“The empty raincoat is, to me, the symbol of our most pressing paradox. If economic progress means that we become anonymous cogs in some great machine, then progress is an empty promise. The challenge must be to show how paradox can be managed”
‘Just telling them about yourself and what you will do in the community!’ came the response to my question ‘what shall I say about English life 2020 onwards?’
‘Ahhhh….’ I pondered as I looked at great and the good with whom I would share a stage; a Conservative MEP, a president of the British Chamber of Commerce, a migrant County councillor and two EU grant funded University lecturers. Yours truly brought up the rear.
Being in such salubrious company, I further pondered what I had of merit to say about myself, which I posed to my friends. ‘Tell them you are generally a good egg, grandfather, business lecturer, executive coach and a volunteer with trauma victims. So I did, linking those aspects of me to my concern to see the future unfold safely for all of us, be it young, fair to middling or old.
In that vein, I went on to talk about the great social philosopher Charles Handy who (in his book the ‘Empty Raincoat’) predicted that we would have three careers:
- Firstly, one in which we make our money (I was a CEO, I explained)
- Secondly, where we follow our passion (I am a lecturer, coach and therapist)
- Finally, how we make good use of ourselves in retirement (I am in training to be a Bournemouth Deckchair attendant – but I won’t work Bank Holidays, or weekends, or in the summer – I will, however, do double shifts in January!)
My real point was, that for me, ‘2020 and Beyond’ has to undeniably be about our youth, cushioned with in the wisdom that us, ‘wanna-be elders’ can bring to the table. We best do that by not being a burden on our society, by doing work that shares that wisdom (or brings rest and respite to the weary) and in encouraging them with hope.
Which we can do, because the forecast are that for the UK employment will grow, the Government will do less of it, and more of us will be self-employed or on close to zero contract hours. The youth will be far more responsible for themselves than my generation was – it will be ‘their gig!’.
UK Employment TRENDS:
- Grow in 2025 by 3m to 37m
- Public Sector fall to 4.5m (from 6m)
- Micro Business Grow to 7m plus (from 4m) – ‘It’s My Gig’
- 3m Knowledge Workers
- 4m Contingent Workers*
My suggestion from this was that: Those working for themselves will be a ‘powerful economic & political force’ and will demand:
- Tax & Administrative Burden Cuts
- Welfare needs to match their Work Life Balance
- Being part of a COMMUNION
And concluded that can be achieved locally through ‘Community Hubs’ that deliver:
COMMUNION – through the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings by having:
- Good Conversations
- Personal Development – Fit for Life
- Business Development – Fit for Purpose
Leaving them ‘COMMON, UNITED & COLLOBORATING’. It felt like a good future – see here http://www.communityhub.live. There need not be a paradox.