The Futures of Work in South Bend in 2035: A Participatory Foresight Study

Authors: Alessandro Fergnani, Swapnil Motghare

Publication info: Pulte Institute, August 2020

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The majority of studies on the future of work are predictive in nature, often taking a bird’s-eye view that overlooks the importance of local context. This brief presents six scenarios of the futures of work in South Bend that emphasize stress-point events and phenomena in the larger social, political, technological, and economic environment, with a time horizon of 15 years (2035). The scenarios are geographically focused on the city, but refer to the global situation; in the narratives, the long-term outcomes of the futures of work are weaved with potential short-term outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two key areas of concern frame the focus of the scenarios: concerns over the skillsets of the future required by local workers and concerns over the future of local manufacturing industries. To build resilience, the brief recommends using a wind tunneling technique and building long-term partnerships between public institutions/private corporations and educational institutions.

Recommended citation

Fergnani, Alessandro and Swapnil Motghare. The Futures of Work in South Bend in 2035: A Participatory Foresight Study. Notre Dame, IN: Keough School of Global Affairs/Pulte Institute for Global Development, 2020.