Editor’s Note: Indemnification for Influence in a Jobless Economy (Part 1) is the first installment of a series. Part 2 will be published on 10/10/13.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0123704782″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61D8cGvacaL._SL160_.jpg” width=”108″]This past week I was at the Canadian Consulate General in New York for their Celebration of Innovation in Financial Technology, which featured 10 start-ups or early stage companies from the most robust nation in financial terms, according the IMF & World Bank stress tests. I’ve been thinking for some time about fintech and the use of technology to better distribute wealth via identifying the value that individuals possess. The meeting hosted by @miriamleia CanadaNY’s chief innovation officer compelled me to start piecing some of the writing that I’ve done on the topic of value.
We find ourselves at the beginning of a somewhat ‘great automation’. While formidable arguments exist from every political faction on the potential for job creation and depletion, forecasters can confirm that the growth trends of technology show no signs of slowing; continued automation of tasks in business services for enterprise are on the horizon.
- Demand side: Restore public-sector jobs and invest in infrastructure for immediate jobs and long-term growth.
- Supply side: Extend Bush-era tax cuts to spur economy. Cut spending to curb growth-crushing debt and deficit.
- Another way: Invest in community-based, member-owned cooperatives and reduce the workweek.
Even as the world’s economy reacts to the automation of the most affluent and technologically advanced nations, we find ourselves unable to distribute vales well for physical laborers.
At McKiney & Company, David Fine quotes; “Africa’s workforce, young and growing quickly, will be the world’s largest by 2035. Unemployment stands at just 9 percent, but two-thirds of the labor force are in vulnerable, non-wage-paying jobs.”
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00A17IAO0″ locale=”us” height=”115″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417mxjzpiNL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]I wrote to the IEET a few years ago to provoke some discussion on the ethics of automation from an information technology standpoint, as the ethnography behind automation has been a large focus of mine over the past decade with corporations as a consultant. Even though resistance was futile, the protests continue at each firm I visited. It seems that the exponential growth of technology, not only from a hardware standpoint (via Moore’s Law), but from a methodological and software standpoint, requires a new method of distributing values. Jobs are difficult to generate in this great automation. Further, if our labor culture is changing for goods and services, I’m not aligned with the idea that we can restore historical methods. We must innovate out of joblessness.
Our inability to quantify the toiling of the individual and even the institution has hampered our ability to sustain gainful employment (jobs) during the accelerating changes. (Note: I am not referring to sustainability, as it is illogical to seek, but to state that we are not agile). In the modern world, individuals and institutions are participating more than ever in the process of developing goods/services through passive means. They are influencers. Specifically: we are performing the act of developing goods and services without being compensated for it or even realizing our participation. Yet while human-kind can’t have inherent value, community can. We all generate values at the point where we can interact with another.
In business CRM (customer relations management) and UX (user experience) are examples of how we leverage a consumer to be their own discoverer, developer, and deployer of solutions to problems. Via a conduit (profit seeking institution) as a platform, we interact. Sure, there may be a single or group of experts monitoring the feedback, but the fact that feedback exists warrants some nominal indemnification other than the creation of new products for consumers, no? Figure 1. below represents a crude the CRM input process.
While the system is still new, culturally, functionally, and technologically, we’ve managed to build and identify better sensors for data points on participants in the crowd. Our ability to evaluate systemic risks and opportunities is actually an older statistical science that mathematicians and economists have been tinkering with for decades. The fact that entrepreneurs who develop software solely based on customer reviews in the Salesforce.com AppExchange to then distribute as an added service is justification enough to consider how we indemnify a society for its knowledge and experience as a user. Is it valuable to seek more useful or even intuitive experiences?
Companies have dedicated efforts to understanding sentiment on news by consumers and reactors to information regarding their enterprise. Firms like Finmaven: a tool for publicly traded companies to monitor, publish and analyze social media, or Market IQ: Analysis of unstructured data such as social media to provide real time insights to traders.. Automation is much broader than marketing and customer relations; however, the processes around relations are at the core of automation.
Image Source: Flickr
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