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The Robots Are Coming, So Get Creative!

By Adam Stones

The future is robot shaped. They’ll probably take your job and may even have sex with your partner behind your back. And I’m afraid there’s not much you can do to stop that. You can, however, prepare yourself for your new role in society – one that is a more engaged, creative version of yourself.

It is suggested that over a third of jobs in the UK are at risk of becoming automated within the next 20 years. Although this will affect more sectors than others, all organisations will have to be aware of how these shifts will ultimately affect the way we communicate.

There are two ways to react to the coming robot age – panic or prepare. Speaking at Nesta’s FutureFest 2015, which we recently visited and blogged about, Ije Nwokorie, CEO of Wolff Olins, said we need to adapt. He imagines a world where everyone finds their work to be purposeful, creative and human and where businesses are defined by their social propose.

Naturally there will be some discomfort and perhaps pain as we adjust but prepare we must. The Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value recently launched its final report, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth. It found that we are fundamentally not ready for our creative future. Commission Chairman Vikki Heywood said: “[We need] a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.”

In September, world leaders will discuss the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to the ambitions that will include ending hunger and poverty, they also include fostering innovation. Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta has a clear outtake on this – the future shouldn’t be something that simply happens to us. It is something we have a chance and responsibility to shape.

See an extended version of this blog post on Huffington Post.