The Threat and the Opportunity

Will robots/AI destroy millions of jobs? Will they create massive inequality? These threats are real, but we’ve focused so much on them that we’ve overlooked a once-in-a-century opportunity.

In the next 20 years, not only robots and AI but augmented/virtual reality, digital fabrication, and other emerging tech will create an abundance of wealth. If we can train millions of adults from Compton to Appalachia to become developers and designers, they can capture a big enough slice of emerging tech’s wealth to help revitalize all our communities – regardless of robots/AI’s impact.

The Model

This isn’t the first time we’ve faced the daunting task of training millions of adults to master a complex technological skill. We’ve pulled it off before, in agriculture. If we remix the lessons of Extension Services and Citizenship Schools, we can make this happen.

How do we do it? Using 3 strategies:

  1. Smooth the Learning Curve by doing for emerging tech coding what Extension Services did for agricultural tech: redesign it so it’s easier for everyday adults to learn

  2. Create a Community-Based Ecosystem of Training Support by transforming today’s piecemeal approach so it harnesses the power of community & operates on scale like Extension Services did – and by building a better bridge between training & work

  3. Combine Tech & Civic Engagement Training so as emerging tech fundamentally transforms our economy, as many people as possible in every community learn the skills needed to participate in reshaping the rules of the emerging tech road

Turning the Model into Reality

Like some or all of this model and want to help turn it into a reality? Here’s how you can get started.

Caveats and Scope