In our new interview series ”5 Questions for…“ we feature visionaries, thought leaders and creative minds from all over the world who collaborate with STURM und DRANG. For our kick-off we proudly present Arthur Woods, entrepreneur, speaker and writer on the future of work who has contributed great insights and ideas to our expert think tank on empowerment and future learning in the workplace.
Entrepreneur, speaker and writer Arthur Woods (NYC) is the Co-founder of Imperative, a professional platform to help employees manage a fulfilling career and for companies to empower their people. Arthur’s deep expertise engaging the millennial generation has enabled him to lead both the conversation and innovation around the next generation of work. His efforts have been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Washington Post and ABC7’s Washington Business Tonight. Arthur previously led operations for YouTube EDU at Google. He co-founded the Compass Fellowship, a collegiate social enterprise training program and Out in Tech, the largest technology meet-up for New York’s LGBT community.
Q: What will be better than today in the year 2025?
A: We will have real-time visibility into the perspectives, emotions and wellbeing of the people in our workforce. Today we still fall short in assessing more than the business and performance metrics of our people, much less learning these things in real time. This will all change in the next decade as we begin to gain a deeper understanding of the people with whom we work while doing so instantly.
Q: Which prognosis do you consider wrong?
A: There have been many theories that the standard work week will start to decrease as we see advancements in technology. I don’t believe this is the case. Work is still a great source of enrichment for a significant subset of our population which I hope will only increase. Instead I believe work as we know it today will simply change. We will start to see new, creative and innovative types of work become the norm.
Q: Which trend in the last 12 months surprised you most?
A: We conducted a study called the Workforce Purpose Index and discovered that, of all generations, millennials are the least purpose-oriented when it comes to work, meaning millennials prioritize a paycheck and promotion more than Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers. We often call millenials the purpose generation, but our study showed this was least the case.
Q: Which technological development scares you?
A: We’ve seen companies starting to scrape social media profiles to predict when their employees are likely to quit. In some cases they are using such knowledge to accelerate the process of pushing people out. I see this as the opposite of human-centered design with technology.
Q: How would you change the world?
A: I would focus on the subsection of our workforce that is destined to be underemployed in the future with the rise in technology. By connecting these people to enriching and fulfilling work and ensuring that they are not marginalized in the work they do each day, it would be an investment in the future growth of society.
Header photography: © Kai Oberhäuser
Photo: © Arthur Woods