Living the Future Now

A career of continual learning and a space to experiment in doing just that...

Last September a slideshare.net presentation was popularly pinging through social media, entitled ’20 Jobs of the Future’. Created by the New York Advertising trend hunters Sparks & Honey, it listed jobs of the future that gave us at The Curiosity Bureau reason to smile, of interest to us were ‘Corporate Disorganiser’, ‘Cultural Skill Sherpa’ and at the top of our bill ‘Curiosity Tutor’; described as; “A personal advisor in flaneuring; an advisor that not only provides inspiration and content to spark curiosity, but one that teaches the art of discovery.”

Discovering this at a time with inspiring clients, academic duties, the launch of our *Associates Academy, and the start of rethinking the visual culture of the Bureau, we couldn’t ignore the signs… and we didn’t.

The launch of our Associates Academy in September 2013 - a 12week intensive programme - created an opportunity for Gabija Jankauskaite - an enthusiastic, fresh thinking design and business post-graduate - to step out of her known and be curious in the unknown: a space to experiment in the future career, now.

Based at the London Bureau, moving from Gothenburg where she is currently completing an MA in Business and Design, Gabija immediately made an impact on The Bureau and as the conversations developed, so did the opportunities to experiment.

The Associates Academy draws on our scholar-practitioner foundations and emphasis on collaboration. We introduce Associates to progressive theory and partner organisations via a network of curious folk. Gabija worked with Alison Coward at Bracket, on the Rewire London (un)conference and found Alison “inspirational” to work with. Unsurprisingly Alison is shaping Bracket into a leading example of facilitating creativity and smart collaborations.

Back with us at The Bureau Gabija played an integral part in influencing the future and communication of the business, focusing on our philosophy and working dynamic. Her working space was set within creative hubs including the social innovation space at The Cube, and through meetings via Skype, typing in the cloud and embracing the life of a professional flaneur - this was the future of working, happening now.

After 12weeks of immersion in The Curiosity Bureau, and our network of Curious Folk, we asked Gabija to reflect on this time and share her anticipations for the world of work.

Unsurprisingly the security of old, that of sustained employment for a single organisation, isn’t appealing. A distinct direction to one’s profession, focusing deeper into a sector and subject, is seen to create a fragility and myopia. Therefore an inquisitive approach to challenges, with preparedness to capture opportunities through serendipity, is at the heart of Gabija’s professional method. This of course brings into play the very Genetics of Curiosity, allowing the vitality of disruption to come into play and be a creative force in Gabija’s professional development.

The appeal of a portfolio career, at the start of one’s professional life, is sensitive to where we’re headed; it isn’t an unfamiliar concept, but embracing this as the foundations of one’s professional life is an entirely different approach to paving a career.

Whilst Gabija expects to soon settle in her hometown of Vilnius, or Gothenburg where she has studied, or perhaps London, she is preparing for a career of continual learning; divergent, opportunistic and adapting to new constraints. In a shifting landscape of contexts, projects, people, places, expertise and requirements, Gabija is focusing on becoming a professional defined not on the title of her occupation but her unique experience. It is the space between what we do that is becoming as interesting to us as what we do. As competition from emerging markets knocks on the door of Western intellectual service based economies, and organisations confront greater layers of complexity, an approach such as Gabija’s is prepared for the challenges of our age and into the future. This attitude to one’s professional relationship with the world generates at its core a resistance to the fragility we see in our economies, societies and environments; it is an approach to become antifragile.

We shared with Gabija the importance we place in working across multiple locations, the influences that arise through conversation and collaborations, and the ease of designing a business around knowledge, stripping back to what’s important and staying agile. And although The Curiosity Bureau is a radical and progressive business we found great insight and inspiration from Gabija’s experience as an Associate. The Associates Academy therefore isn’t an internship and it’s not just set to screen new talent for the future or give something back, rather it’s a mutual relationship that pushes the boundaries of curiosity in professional practice.

We can all see that the boundaries that specialists function within are more permeable, the exchange that occurs is forming new opportunities, and curiosity is at the forefront of embracing this.

With a refresh for the New Year and engagement with a variety of exciting people the future is an exciting place. Perhaps you are curious about experimenting in this space we are calling the Associate Academy.

Join us in Bergen and/or London this summer for the second in the series of events designed by The Curiosity Bureau that looks at The Curiosity of Others through TASTE and be involved in finding and seeking the unfamiliar in the familiar.

If you would like to investigate the concept of Antifragility mentioned in this post we suggest Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

*The Curiosity Bureau’s Associates Academy recruits one star per year; if you’re interested please send us an email explaining why you would like to work us.