HUMAN WORK is a prescient book that has looked around the corner and anticipated the deep shifts ahead in the American working world. And as we all work together rebuilding the economy post-pandemic, fresh thinking like this will be crucial. A must-read for leaders in business, education, and government.
Admiral James Stavridis
16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
This book is a refreshing alternative to sensationalistic claims that AI, robots, and automation will soon replace a majority of human workers. Merisotis presents an inclusive vision of the growing need for work that only humans can provide, with constructive steps that educators, leaders, and workers themselves can take to increase their employability and life satisfaction.
Roboticist and William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Merisotis provides an optimistic, solution-oriented roadmap for improving our nation’s higher education system and training and educating our future workforce. His innovative ideas are practical and long overdue for a system that has lagged behind in keeping up with our workforce needs.
Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
HUMAN WORK reminds us that no matter how technologically advanced our culture becomes, we will always need human morality and will require human beings to make ethical decisions. Jamie Merisotis’s persuasive new book is a call not to abandon our ethical intelligence in favor of an artificial one.
Jesuit Priest, Editor at Large, America magazine, and Author of The New York Times Best Seller JESUS: A PILGRIMAGE?
Jamie Merisotis takes concepts too often used to justify exclusion—credentials, skills, and technology—and repurposes them to provide an ambitious but pragmatic blueprint for dismantling long-standing systemic disparities.
Professor of Law, The George Washington University, and President, The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America's Black Think Tank
Merisotis makes the compelling argument for why and how higher education must be turned on its head so that we can build a strong new American Century in which people from all walks of life can participate and benefit. AMERICA NEEDS TALENT is a book that I will recommend often—an enlightening must-read for anyone engaged in any part of the education pipeline.
Former Chancellor, State University of New York
Artificial intelligence and the age of robots and 'smart machines' are often seen as threats—which could make modern economies even less fair, and further drain decency and connectedness from social life. Jamie Merisotis is fully aware of those dangers, but explains how a very different course is possible, in which technology addresses rather than aggravates today's most pressing problems. This book is a practical guide to a more desirable human and technological future.
National Correspondent for The Atlantic and Co-Author of the Best-Selling OUR TOWNS: A 100,000-MILE JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF AMERICA
AMERICA NEEDS TALENT offers a sharp, timely blueprint for unleashing the potential of millions of Americans. This is the path toward not just individual and familial success, but also urban and national prosperity.
Founding Director, Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
...These are wise words from a thoughtful leader in the nonprofit world offering a unique perspective on the history and future of higher education in America.
Absent the kinds of reforms Merisotis calls for in HUMAN WORK, America runs the risk of creating still another generation of workers cheated of opportunities for success. Their disappointment will taint our politics. More tragically, their human potential will be lost.
Contributing Editor, Washington Monthly
Merisotis calls for a new generation of leadership to launch a new American century, one that will nurture our diverse talents in a grand 21st century republic of learning.
Research Professor and Director, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
Merisotis is dead right: If we don’t fix higher education and build new kinds of public-private partnerships, with employers of all types, America will lose the global war for good jobs.
Chairman and CEO, Gallup
Just when so many thinkers are focused on robots and the threat that automation will close off possibilities for Americans, Jamie Merisotis understands that the opposite is true—that the future will put even more of a premium on human beings and their talent. He’s right to be hopeful, but also right to goad us: we won’t realize our great potential unless we start to do things differently—focusing on talent and cultivating it with all the tools at our disposal.
President, Opportunity America
Rather than attempt to predict the future of work, Merisotis asks readers to focus on the work of the future, where job change and displacement will be the norm.
James Arroyo, OBE
Former Director for Data, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
As the very nature of work is transformed with lightning speed, Jamie Merisotis gives us a thoughtful exploration of what it will take to ensure we are prepared for this fast-emerging future. HUMAN WORK reminds us that work is about meaning, and that in preparing for the future of work we must create pathways toward a more just and equitable world.
Vice President, New America, former Domestic Policy Advisor to President Obama, and winner of a MacArthur Fellowship for her work on immigration and civil rights
...this book should be required reading for anyone interested in productive and disruptive policy change for cultivating a new generation of American talent.
President, Ford Foundation
While many looking at the changing landscape of work emphasize the need for students to learn code—some in Canada calling for coding to be taught in grade school—Jamie Merisotis, head of Lumina Foundation argues in the other direction in his new book, HUMAN WORK IN THE AGE OF SMART MACHINES.
Nathan M. Greenfield
Author, University World News
Jamie Merisotis lays out a powerful argument that the rise of new technologies does not need to accelerate inequality. In fact, through the stories of workers, he shows that people, no matter their starting point, bring critical human attributes that make work personally meaningful and valuable to modern society. This book is a timely blueprint for us all.
Vice President, Brookings Institution, and Co-Founder and Director of Brookings’s Metropolitan Policy Program
Merisotis details solutions with a constant refrain that competitiveness, compassion, and equity must be priorities. AMERICA NEEDS TALENT offers a blueprint for a Second American Century—one that I believe...will make our communities more vibrant and our nation more prosperous.
Mayor, City of Louisville
Jamie Merisotis offers a compelling vision for the future of education by calling for learning systems that prepare people for ‘human work’—the work that only people can do with artificial intelligence and automation on the rise. He shows why education that cultivates human capabilities like creativity, critical analysis, empathy, and ethical reasoning is more important than ever. It’s a book for our time.
President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
AMERICA NEEDS TALENT makes it clear that if we’re willing to harness the innovation born of cross-sector collaboration and embrace new ways to accomplish our goals, we can nurture the talent we need to make the story of 21st century America one of truly inclusive prosperity.
Co-Founder and CEO, Social Finance
AMERICA NEEDS TALENT is a challenge to both American citizens and our leaders to have the courage of previous generations to invest in ourselves to better our future.
Retired Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives
Jamie Merisotis provides a fresh, timely, and relevant analysis of the complexities of human work as the world transitions into an era of uncertainty. Jamie has a unique capacity to combine deep and well-informed analysis with interesting anecdotes and observations. A must read for those committed to building a better future.
Education Advisor, Qatar Foundation for Education, Health, and Community Development, and Former Global Tertiary Education Lead with the World Bank
As a leader who understands that talent is at the very heart of our national economic success, Jamie Merisotis insightfully explains how we must transform ourselves into a society of lifelong learners and build a new human work infrastructure. This book is a must-read and provides a smart roadmap to create more inclusive opportunities for more Americans.
Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Entrepreneur, and Civic Leader
This book is a must-read for anyone who is worried about America’s role in the 21st century and looking for solutions.
John R. McKernan, Jr.
Senior Advisor and Past President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and former Governor of Maine
This book should be on the desk of every 2016 presidential candidate.
President and CEO, New America
Jamie Merisotis explores the history of American innovation and the need to recapture the spirit of risk taking that fueled our growth in the 20th century. From competency-based learning to a skills-based immigration policy, he presents sound solutions to these challenges in a thoughtful and entertaining way.
Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc.
Jamie Merisotis has authored an inspiring vision for a Second American Century and a framework to achieve it...AMERICA NEEDS TALENT should be required reading for all who would lead and for all who want America to be a land of opportunity where people are working, incomes are rising, and the future looks brighter than the past.
Former Governor of Michigan