Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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16 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT As technology transforms the workplace, identity-rooted work and specialized technical knowledge will become less valuable. Adapting to Change Speakers at the Broad B and Communities fall economic development conference discussed how technology disrupts lives – and how it offers lifelines to help individuals and communities cope with that disruption. A BBC Staff Report C hange is nothing new, according to technology guru Ray Kurzweil. It's been ever-present – and picking up speed – for billions of years. What's new is the pace of change relative to the human life span. As technology accelerates, people have less and less time to adjust to new conditions. Each year is different from the last, and next year promises to be even more different. Career change, once a rarity, is now the norm. People now hold an average of 12 different jobs over their working lives – and the same job can change from year to year. Technologies on the horizon, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, threaten to make lives, livelihoods and communities obsolete. Nearly half of today's jobs are forecast to disappear in the next 25 years, according to an Oxford University study. ose who plan for community change no longer talk about achieving a desired end state but about creating a culture of continual adaptation. Adapting to change was a pervasive theme at the Broad B and Communities 2017 conference on Fiber for the New Economy, held in Atlanta in November. In session after session, speakers stressed that technology is both the source of disruption and the means of adapting to it. Broadband connectivity is a necessary part of the solution. But successful adaptation requires more than technology, speakers said. It takes vision, determination and communication on the part of individuals and communities. Following are some highlights from these discussions. JOBS OF THE FUTURE Gary Bolles, eParachute: Work is the channeling of human energy to solve problems. By understanding more about their unique mixes of skills and attributes, people can continually optimize what they do for their work and continually prepare themselves for their next steps. Identity-rooted work (such as being an accountant) will become less valuable, as will specialized technical knowledge. New technical knowledge can be acquired fairly quickly. Transferable skills (such as getting along with people) will become more valuable. Everyone will have opportunities to navigate the new world of work and perform meaningful, compensated work in the future. Gary Bolles, eParachute

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