Bob Johansen has been doing ten-year studies of the future for more than 30 years, with remarkable accuracy. At the Future of Work 2015 Event Bob shared the latest research from Institute for the Future (IFTF), including foresight and insights about the VUCA World (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous), global task routing (where jobs are being broken into pieces, with fewer traditional jobs and lower job security-but greater flexibility and more ways to make a living), and new models for mutual benefit partnering in ways that take advantage to the emerging world of cloud-served supercomputing.

A major disruptor will be the next generation of workers, what IFTF calls the “Digital Natives”, who are 19 or less in 2015. They have become adults in the age of early stage social media, early stage mobile computing, and vivid video gaming interfaces. As the Digital Natives join the workforce, they will certainly expect to work in very different ways.

We need to have a conversation about positive platforms for work that will be profitable for corporations and viable for workers over time. Right now, the conversation is polarizing between “for” or “against” the freelance economy – but that’s not a useful conversation. New forms of flexible work are bound to emerge, but there will be many possible terms of engagement. Right now, we have a new opportunity to develop positive platforms for the future or work as large corporations get involved in these efforts and the coordination capabilities become more sophisticated. Large scale business-to-business coordination will be possible in ways that are only being prototyped today.