Archive: Business & Economy

September 9th, 2013 | By Contributing Writer | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy, Innovation | 4 Comments

Future State of Careers: An Infographic

Taking a close look at the current and future state of careers is a good idea, whether you’re just starting college and trying to pick out a major, or you’re already ensconced in a job and contemplating the long-term possibilities. If the industry you choose to work in is not one that will be in great demand in the future, then you may find that path at a dead-end, with high levels of competition, low pay, and no long-term prospects. Finding the right fit for your skills, personality, interest and experience can take a lot of trial-and-error—so do your research before committing. Otherwise, you may finally find the ideal position and then find yourself out of a career when the entire field loses relevance.

For example, if you were planning on a becoming a journalist, think again. Ranked the worst out of 200 jobs in the United States, a newspaper reporter is a position that offers low pay and almost no future. On the other hand, if you enjoy working with numbers or science, there are quite a few career options for you to consider. Take a look at this infographic by Cedar Education Lending before making a decision on your major or career of choice.

This infographic was created by Marcela De Vivo, founder of Gryffin Media, in cooperation with  Cedar Ed Lending. See something that interests you? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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July 9th, 2013 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy, Environment & Energy, Innovation | Comments Off

Future of water and advertising – a billboard that produces drinking water

Yesterday I had a conversation with John Kenny of the draftFCB Agency. John and I met some time ago when co-presenting to an executive development program. We chatted about the future of marketing and advertising (hey, I’m a huge fan of Madmen). John mentioned that his global firm is moving away from persuasion-based marketing to something that can be called action marketing. That means, do something real, in the actual world, and let viral video do the rest. The example his firm was engaged with blew me away.

There is in Chile and Peru a coastal desert. I’ve been to Lima, which is in that desert. It rains an average of .5 inches a year though the city is next to the sea. The air is quite moist, however, because of the sea. People need clean drinking water, the water is in the air, but it does not fall out. What to do?

The answer came when a technical university, UTEC, needed a marketing campaign. You can read about the project here, but in simple terms what they did was design a highly technical billboard that precipitates and collects water out of the air, and delivers it to tanks built into the structure. Scores of families can obtain weekly drinking water simply by turning the tap a the base of the billboard. Wow. That is future thinking.

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June 4th, 2013 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy | 1 Comment

The future of jobs and work

Last week I led a webinar on behalf of FastCo Exist, the website of Fast Company where I am one of several resident future thinkers in their Future Forum. We had about 150 people tune in from around the world as I discussed the future of work and jobs. We’ve been addressing both the future of work, and jobs of the future in recent blog posts. Several people in the webinar asked for my slides, and here you go.

[Update]: Today FastCo Exist posted the webinar in the archive. View it here

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May 17th, 2013 | By Contributing Writer | Posted in Business & Economy | Comments Off

Safeguarding your child’s financial future

childsavingsGuest blog by Aimee Claire

Planning for a child’s financial future used to be considered a luxury, with only the wealthiest families able to provide for their life and education through trust funds or estates.   Today, tools for safeguarding the financial security of a child are available to everyone, and parents will want to take advantage of these many tools and schemes throughout their child’s life, often starting from birth.

There are several reasons why it is wise to plan for a child’s financial future.   Many parents simply want to save for their child’s educational future, putting aside money from an early age for a college education.   Providing for the child in the event of parents becoming ill or dying is also a consideration and an important reason to make financial plans for their protection.   Other parents may wish to leave property or other wealth to their child – a financial legacy with meaning.

Whatever direction a family chooses to go will be guided by their own personal financial goals and situation.   The one constant investing principle throughout is that regardless of what financial plan is chosen, it is vital to start saving for the child’s future as early as possible.

Ways to secure a child’s financial future

The first step for anyone looking to provide for their child is to make sure that their will is up-to-date.   A well-written will may provide for not only the financial protection and future of a child, but also for their physical well being in the event of the death of the parent(s).   For a young child, establishing a trust will see to it that assets are handled appropriately while at the same time protecting the interests of the child.

