Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Earning, Learning and Serving: Jamie Merisotis on Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines

 Air Dates: May 30-June 6, 2021

The prognosticators of doom would have you believe that humanity is cursed to a future without work as Artificial Intelligence replaces people in the workforce.  But Jamie Merisotis says we’ll still be working—doing the kinds of things only human beings can do.

Jamie Merisotis is a globally recognized leader in philanthropy, education, and public policy and the author of “Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines.”  Since 2008, he has served as president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all.  He previously served as co-founder and president of the nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy and as executive director of a bipartisan national commission on college affordability appointed by the U.S. President and Congressional leaders. His work includes extensive global experience as an advisor and consultant in southern Africa, the former Soviet Union, Europe and other parts of the world.  A respected analyst and innovator, Merisotis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  Merisotis is the author of the widely-acclaimed book, “America Needs Talent,” named a “Top 10 Business book of 2016” by Booklist.  A frequent media commentator and contributor, his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Washington Monthly, Politico, Roll Call and other publications.  Merisotis serves as chair of the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. and was a past chair of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest museum for children.  He also serves on the boards of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and the UK-based European Access Network.

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Merisotis discusses his recent book, “Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines” and the intersection of democracy and human work.  He said, “…we have to cultivate the critical thinking and ethical decision making and analytical reasoning traits—democracy-enhancing traits—not just because it’s a good thing to do, […] but because it helps us develop active citizens, and those active citizens will protect our way of life in ways where I think that human work will give us the meaning and purpose that lead to individual and shared prosperity.”

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 3:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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