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NET Gain No. 10: The Future Of Work (April 1997)

The future of work is a topic that should interest all occupational educators. In The End of Work, author Jeremy Rifkin argues for a shortened workweek (25 to 30 hours), which he says would provide more jobs. He also urges a new, publicly funded economic "third sector" to hire the still-unemployed to educate children, care for the elderly and otherwise maintain the nationŐs "social economy." He predicts that "redefining opportunities and responsibilities for millions of people in a society absent of mass formal employment is likely to be the single most pressing social issue of the coming century". He and others who share his ideas have stimulated much debate. Inevitably, this debate has spilled over into the electronic medium. This month's "NET Gain" identifies several of the online resources debating the future of work.


This discussion list focusing on redesigning work, income distribution and education to meet the basic work changes in all industrialized countries. For information via e-mail send a one-line message that says "info futurework" to

People First

This site continues the dialogue resulting from "Living and Working in the Information Society," a European Union Green Paper. The site includes commissioned papers (for example, organization and new patterns of work, enhancing employability) as well as the opportunity to comment.

Running in Place

This site is managed by the Competitiveness Policy Council, a bipartisan federal advisory commission. The CPC commissioned the two papers included at this site (jointly referred to as "Running in Place") to study the causes of the recent stagnation in U.S. living standards. Together, these two papers provide further answers to the question: If the economy is doing so well, why are Americans so anxious?

Gary Johnson's BraveNewWorkWorld and NewWork News

This site provides information about work in a new economy. It focuses on the implications for individuals, business, education, the professions and government.

TimeWork Web

TimeWork Web is the official home page of the Shorter Work Time Network of Canada. This site contains links to resources related to new patterns of work and working time in the new economy.

Collective Reflection on the Changing Workplace

This Canadian government site explores the changing nature of work, stimulates discussion about the subject and identifies solutions. The site contains numerous links and--according to its description--all discussion on the site is "taken into consideration" by the Canadian Advisory Committee on the Changing Workplace.

This "NET Gain" was compiled by Peter Seidman and David Carlson (NCRVE, University of California at Berkeley). An online archive of columns is available on the NCRVE World Wide Web server Readers are encouraged to let the authors know about any changes in the resources listed, as well as about others they find useful.

Peter Seidman: 800-(old phone deleted);
David Carlson: 800-(old phone deleted);

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