Job-Saving Technologies

15. October 2015

Photo of Michael Spence

Michael Spence

Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Academic Board Chairman of the Fung Global Institute in Hong Kong, and Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on New Growth Models. He was the chairman of the independent Commission on Growth and Development, an international body that from 2006-2010 analyzed opportunities for global economic growth, and is the author of The Next Convergence – The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World.

Photo of James Manyika

James Manyika

James Manyika is the San Francisco-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute.

OCT 15, 2015, Project Syndicate

SAN FRANCISCO – This is an age of anxiety about the job-killing effects of automation, with dire headlines warning that the rise of robots will render entire occupational categories obsolete. But this fatalism assumes that we are powerless to harness what we create to improve our lives – and, indeed, our jobs.

Evidence of technology’s potential to help resolve our job concerns can be found in online talent platforms. Digital platforms already have transformed many parts of the economy. The online marketplaces built by Amazon and Alibaba, for example, have reshaped the retail landscape, partly by changing the local nature of retail markets. Read the rest of this entry »


The tussle for talent

8. January 2011

  Date: 07-01-2011
 Source: The Economist: Schumpeter

PLATO believed that men are divided into three classes: gold, silver and bronze. Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, argued that “the vital few” account for most progress. Such sentiments are taboo today in public life. Politicians talk of a “leadership class” or “the vital few” at their peril. Schools abhor picking winners. Universities welcome the masses: more people now teach at British ones than attended them in the 1950s.

In the private sector things could hardly be more different. The world’s best companies struggle relentlessly to find and keep the vital few. They offer them fat pay packets, extra training, powerful mentors and more challenging assignments. If anything, businesses are becoming more obsessed with ability. Read the rest of this entry »


A tough search for talent

3. November 2009

   Date: 03-11-2009
 Source: The Economist

In many rich countries, grooming young bureaucrats for a changing world is a struggle for their would-be bosses

AGED 25 and armed with a master’s degree in water management, Andrew Reeves has the very mix of youth and green-mindedness that many governments claim to need. Yet when he attended a Canadian government job fair in Toronto this autumn, he left after 20 minutes without handing out a single résumé.

Read the rest of this entry »