We’re not sure about “becoming” – it already is an imperative, in our view – but, in any case, The Economist has published a special report on lifelong learning that is well worth reading. It echoes many themes that are central to Leading the Learning Revolution as well as our writing and speaking in various places over the past several years. In this post, I highlight pieces of it that I find particularly interesting and relevant. [Read more…] about Economist: Lifelong Learning Becoming Economic Imperative – Special Report
Update, April 2018: The Freelancer’s Union currently puts the number of freelancers in the U.S. at 57 million. Up by more than 10 million since this post was originally published in 2011.
The Atlantic has been running a series over the past several weeks on the surge of independent, freelance workers in our current economy. I think the rapid emergence of a large freelance economy is a trend that has important implications for any organization in the business of lifelong learning. Here’s what writer Sara Horowitz says about the freelance trend in the first installment of the series:
We haven’t seen a shift in the workforce this significant in almost 100 years when we transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Now, employees are leaving the traditional workplace and opting to piece together a professional life on their own. As of 2005, one-third of our workforce participated in this “freelance economy.” Data show that number has only increased over the past six years. Entrepreneurial activity in 2009 was at its highest level in 14 years, online freelance job postings skyrocketed in 2010, and companies are increasingly outsourcing work. While the economy has unwillingly pushed some people into independent work, many have chosen it because of greater flexibility that lets them skip the dreary office environment and focus on more personally fulfilling projects.