemic appears to have accelerated this work drive, and many are working more hours, women have been leaving the labor force in disproportionate numbers.

  • Autonomous Robots: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Autonomous Robots

    2m 40s

    Robots are already replacing human jobs. Advocates say they are the jobs people don’t want, but nonetheless, they are paying jobs, and the advent of human-like robots is getting closer as technology advances. AI systems have the capacity to replace humans on a scale never seen before. Should we embrace the future of robots, because it will create jobs that are more meaningful?

  • Apprenticing: Working Towards the Salary You Want: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Apprenticing: Working Towards the Salary You Want

    4m 1s

    Tiffany Spraggins decided to go back to college after working jobs with no opportunity for growth. Knowing she wanted to make a livable wage, she started by looking at jobs that paid the salary she wanted. At college, she learned about an apprenticeship program to become a software functions tester, and she’s now on a path to being a full professional in a white-collar job.

  • Nomadic Workers and the American Dream: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Nomadic Workers and the American Dream

    3m 53s

    Chris Francis lost his white collar career in the 2008 recession, and has been piecing together a livelihood ever since. He’s part of a growing movement of nomadic workers, living in their RV’s, and travelling the country from job to job. Today, with retirement less of a guarantee, and younger Americans being the first generation to be worse off than their parents, the American dream is at risk.

  • Youngstown, Ohio, and the American Dream: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Youngstown, Ohio, and the American Dream

    3m 23s

    From 1977 to 1987, automation and outsourcing rapidly disrupted steel and manufacturing industries in places like Youngstown, Ohio. The result: mass unemployment, and an exodus of people going elsewhere for work. The effect wasn’t just economic; depression, alcoholism, drug use, and suicides rose in Youngstown, foreshadowing the consequences of technology and globalization everywhere.

  • Robotics in Medicine: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Robotics in Medicine

    4m 44s

    15 years ago, Bryant Hospital in Lincoln, NE was one of several hospitals pioneering the use of ‘surgical cobots’. Now they are an accepted part of surgical practices across America. In this video, for example, Dr. Michael Jobst brings new levels of precision, control, and safety to his surgical procedures, by using multi-arm robotic surgery. But does this current generation of robots cost jobs?

  • Date Palms and Drones: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Date Palms and Drones

    3m 4s

    When local growers in Yuma, AZ reached out to University of AZ Engineering and Business programs for help modernizing the date industry, inventors and entrepreneurs Madeline Melichar and Evan Westman took up the challenge. Forming a tech start up, they have designed a drone to dispense pollen to the hard-to-reach Medjool date trees. They hope to attract new work and higher paying jobs to the area.

Schedule

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.