Global trends for youth employment look worrying. We already have 1 billion working age young people classified as unemployed or underemployed. We know that 48% of all working people are in vulnerable employment and recent research suggests that nearly half of the careers that exist today are threatened by robots and automation. This situation is not a modern parallel to what we saw at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when the Luddites were making a name for themselves. Data-driven analysis and a close look at the global economy make it clear that income earning opportunities are disappearing faster than they are being created. Watch this if you need convincing:
The end of jobs could turn out to be a wonderful thing. Many of us find labor tedious and limiting. Many people dream of spending their time however they see fit. But we cannot transition magically from an earnings-based economy to an abundance or gift-based economy.
Huge portions of society are vulnerable now. Large numbers of people are joining their ranks every year. (Check out Guy Standing’s thought-provoking books about the “precariat” to understand these trends better.) For them, difficulty finding work means difficulty providing for their basic needs and perhaps the needs of their family.
With optimism about the medium term future, Code focuses on the immediate and urgent need to build self-sufficiency in vulnerable communities. When we cannot identify job opportunities for certain populations, we can still take a look at their expenses and spending habits and systematically eliminate their dependence on food, water and energy that they do not produce and control.