Life insurance should also be a consideration.   A life insurance policy is a valuable way to provide for loved ones after death, and also to provide a source for emergency funding during life.   A life insurance policy can be maintained by the parents for a relatively small monthly investment.

There are many different ways to save for college, but by far one of the most popular and successful is the 529 college savings plan.   Named for the IRS Code that authorizes its existence, the 529 is flexible and offers parents numerous tax advantages and the ability to retain control of their assets.

Other options for saving for a child include savings accounts and custodial brokerage accounts. Savings accounts, such as the Uniform Transfer to Minors Account (UTMA) or the Uniform Gift to Minors Account (UGMA), may be opened and managed through online banking; the child will get control of the Discover online banking account when they reach legal age.

For broader savings options many parents consider custodial brokerage accounts.   Easy to open, flexible and inexpensive, these accounts are taxed under a lower child’s rate and are filed under the child’s social security number rather than that of the parent(s). Like the savings accounts, the child will gain access to the money at legal age.

*About the Author: Aimee Claire is an enthusiastic, well-educated freelance writer with big ideas for the future. She is fascinated by the possibilities of modern technology, and what it could do for businesses in the future.

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May 2nd, 2013 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy, Innovation | 3 Comments

Future of Jobs and Employment

Where will future jobs come from? There are few questions that I get asked more than this one. It is becoming generally accepted that the fall off in jobs that came with the great recession in the States and the age of austerity in Europe, may not come back, at least not in the same numbers and at the same quality and pay. People going back to work as the recession has wound down have often ended up in jobs that pay less and are lower level than the job they lost. Is this the future?

I personally recall two other times, after the recessions of the early 1980’s and the early 1990’s when the conventional wisdom was that we had entered a new era of jobless growth. Each of those times the conventional wisdom was wrong, and new inventions, new economic opportunities and an expanding global economy eventually produced huge numbers of new, good jobs. Still, might this be the time that the prediction of a jobless future comes true?

I do not think so. I believe that history is more likely to repeat itself and produce unprecedented levels of employment in the coming two decades. But I use the term employment carefully, because I do think that the nature of work is changing, a lot. Define a job as going to work for someone else, doing work you are largely instructed to do, for a given time each day and each week, in a position that is going to last for many years, in exchange for which you receive “security” in the form of pay and health care and retirement benefits. That world is indeed disappearing. What is different looking ahead is that employment will be more individualized, more stint-based, more oriented toward entrepreneurship and solopreneurs, and in most cases require an up-skilling of more of the workforce.

This requires a re-thinking of many things. Jay Ackroyd points out that the required re-thinking is broad in scope:

If we’re entering a world of job-shifting entrepreneurship, with high-risk/high-reward opportunities for the talented and diligent,* then we need a government that provides a foundation for that world. That means not just a really solid set of social insurance programs independent of people’s jobs, like health care and pensions, but also a stronger basic infrastructure.

Pull optical fiber to every post office and set up public wireless. Give everyone a bank account at the Fed. Restore access to inexpensive higher education. Stop the copyright and patent madness. The best public policy in Tommy’s [Thomas Friedman] world would eliminate the parasitic monopolists choking off innovation and opportunity.

We are not there yet, but should go there. Interestingly one of the institutions focusing on jobs is the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S. They have been charged with a mission by their directors to help the nation focus on how to develop the workforce of the future. To that end one the things they have been doing is to sponsor and host conferences on future workforce training. I’ve had the opportunity to provide keynote speeches to two of them, last Fall in Kansas City, and in January of 2013 in Atlanta. The latter was a special gathering of the Presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. That program was not recorded, but the earlier event in Kansas City was video recorded, and highlight videos were produced. You can see several of them here.

My keynote speech that kicked off that conference was excerpted in the video below. Fast forward to the 7:50 mark if you want to see what I had to say about the digital native generation and the knowledge value economy and what they mean for the future of work.

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