REFRACTED ECONOMIES: Reimagining youth livelihoods in an age of technological innovation
YOUTH AND THE FUTURE OF WORK AN HSRC PRIORITY INITIATIVE
Professor Sharlene Swartz,
Krish Chetty and Seipati Mokhema
Mr Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General, Department of Science and Innovation
Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO, Youth Employment Service
Dr Glenda Kruss,
Date: 23 April 2020
Time: 12h15 for 12h30 – 14h30
- Watch a recording of the webinar: https://youtu.be/GpM5BG_MbXk
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The future of work in a technological age is topical, especially in the context of wide-scale youth unemployment. Current conversations centre on helping young people enter existing professions, become entrepreneurs or enhance (often science) skills development with a view towards salaried employment.
Often missing are more nuanced conversations, including how entrepreneurship, skills, knowledge, formality, sustainability, permanence, and dignity exist along a continuum when it comes to describing ‘work’. Also missing is how work as we know it - full-time, permanent and along a single trajectory - is unlikely to be the norm as we fully enter the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Should we not begin to differentiate between gigs, jobs, careers, livelihoods, and employment? Might we not help young people think differently about work: where it might be available and how it might change?
In this seminar we offer a taxonomy of economies (colour coded and hence termed ‘refracted economies’) to help all concerned with young people’s futures. We offer ideas for how a refracted economies’ lens might help us generate new ideas for career guidance, how it will aid us in reimagining technical and vocational education (TVET) curricula and how it can provoke us to rethinking the research and re-equipping role of the university as we embrace innovation as the new normal.
Prof Sharlene Swartz is the Divisional Executive for the newly constituted Inclusive Economic Development programme at the HSRC and is an Adjunct Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Fort Hare. Her expertise and current research centres on the just inclusion of youth in a transforming society. Her books include Studying While Black: Race, education and emancipation in South African universities (2018); Another Country: Everyday social restitution (2016); Youth Citizenship and the Politics of Belonging (2013); and Ikasi: The moral ecology of South Africa’s township youth (2009). Krish Chetty and Seipati Mokhema are researchers in the same programme.
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