Insights · December 22nd, 2012

We are getting back to the final blog editions of our forthcoming book, Millennial City. with one more chapter and the conclusion to published in the serial blog form, the book is a collaboration with Dennis Walsh and this blog is Part 4 of Chapter 9. We will publish Millennial City as an e-book when the serialization is completed. The book grew out of conversations that Dennis and I have had about the future of cities, sustainability, and the millennial generation. We think that these three domains, if you will, are coming together to create a new future – and just in time we hope.

CHAPTER Nine – Part 4
by Dennis Walsh and Glen Hiemstra

When it comes to the job market, exciting new career possibilities are emerging. Technologies like the Internet, cell phones, and personal computers are common. The commonplace technologies of tomorrow are either just in their infancy today or haven’t even been thought of yet. Think about it. Facebook didn’t exist a decade ago. So who knows?

Social entrepreneurs will create ventures for social change, all over the world. Those that design experiences will be valuable. California’s IDEO morphed over the years to become designers of experiences and organizational practices. Caring roles are an essential outcome from the way work and life will develop. Advocacy is also rising. Expect to see enterprises built around developing advocacy initiatives. This is all good but here’s the thing, whatever happens more people will work for themselves and be better off for it.

The future is definitely you. If you are a freelancer, you see the signs all around you. Businesses have changed the way they hire. The traditional business model doesn’t apply uniformly any more, due to a number of factors, including technology and a globalized market. Traditional employment may never return to pre-recession levels. But people will continue to seek, create, and find work.

In New York City, self-employment accounts for two thirds of the job growth. Keep in mind that freelancers like free wireless, public places to sit and work and technology epicenters. But you don’t have to live in a major metropolitan area to succeed. Franklin, Tennessee just south of Nashville is great for the creative and IT sectors. It’s one of the top up and coming cultural centers in the world. Austin, Texas is a creative, vibrant city with more wi-fi and public places to hang out. Cost of living is low, but there’s a ton of culture and stuff to do.

Chicago, Illinois is a healthy spot for freelance creative and marketing. San Francisco, California focusses on marketing. Some will prefer Nova Scotia. It’s great because you’re never more than 30 minutes from the ocean or 15 from a lake. Bridgetown, Barbados is great. You can go to the beach when you’re not working.

That’s how it rolls. Whatever you do, go to the place that feels right for you. Freelancing is here to stay; not only a symptom of the downturn, but a vision of the next economy. Businesses are choosing to hire on an as-needed basis, relying on a freelance workforce. That shouldn’t be surprising. This is the new way of the world. And in many ways, we’re making a better economy. That’s a lot to think about. And like everything else in this world, it’s all up to you. Everyone needs to know where they’re going. Give it time. You’ll figure it out. So, right now, we suggest you put this book down and go do something else.

[Glen Hiemstra is the Founder of, and curator of Dennis Walsh is a sustainability futurist from Canada best known for his work as the first publisher of green@work. Contact us through]

Millennial City
Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

Contact Nikolas