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Future of work online workshop

On 15th December 2020 young people, entrepreneurs, development practitioners and policy makers from different parts of the world joined Oxfam Novib's Youth Team in the interactive online workshop on the Future of Work.

Together they created different scenarios on the future of work and identified what the implications of these scenarios might be for us today. These scenarios all provide interesting insights into how different driving forces interact to influence work and income. There are many challenges around the future of work, related to the climate crisis, the technological revolution, changing power dynamics and gender relations, and demographic pressures. Yet, young people turn out to find creative and entrepreneurial responses.

In one scenario, a young woman from Indonesia ends up producing tasty, healthy, eco-friendly food with a low carbon footprint. In another, a young displaced girl from West Africa becomes an activist fighting deforestation. In a third story, a young woman from Tanzania becomes her country’s first female water engineer. Here are the full stories:

Jaya and her family developing healthy food

Jaya is a young dynamic woman who lives in South Sulawesi (Indonesia). She lives there since a few years, when she moved out of Jakarta. Jakarta had become a hell to live; too hot every year, floods, traffic jams and pollution. She moved with her family, because her dad and mother had lost their job. Jaya and her family went to South Sulawesi because she had learned through internet that they could find better livelihood. Jaya already had some friends from the movement who recommended her to go to the rural areas that are a bit more climate resilient. The family aspires to build an enterprise together around recycling many materials: plastic, textile, paper. The purpose is to develop more eco-friendly packaging. Especially for food that is super healthy as well as tasty and with a low carbon footprint (like soja based products such as tempeh and tofu).

Young leader fighting deforestation - she thought she could and she did it!

A young girl in West Africa is displaced because of floods in the urban area where she lives, because of poor urban planning and congestion. She becomes a young activist, because there is no internet she could not be connected to decision making platforms. She found an initiative where she is trained in green entrepreneurship forestry. Because of new skills and exposure to opportunities through access to the internet she could be part of an entrepreneur network. Her business is growing fast and creates jobs for other young people who move with her to the rural area. This creates new possibilities for her to fight deforestation. She moves back from the city to the rural area because she is now able to work from any location to promote her work as Green entrepreneur while she is living in a forest that is growing, because many people are planting trees, and creating energy efficient materials that lead to a completely circular economy.

Rehena, first female water engineer in Tanzania

Today it is 15th of December 2030 and we are zooming into the life of Rehema living in Dar es Salaam. As many other young people, Rehema came to Dar es Salaam because of the opportunity to have better education and better chances for a job. In Dar Es Salaam she is facing different issues such as flooding. The city needs improvement in infrastructures and Rehena decides to study water engineering. The study is provided by a private university which asks for a high fee. She is looking for a small job next to her study to be able to finance her studies.

Find here: The FUTURE OF WORK Research excerpt

And the: THE FUTURE OF WORK Findings of research commissioned by the Oxfam ‘Empower Youth for Work’ Program

Source: More information – including the methodology of transformative scenario planning, research by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) on the Future of Work, and Youth at Heart – can be found in this slide deck that guided the webinar. For questions contact Robbert van de Waerdt, Policy Advisor Youth at Oxfam Novib.