Global Shapers Community Releases In-depth 2019 Shaping the Future of Work Report

Based on worldwide survey of 2,500 young people, in-depth report analyzes challenges facing young professionals in an ever-changing workplace

NEW YORK – Jan 15, 2020 – The Global Shapers Community[1] has released its 2019 “Shaping the Future of Work” (SFTOW) report. Based on a survey of 2,500 young people around the world, and 40 events in all regions designed to capture the youth perspective. The report provides an in-depth analysis of both current and future challenges facing young professionals in an ever-changing workplace. The report highlights issues such as a changing definition of work itself as well as the importance of preparedness and diversity in the workplace.

“The workplace, indeed the very nature of itself is undergoing a number of profound changes,” said Leticia Gasca, leader of the project, and Co-chair of the Global Shapers Education and Employment Steering Committee. “Our report shows that the world’s youth are worried about their future, but they are open to reinventing themselves at work.”

The report is based on a worldwide sample, though most respondents were from Africa and Latin America, with the majority being between the ages of 21 and 29. The survey probed the young respondents’ feelings toward their current state of work. High-level findings included the following:

● The definition of work is changing. 76% of respondents said that the meaning of a career is “a lifestyle that involves a range of aspects in an individual’s life from education and paid jobs to volunteering and personal ambitions.

● Young professionals do not feel prepared for the future. On a scale of 10 (did not prepare) to 100 (very well prepared), the average respondent scored themselves at 56.9 when asked if their education prepared them for the future of work.

● Diversity will foster economic growth. When asked about the role of immigration (including all types of immigration: expats from developed countries, economic migrants, and refugees), 53 percent of people believed diversity fosters economic growth. The next largest group of respondents — 28 percent — believed social cohesion is essential for economic growth.

● Problem-solving and critical thinking are the most important skills for the future. When asked what the most important skills required were to successfully make a career transition and how they can be developed, more than half of respondents either chose “problem-solving and critical thinking” or “soft skills”. The majority of respondents believed changes to the education system and ongoing training provided by companies were the best ways to develop these skills.

Trends that emerged in the survey demonstrated an emphasis on remote and flexible work, the relationship between new jobs and developing technologies, increased entrepreneurship and self-employment. However, almost half of survey respondents were concerned that technological advancements and the resulting rise of automation will lead to the existence of fewer jobs that require humans.

In addition to that, the report includes a conversation guide to help people drive evidence-based conversations about the future of employment.

About the Global Shapers Community

The Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring and talented young people from all around the world who play an active role in addressing local, regional and global challenges by driving dialogue, action and change. An initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community was founded in 2011 by Professor Klaus Schwab, trusting in the power of youngsters to lead for impact, work collaboratively, build solutions and shape the future. In 2019, there were 8,628 shapers divided into 403 hubs spread across 153 countries.

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