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CNN: THomas L. Friedman

In this interview with Chris Cuomo, NYT Pulitzer Prize Winning Columnist, Tom Friedman describes his theory of the Age of Accelerations from this latest book Thank You For Being Late and he quotes Heather’s theories of our Future of Work Identity Crisis, which is also detailed in his book. Click here to watch the interview


Linkedin top voices 2017

In 2017, Heather was selected the #1 Global Voice for Education on the Linkedin Platform. Click here to read the article


Any technical disadvantage human artists have to robots may actually give them the upper hand in the long run, said Heather McGowan, a business strategist who focuses on the future of work…. Or as McGowan put it, “It’s not us versus the machines, rather, it’s us with the machines.” Read Full Article


Credit Suisse Bulletin: Future of Work

According to Heather McGowan, an American expert on education, we are in need of a radical new paradigm. “The worst thing for an adult to do is to ask a child what they want to be one day when they grow up,” McGowan says. “The world we live in is accelerating. Young people need to be prepared to do 17 different jobs in five different industries over the course of their lifetimes.” It makes no sense to use an educational model that requires a decade to teach a person a set of knowledge and skills and then to let them loose in the labor market. Instead, McGowan emphasized that we should be teaching people HOW to learn with passion rather than WHAT they should learn. “What role do I play in a team, how do I express myself, how do I develop confidence in the true sense of the word, how do I gain a strong understand- ing of what I can do?” Read the Full Article


DEloitte insights: future of work

Tom Friedman: My thoughts on the future of work are very influenced by my friend, a business strategist, Heather McGowan. She really describes that what’s going on is that work is being disconnected from jobs, and jobs and work are being disconnected from companies, which are increasingly becoming platforms. That’s Heather’s argument, and that is what I definitely see. Click here to read the full article.


Cisco Connected Futures: Relearning the Art of Learning: Heather McGowan

“Our systems of education have not changed very much from the Industrial Revolution,” said Heather McGowan, a thought leader at the intersection of education, business, and technology.

“The organizations that are learning and adapting are going to win,” McGowan believes. Read the full interview here


Pulitzer-Prize Winning NYT Columnist Thomas L Friedman Mentions


Today’s workplace is distinguished by one overriding new reality, argues Heather McGowan, an expert on the future of work: “The pace of change is accelerating at the exact same time that people’s work lives are elongating.”

When the efficient steam engine was developed in the 1700s, McGowan explains, average life expectancy was 37 years and steam was the driving force in industry and business for around 100 years. When the combustion engine and electricity were harnessed in the mid-1800s, life expectancy was around 40 years and these technologies dominated the workplace for about another century. Read the full column

December 4, 2018 The Next America

All of this new technology will have important implications for the education-to-work pipeline. My friend Heather E. McGowan, a future-of-work strategist, puts it this way: “The old model of work was three life blocks: Get an education. Use that education for 40 years. And then retire. We then made the faulty assumption that the next new model would be: Get an education. Use it for 20 years. Then get retrained. Then use that for 20 more years and then retire.’’ But in fact, in the Next America, argues McGowan, the right model will be “continuous lifelong learning’’ — because when the pace of change is accelerating, “the fastest-growing companies and most resilient workers will be those who learn faster than their competition.” Read the Full Column

January 16, 2018 While You Were Sleeping

As education-to-work expert Heather McGowan points out: “In October 2016, Budweiser transported a truckload of beer 120 miles with an empty driver’s seat. … In December 2016, Amazon announced plans for the Amazon Go automated grocery store, in which a combination of computer vision and deep-learning technologies track items and only charges customers when they remove the items from the store. In February 2017, Bank of America began testing three ‘employee-less’ branch locations that offer full-service banking automatically, with access to a human, when necessary, via video teleconference.”

Each time work gets outsourced or tasks get handed off to a machine, “we must reach up and learn a new skill or in some ways expand our capabilities as humans in order to fully realize our collaborative potential,” McGowan said.

Therefore, education needs to shift “from education as a content transfer to learning as a continuous process where the focused outcome is the ability to learn and adapt with agency as opposed to the transactional action of acquiring a set skill,” said McGowan. “Instructors/teachers move from guiding and accessing that transfer process to providing social and emotional support to the individual as they move into the role of driving their own continuous learning.” Read Full Column

May 10, 2017 Owning Your Future

That’s why education-to-work expert Heather E. McGowan likes to say: “Stop asking a young person WHAT you want to be when you grow up. It freezes their identity into a job that may not be there. Ask them HOW you want to be when you grow up. Having an agile learning mind-set will be the new skill set of the 21st century.” Read Full Column

September 27, 2017 Folks We Are Home Alone

“When work was predictable and the change rate was relatively constant, preparation for work merely required the codification and transfer of existing knowledge and predetermined skills to create a stable and deployable work force,” explains education consultant Heather McGowan. “Now that the velocity of change has accelerated, due to a combination of exponential growth in technology and globalization, learning can no longer be a set dose of education consumed in the first third of one’s life.” In this age of accelerations, “the new killer skill set is an agile mind-set that values learning over knowing.” Read Full Column

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Working with AI and robotics jobs will mean mastering the skills that make us the most human. That's why American education expert Heather McGowan wants to shift the debate from lamenting skill degradation to refocusing on uniquely human values, those things that are hardest to automate. She sees the world at a "liminal space between the third and the fourth industrial revolution," with plenty of disruption and change ahead for tens of millions of workers and professionals. "Yet we are certainly not preparing for this new order," she warns. "We try to push humans to do what machines do better." Instead of codifying and transferring a predetermined set of skills and knowledge through traditional schooling, McGowan says, society should focus on setting up the conditions for faster human adaptation: how we learn, not what we learn. "If job skills are like applications on your phone which you add and delete as needed, then the agile learning mindset is the underlying operating system that allows the applications or skills to run." Read The Full Article


Vice Media: Empathy and Creativity Will Save Our Jobs In The Future

Issy Beech quotes Heather “We’re stuck in this paradigm of asking people what they want to be when they grow up, and asking university students what their major is, and asking each other what we do. Asking young people to think about the future when 65% of the jobs haven’t been created yet and half of existing work can be replaced by automation is becoming an increasingly ridiculous frame to put around things." Click here to read the full article 


Inc. Future of work: Heather McGowan

According to Future of Work Strategist Heather McGowan, a focus on certainty over creativity is coming at our peril. Read the full interview here. 


Forbes: The Future of Work and Our Social Compact

Academic entrepreneur and innovation strategist Heather McGowan, speaking at Amplify Festival 2015 in Sydney, Australia, described how jobs are over, and the future is income generation. The traditional life path of individuals has been as follows: we start under our parent’s safety net, then go through years of continuous education, before become productive members of the workforce and then finally retire back into the safety net of our own savings. This is idealized and based upon older lifelong employment ideals. Read the full article here.