Can innovation disrupt unemployment?

Today, most innovation is about helping people to spend money in meaningful ways. But in an ideal, sustainable economy, people need meaningful ways to earn money, as well—especially as the job landscape continues to change rapidly and dramatically, and certain forms of employment are either reduced or retired completely.

Luckily, innovation is the single greatest driver of job creation, and is propelling entrepreneurial companies to expand, even in a static economic climate. The Internet’s ability to match needles between haystacks enables a new labor market. Jobs may be tailored to fit each individual’s strengths and passions to the right opportunity.

Today, every second person is in the work force. Every fifth cares about their job. Human capacity is our largest underutilized resource.

6:00pm:  Registration and Refreshments
6:30pm:  Opening Remarks with Adiba Barney SVForum CEO and David Nordfors, I4J CEO
6:45pm:  Keynote Speaker: John Hagel, Center for the Edge @ Deloitte
7:00pm:  Panel Discussion, moderated by Robin Farmanfarmain, President, I4JEco Summit
7:50pm: Q&A
8:00pm:  Networking
8:30pm:  Program Concludes

Last night we had the interactive discussion outlined below.  It was rather amazing.  Robin, Dave, and John gave opening comments to set the stage.  John made excellent comments about how our mindset and institutions must innovate as well as our technology.  Robin, as always, was the most charming, supportive host.  David’s comments were along the lines of underutilized human potential and how new companies are needed to utilize it.  
Vivek ripped off a long list of transformational innovations that will be increasingly disruptive and that will come at a rate society will be unable to adapt to.  
The poster child for this is driverless cars, which can eliminate between 6-10 million middle class jobs.  Uber, for example, is first creating independent agents out of the taxi business but obviously their goal is to run a fleet of driverless cars.  They will be smaller, cheeper, cleaner, and run non-stop (in-between quick charges).  The jobs go away but the value to society goes up enormously.  Curiously the car industry revenue per capita goes down for the same reason — smaller cars shared across society.  
That has been one of the themes of this group:  societal value goes up enormously and corporate value goes down.  GDP doesn’t capture this value.  
Vivek keep up this theme to remind us of the magnitude of what we are facing.  That is critically important.  Some in the audience found this highly disturbing, as they should.  
Chris was more positive about our ability to adapt and argued that these changes will take longer than suggested.  
I stuck to my normal themes:  we can do much better at innovation, US global competitiveness must improve, and educational performance is our biggest weakness.  All three of these areas are under our control and we now have examples about how major advances can be made in all three areas.  Viveck pointed out that I was just making things worse by speeding up the innovation cycle even more!  It was fun.  
David then ran a session with the audience to see how many were engaged in new companies to help people develop new skills, form new initiatives, match people up with new opportunities, etc.  It was a revelation to me that there were so many teams involved in these kinds of activities.  

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