Working 2050 is a speculative oral history.
Drawing on lessons from oral historians like Studs Terkel and science fiction writers like Adrienne Maree Brown and Octavia Butler, we interview people in 2020 about their work and ask them what they think everyday life will be like in 2050.
Those conversations, along with patterns in systems, history, and science, model one possible future, presented as fictional interviews with workers in the year 2050.
With the central question “who gets to imagine the future?” it explores identity, purpose, group dynamics, uncertainty, systems change, and the everyday decisions that make up meaningful work.
Wait who is Studs Terkel? What is “working”?
In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, radio journalist and personality Studs Terkel interviewed people around the country about their jobs.
This oral history project became the book “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day And What They Think About It.“ You can read some of those interviews here. “Working 2050” is inspired by Studs Terkel -- a collection of conversations with workers of the future.
Is this world a utopia or a dystopia?
It depends. Do you believe in utopia? Do you believe in dystopia? A world where that isn’t completely devoid of humans in 2050 is optimistic in some ways. Otherwise, we assume the world in 2050 is a lot like today: it depends on who you ask.
Check out “To Consider/Other Reading” for other ways to think about this.
Can I listen to these?
Can I do this in real life?
Yes! This is based on a writing workshop. We are also looking for writers, readers/actors, and interviewees. More soon.
To Consider/Other Reading:
Secession. Unions. Afrofuturism. Borders. Bots. Pandemics. Loneliness. Reparations. AI. Blockchain. “Are you in the right headspace to receive information that could harm you?” Ujamaa. Infrastructure. God is Change. Generations. The Weather . Snowpiercer. The 1929 War of the Worlds Broadcast. EdTech. Colonialism. Patreon. CRISPR. Eldercare. Emotion Analytics. Cooperatives. The Moon. Prisons. Fatphobia. Bellwether. Hopepunk. Zapatistas. SEO. Games as Work. Hormones. Billionaire Bomb Shelters. LA Earthquake. BreadTube. Bolivia. The Green New Deal. “The Great Dithering”. ASMR. Internet Shutdowns. African Socialism. Recomposition. LARPing. Friends. “The Biological Revolution.” Tenant Unions. Generational Trauma. Pleasure Activism. Progressive Revenue. Model UN. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The Confederate States of America. Circular Economies. Eko. Television. Self Actualization. Mental Health. Organic 3D Printing. Nostalgia. Basic Income. Ransomware. Amazon Ring. AR. Astrology. Mass Extinction. Luxury Space Communism. Polyamory. Mycology.