Finding our way
I wrote last month, from my perspective as a career professional, about navigation and wayfinding as powerful metaphors for the life journey that is your career. The pandemic was then, a few short weeks ago, mainly of concern at a distance and not an immediate career development issue here in Auckland, let alone Aotearoa New Zealand. How quickly circumstances can change. The ripples from Covid-19 have morphed into devastating waves that are pushing us to rethink our daily lives from local, national and international perspectives.
Wayfinding through the disruptions
Precedents of influenza pandemics in the last two centuries mean the present conditions are not entirely unchartered waters. Nonetheless, the real and immediate effects of the coronavirus are demanding that governments, organisations, and individuals themselves take pragmatic and innovative steps to ensure wellbeing and protect livelihoods.
A career development response to what may be a “new normal” of disruptions in employment and social connections this year can draw on tried and true methods for supporting people to solve problems in navigating their career journey. In addition, use of digital technologies will increasingly be needed to guide people, who may require support at a distance, through the necessary steps of reflecting, exploring, creating strategies and implementing action plans.
Lessons from the AI ecosystem
Somewhat ironically, the ongoing conversations/debates about the impact of AI and robots on jobs of the future may have already prepared us to navigate socially just ways for addressing the likely impacts of the pandemic on people’s career development. My involvement in the AI Forum NZ working group on law, ethics and society has afforded me the opportunity to hear and share views about the role of government, public and private sectors, and the collective responsibility of AI stakeholders to design, develop and use AI systems to promote the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Our working group recently published a set of guiding principles for trustworthy AI in Aotearoa New Zealand. A key focus was to make sure the principles are simple, succinct and user-friendly.
To find socially just solutions for the complex career development and labour market challenges emerging from the pandemic, the five AI principles could be useful compass points: Fairness and Justice; Reliability, Security and Privacy; Transparency; Human oversight and Accountability; and Wellbeing.