Monthly Archives: September 2020

The Future of Work’s Talent Pipeline

Anne Holton is a nationally recognized expert on career and technical education. Furthermore, she believes that we must invest in the future of work’s talent pipeline.

Anne built a formidable résumé in workforce empowerment. Now, Virginia’s former Secretary of Education; George Mason University’s former interim president, and; current professor at GMU’s Schar School drives thought-leadership for career empowerment and the future of work.

“I want to research how students choose careers. [My hypothesis] is that students do what their parents do, or what their parents’ friends do, or what their friends’ parents do. But they don’t know career options outside of that. And now, with so many careers that nobody’s parents did, like cybersecurity, we have a real disconnect.”

Along with her husband, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Anne leads the charge to provide world-class career and technical education (CTE) so that talent in the American workforce pipeline thrive.

In this episode, Anne discusses:

  • What workforce stakeholders are doing, or should be doing, to help people succeed at work. Starts at 2:55
  • How those workforce stakeholders should help people in disadvantaged communities. Starts at 5:02
  • The role of community colleges in providing career and technical education (CTE). Starts at 7:52
  • The efforts of colleges and universities to retain their graduates in the community. Starts at 17:24
  • The importance of workforce agility and resilience. Starts at 24:51

Moreover, she believes this: stakeholders in business, academia, and public policy, must amply invest in the future of work’s talent pipeline so that people benefit with rewarding careers. And among the biggest future of work opportunities Anne sees are in middle skill jobs.

About our guest:

Anne Holton grew up in a family committed to public service. Her father, Linwood Holton, is a former governor of Virginia. During her successful career, Anne served as:

  • Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge for the City of Richmond, Virginia (1996-98);
  • Virginia’s First Lady when her husband, Tim Kaine, was governor (2006-2009);
  • Virginia’s Secretary of Education (2014-2016), and:
  • Interim President of George Mason University (2019-2020).

Currently, she is Professor of Public Policy and Education for GMU’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Anne earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Juris Doctorate from the Harvard University School of Law. She and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine reside in Richmond, Virginia.

EPISODE DATE: September 25, 2020

Social media:

GMU Schar School Website


Learning Pods and the Future of Work

Dr. Dan Hill is employing learning pods, working groups of six people, to help organizations deliver content, develop critical skills, facilitate teamwork, and foster leadership. We believe that Dr. Hill’s learning pods will positively influence the future of work.

“So, I was already leaning towards this idea of six people. A [work team] should be no larger than can be fed with two large pizzas.”

The term learning pods trends high in social media, because many parents across the country are using them to teach and supplement learning for their children who are homebound because of the pandemic. Now learning pods are benefitting the workforce.

Learning pods may actually find their greatest utility with people who strive for the future of work doing meaningful work.

In this episode, Dr. Hill explains:

  • The learning pod for people who work. Starts at 6:28
  • How learning pods may become useful for people on Zoom. Starts at 11:46
  • Why a team of six people in a learning pod is optimal. Starts at 14:00
  • His thoughts on the future of meetings and conference attendance. Starts at 15:30
  • How learning pods will inform the future of work. Starts at 20:20

Dr. Hill also describes his latest book writing project, The Devil’s Dictionary of Work Life. Starts at 28:22

About our guest:

Dan Hill, Ph.D. is a world recognized facial coding expert and founder and president of the consultancy Sensory Logic, Inc. He received a Masters in Creative Writing from Brown University and a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Further, Dr. Hill earned Facial Action Coding Systems Certification from the Paul Ekman Group. He lives and works in St. Paul, Minnesota.

EPISODE DATE: September 18, 2020

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Faces of the Week Blog

Famous Faces Decoded (Book Page)

LinkedIn Profile

Teaching in the Pandemic Age

Teaching in the pandemic age will certainly change how students learn and the future of work for teachers.

“I think that [the pandemic] has built a conversation of what public school will look like going forward.”

– Maggie Hansford, Prince William Education Association President

Maggie Hansford represents public school teachers, students, parents, and guardians in Virginia’s second-largest municipality.

Many schools are starting the year with remote or virtual instruction. Maggie thinks that many of the technological and operational changes put into use will remain after the pandemic is over.

In this episode, Maggie discusses how:

  • “Going virtual” stresses teachers, students, parents, and guardians. Starts at 2:48
  • New technologies like Zoom and Canvas will forever change the classroom. Starts at 4:43
  • Seasoned teachers are considering early retirement. Starts at 7:10
  • Attracting top talent to teaching remains a difficult challenge. Starts at 12:01
  • Teaching pods are changing instruction. Starts at 14:00
  • Teachers, parents, and guardians can overcome the tension caused by remote learning. Starts at 17:24

On the sudden popularity of teaching pods, Maggie says:

“So, it all boils down to life. Everybody is trying to balance work-life, teaching, and helping their students. We have a million things on our plates and now we’ve just added another element to help ensure that our children are successful. If [teaching pods] are what parents need then I don’t see an issue.”

About our guest:

Maggie Hansford is a teacher and speech pathologist in Northern Virginia’s Prince William County Public Schools. In 2020, she was elected president of the Prince William Education Association (PWEA). Maggie and her family reside in Prince William County, Virginia.

EPISODE DATE: September 11, 2020

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The Future of Work in Water

Will Sarni sees the future of work in water.

“When I started my career, I worked for a gentleman, David Miller. The name of the company was Geraghty & Miller, and, he said ‘[If] you want a career in water, it will last forever, it will last a lifetime, because it is a public health issue.’”

-Will Sarni, Founder and CEO Water Foundry, LLC

There is a future of work in water, because our planet is covered mostly in water. And scarcity of clean, potable water remains the planet’s biggest problem to solve.

Will Sarni built an impressive career as a world-recognized expert on water. His mission is to help people, communities, companies, and organizations ensure access to clean water.

In this episode, Will:

  • Relives his early interest in water and the start of his career. Starts at 3:18
  • Explains water scarcity. Starts at 6:27
  • Describes the new technologies helping to mitigate global clean water shortages. Starts at 16:13
  • Discusses the impact water careers will have on the future of work. Starts at 18:54
  • Introduces his podcast, The Stream. Starts at 20:24

About our guest:

Will Sarni is an internationally recognized thought-leader on water strategy and innovation.

He has authored numerous books and articles and presented on: the value of water; innovations in digital water technology; the circular economy, and; the energy-water-food nexus. In April 2020, with UK-based co-host Tom Freyberg, he launched The Stream Podcast. Will earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Earth & Environmental Sciences from Queens College in New York. He lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

EPISODE DATE: September 4, 2020

Social media:

LinkedIn Profile

Water Foundry Website

The Stream on Apple Podcast

The Stream YouTube Channel

World Economic Forum: Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Water (White Paper)