So, what to do if you are a middle school-age, college prep kid who wants a better life for himself, to make the world a better place? That's a great question. A very serious question.
Concerning the future of work, here's a sample from the Frank Sonder article:
“The Economist” predicts that within the next 20 years half of all jobs will be taken over by machines. In some highly automated industries, like the automobile industry, it might be even up to 90%. The Jeopardy winning supercomputer Watson from IBM is already giving medical advice for cancer treatment. On average his human counterparts are familiar with approximately 8 to 10 different cancer treatments. But today there are approximately 70 others practiced with another 200 in the research, clinical trial stages or just published in a scientific journal. For you as cancer patient this could make a significant difference in the battle between life and death. IBM Watson can deal with all this. Your doctor possibly can’t.
There is not much choice for us: Starting a discussion, which job should be replaced by robots and which one shouldn’t, simply makes no sense as we are already in the middle of this transition, driven by technological change. There is no panic button. Especially in our current position, lagging behind the tech breakaway group, we are not in the driver’s seat and thus are not able to controlling the direction of this transition.
Our strategy with these boys is first, enroll the students into the school's mission, Community Creed. These are real academic and character virtues motivated toward developing circumspect, able, and mature men. Second, develop, encourage, and instill mental toughness. These boys must learn to grow stamina in an environment of encouragement, mutual respect, and freedom.
If these things incubate and mature within our boys' hearts and minds, then that's really all anyone can do for them. They must then act on what they want for themselves...because the opaque future, robots or not, will require such men lest they be cast upon the decisions and power of others with little ability to decide for themselves just who and what they want to be.