January 2020 Message from the Future of Work Commission Co-chairs

Dear Commissioners,

Happy new year – we hope the past month offered you a little peace and time with loved ones.

We are looking forward to seeing you in a few days and wanted to provide some material ahead of the meeting to make our time together as productive as possible.

We have attached the latest version of the summary of the problems and challenges that we as a Commission have identified for the future of work in California. While the basic structure of the document is the same as what you have seen before, we hope that this draft incorporates the input from the December meeting in two critical ways: deepening the preamble to make the overall story about the task we face as California leaders clearer; and enriching each of the sections with data specific to the current state and trajectory of work and workers in California. This data comes from the presentations and materials shared with us by the many presenters throughout our first four convenings, but is by no means comprehensive, but we hope it will serve as a starting point to be expanded for the interim report.

Ultimately, we believe that the statement, while still a living document until we finalize our work, effectively captures our discussions as well as what we have heard to date on California’s Future of Work challenges and opportunities. In our view, and given we are at the midpoint of our process towards our interim output in April, we believe that the statement captures the essence of the challenges and opportunities sufficiently to allow us to move forward to discussions about a portfolio of possible solutions and recommendations. As we note, this is still a living document and we will undoubtedly continue to refine it (including language, wording, supporting fact-base etc), but we are keen to move to the next part of the our work, that is generating solutions and recommendations. If you agree with our assessment, we hope to dedicate our discussion on Thursday and going forward largely to putting forward inspiring and highest-impact proposals to address the future of work in California.

Given that objective, our other request of you is to come to Thursday’s discussion with 2-3 (or more) proposed solutions and recommendations that you think best address the opportunities and challenges we have surfaced together in the attached statement. We aren’t asking for details at this stage, simply ideas and concepts that can be implemented by government and/or other actors (e.g. employers, workers organizations, educational and training institutions, non-profits etc) that might positively shift the future for workers, industries or employers. If it helps spark your thinking, here’s a link to the database compiled by the New Jersey Future of Work Commission: https://fow.innovation.nj.gov/

Thank you again for your partnership, time and commitment in this important work for California and its workers.

Mary Kay Henry and James Manyika
Co-Chairs – California Future of Work Commission

Download a copy of the January 2020 – Message from co-chairs.