Futurist Thomas Frey at TEDxReset Istanbul 2012 201

A picture of me speaking at yesterday’s TEDxReset in Istanbul.

Yesterday I was honored to be one of the featured speakers at the TEDxReset Conference in Istanbul, Turkey where I predicted that over 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030. Since my 18-minute talk was about the rapidly shifting nature of colleges and higher education, I didn’t have time to explain how and why so many jobs would be going away. Because of all of the questions I received afterwards, I will do that here.

If you haven’t been to a TEDx event, it is hard to confer the life-changing nature of something like this. Ali Ustundag and his team pulled off a wonderful event.

The day was filled with an energizing mix of musicians, inspiration, and big thinkers. During the breaks, audience members were eager to hear more and peppered the speakers with countless questions. They were also extremely eager to hear more about the future.

When I brought up the idea of 2 billion jobs disappearing (roughly 50% of all the jobs on the planet) it wasn’t intended as a doom and gloom outlook. Rather, it was intended as a wakeup call, letting the world know how quickly things are about to change, and letting academia know that much of the battle ahead will be taking place at their doorstep.

Here is a brief overview of five industries – where the jobs will be going away and the jobs that will likely replace at least some of them – over the coming decades.

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