The Future Of Work Is Rooted In Purpose | SEPTEMBER 2019


It seems everyone is abuzz about the future of work. California Governor Gavin Newsom launched a Council for Postsecondary Education and this month, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced a new Office of the Future of Work. These efforts are—in one way or another—designed to help better prepare citizens for changes in the labor market and identify training opportunities for emerging careers. Each of these bodies will be studying the connections between postsecondary education and work to better position states to respond to changes created by technology, trade and demographic shifts.

In preparation for next month’s Close It Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I had the opportunity to talk with future of work strategist and Forbes contributor Heather McGowan, ranked by LinkedIn as its number one global voice for education. Tom Friedman dubbed her “the oasis” when it comes to insights into the future of work. Rather than fixate on the ways in which technology will impact the world of work, we talked about its impact on workers’ identities and sense of purpose. Read the full interview


knowledge leaders McGowan

Heather McGowan, Future of Work Strategist and Keynote Speaker at the October 2019 Close It Summit, joins Todd Hand of Knowledge Leaders to discuss what she would do differently in higher education, how products and services are “the by-products” of company culture and contrasts Amazon from Barnes and Noble to illustrate growth capacity. She also touches upon the Gallop data on K-12 disengagement. Click here to listen



Heather McGowan is the most thoughtful writer and speaker I follow on the future of work. She is able to connect the dots between work, culture, society and identity in a way that has captured the attention of many individuals, companies and universities around the world. Listen to the interview here.



I have always been fascinated by the future of work and learning. As technology is ushering us into the fourth industrial revolution, it’s becoming crystal clear that the way we think about talent, jobs, employees, organizations and schools is broken. Though many of us address this burning topic, few have a vision about it that is as refreshing and convincing as that of future of work strategist Heather E. McGowan. I had the pleasure of meeting her on our Future of Work Tour last year (our next edition will take place in November 2019) and she immediately became one of my favorite voices in the matter. Which is why I was thrilled that she agreed to collaborate on this interview with me. Read the full interview



On the occasion of our upcoming Future of Work Tour, we sat down with Heather McGowan – one of the key experts of the tour – to talk about how technology and globalization are reshaping how we live and work. It quickly became clear that the issue of identity is foremost on Heather’s mind. Read the full interview here.


In this podcast, Heather McGowan, a thought leader at the intersection of education, business, and technology, chats with Connected Futures executive editor Kevin Delaney. About how the very foundations of learning need to be disrupted, for what she calls the Augmented Age – a time when human ingenuity, creativity and empathy will separate us from the machines. Listen to the interview here.


Best selling author and international speaker on the future of the workplace, Jacob Morgan interviews Heather on her proposition that "We should be preparing students to lose their jobs and equipping the workforce to adapt to continuous change." Listen to the podcast here.

ECUC INTERVIEW | February 2017

Futurist Heather McGowan gave the ECUC Conference audience a glimpse into the future of how humans and machines will be working and learning from each other -- not too far off, either. Absolutely loved this talk. What Heather is talking about is mind-blowing -- especially the machines becoming smarter than humans stuff. And what's even more mind blowing is that it's all happening right before our eyes. Check out our chat and let us know your thoughts.


image crest: Getty Images

image crest: Getty Images


Last month innovation strategist Heather McGowan gave an interesting talk at the Amplify Festival on "the future of work." I've had the pleasure of working with Heather in the past when launching the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University. Here, I've captured some of Heather's top of mind on what needs to be in place for the ways we will need to work.

Heather, just to provide some context, what's the impetus of your thoughts on "the future of work"?

The world of work has changed dramatically, and higher education is not prepared and not preparing graduates to navigate. In the last decade I have focused increasingly on the future of work and on how higher education has to prepare workers. I have since advised college/university presidents and corporate leaders on how to prepare for and adjust to these new realities.

Continue Reading at Inc. 

the extraordinary business book club podcast | January 2017


If you’re struggling to write your book, here’s an idea: try drawing it instead. That’s how Heather McGowan, academic entrepreneur and futurist, gets started.

‘When you look at text, you turn those texts into symbols that you store in your mind visually. When you look at a picture, you can be something like 30,000 times faster reading all the same information… if [blogs or books] have visuals in them, they are much more often read and understood than if they’re just plain text because it breaks it up, it allows you to process things differently.’

Listen To The Full Interview

reaching the UML podcast


In Episode 2 of Reaching the UML Podcast, I interview Heather McGowan - catalyst, speaker and author focused on innovation at the intersection of work and learning. We discuss the future of learning and touch on the slope of enlightenment, design thinking and the idea of 'learning over knowing'.

Listen to the podcast here.