Skip to main content
Podcast

WORKFORCERx
PODCAST

There has never been a stronger need for workers to adapt. To keep up with the speed of change, we must be prepared to shift into new job roles and pick up new skills. Traditional approaches no longer suffice. Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan interviews leaders and innovators for insights into the future of work, future of care, future of higher education, and alternative education-to-work models. We will need to draw on our collectively ingenuity to uncover ways to develop work, workers, and economic opportunity.

MEET OUR PODCAST GUESTS
“We know from history that technology both creates and destroys jobs, and we don't know what will happen this time around,” says Jamie Merisotis, author of the new book Human Work in the Age of Machines, “but I do think we should be more interested in the work that humans can do, because that is clearly something we can control by better preparing people for that human work.” That preparation needs to focus on nurturing “foundational human capabilities” that set us apart from machines – compassion, empathy, ethics and creativity to name a few. As he reveals in his book, Merisotis believes the end result can be a collaborative relationship between workers and technology. As President and CEO of Lumina Foundation, Merisotis has been a driving force in increasing access to post-secondary education not only for its economic benefits but because of the role education plays in cultivating the critical thinking essential to a functioning democratic society. Check out this revealing conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan about rethinking how we can restructure education, work and benefits to better meet the challenges and opportunities upon us.   Listen Now
For someone interested in the interplay of technology and healthcare, the timing has always been right for Dr. Ashwini Davison. Implementation of Electronic Health Records was just starting to take off when she was an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins a little over a decade ago. As the adoption of EHRs and digital health applications rose, so did the potential for big data as a tool to advance medicine. Opportunities opened for her to help healthcare companies analyze data to enhance efficiency and improve patient outcomes. “My career naturally progressed to being at the cutting edge of the ‘next big thing’ whether that be clinical informatics or, subsequently, online education and precision medicine.” She’s now at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and the School of Public Health creating learning programs and opportunities for students at the intersection of healthcare, technology, education and research. If you’ve wondered how AI, precision medicine, cloud computing and other innovations are impacting patients, you’ll want to check out this dynamic conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. You’ll also learn about a collaboration between Johns Hopkins, Futuro Health and Coursera to create a new entry level path into health IT careers, how virtual reality and mobile technology is applied to healthcare, and what she describes as the “challenging, exhilarating and rewarding” experience of helping professors and students successfully manage the abrupt transition to online learning made necessary by COVID.   Listen Now
“We want to empower every citizen to be able to make a decision about how they want to invest in themselves and the kind of career they want,” says Dr. Soon Joo Gog, Chief Futurist at SkillsFuture SG in Singapore’s Ministry of Education. That’s obviously an ambitious goal, but this small city-state has a reputation for pioneering new approaches to building a skills ecosystem. To achieve it, the government gives every citizen 25 years of age and older $1,000 in credits toward education and skills training. That jumps to $1,500 in credits once you reach 40. The credits belong to the person, not an employer, making them portable throughout their life. She describes SkillsFuture, where she is also Chief Skills Officer and Chief Research Officer, as a national movement that later developed into a government agency offering job skills insights for individuals, businesses, education and training partners, and policymakers. One of her most important strategies is engaging with companies considered innovative to find out how their use of technology changes worker skills over time so SkillsFuture SG can work with educators to align training programs with future labor needs. Check out this fascinating conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan and one of the world’s leading workforce innovators to learn about the “trinity of partners” essential to her work, and the role smart dustbins are playing in Singapore’s high-tech, high-skill economy.   Listen Now
Spurred by heightened activism in 2020 against persistent racism in the U.S., many business leaders are engaged in a reckoning of their own policies, behaviors and corporate culture to determine how those might be contributing to systemic inequity and exclusion. Marsha Sampson Johnson, a leading diversity advocate and veteran corporate leader, has advice for those undertaking this work. “Diversity and inclusion can never just be a program. It can never be a department. If it is not incorporated into every aspect of the organization, it will never be successful.” Sampson Johnson, a retired senior executive from Fortune 200 energy giant Southern Company, has had an extraordinary career as an executive, mentor, writer and international speaker. In this trenchant conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, she shares insights gained from decades of providing leadership in HR, Talent Management and Diversity, discusses the impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce, and touches on the value of leadership development programs such as those sponsored by the International Women’s Forum where she spent many years as a Global Director.   Listen Now
As a longtime observer of the Washington political scene and a “go-to” expert on workforce and education policy issues, Andy Van Kleunen thinks that despite the country’s deep political divisions, it’s possible to make generation-defining investments in education and training to spur major employment growth. “There's not a lot of partisan divide on investing in the retraining of somebody who's been laid off and now has to look for a new occupation. We're talking about 80 to 90 percent approval for greater public investments in those kinds of efforts.” Drawing on lessons learned from previous recovery efforts, Van Kleunen believes more needs to be done this time to make sure economic gains are inclusive from a racial and socio-economic standpoint. The organization he leads, National Skills Coalition, also urges policymakers to follow what they have found to be the most effective formula for increasing skills and growing jobs: let localities and states in the nation’s 300-400 regional economies bring stakeholders together to determine where investments should be made. In this timely conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, Van Kleunen taps into the knowledge gained from his national network of business, education and labor leaders to share the most effective formulas for economic development in this unique political moment.   Listen Now
Workers are showing the strains of social isolation, disrupted work and family routines, and sustained anxiety for personal safety -- all induced by the pandemic. Fortunately, employers are taking note according to Eva Sage-Gavin, a former Fortune 500 executive who now advises C-suite leaders on talent strategy for Accenture. Sage-Gavin says employers are realizing they need to take a "whole human" approach to HR to navigate through this crisis of human resilience, and address employee needs for connection, relationship, and purpose if they are going to keep their workforce productive. In this revealing episode of WorkforceRx, Sage-Gavin and Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan – who first met a decade ago serving on President Obama’s Skills for America’s Future initiative – discuss a new global partnership to connect displaced workers to jobs, the worrisome “she-cession” as women drop out of the workforce, the enhanced impact of modern boards, and a key ingredient to helping employers solve problems in these extraordinary times.   Listen Now
When he first started trying to score clinical research data in the mid-1980’s, Stanford University neuroscientist Walter Greenleaf was using a ruler, pen and paper. Now, thanks in part to his pioneering efforts, similar research can be conducted using virtual reality and augmented reality devices. These technologies are also being integrated throughout medicine, including treatment for various mental health issues, a special focus of his. For instance, patients can be exposed to anxieties or fears through carefully designed virtual environments, allowing them to build confidence while clinicians gauge their progress. Greenleaf, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, also sees broad potential for using virtual environments in workforce development and training, from handling difficult people and situations to bridging cultural gaps. Join Futuro Health’s CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan as she draws fascinating insights from Greenleaf gathered over decades of groundbreaking work in academia, technology development and medical product development, and find out what two skills he believes will open doors for healthcare workers in the decades to come.   Listen Now
Bryan Hancock has spent the last two decades focused on the disconnect between the skilled workers employers need and what is available in the workforce. As Global Leader of McKinsey & Company's Talent Management Practice, he’s able to tap into the firm’s deep research on workforce trends to advise private and public sector clients and what he’s seeing is an even larger skills gap developing as automation and digitization take over a significant portion of what he calls “the dull and dangerous” work. In fact, McKinsey estimates 30 to 40 percent of all workers in developed countries may need to move into new occupations or at least upgrade their skill sets significantly in the next decade.  Despite that daunting challenge, he’s not discouraged because many large employers are making big investments in employee learning opportunities, and technologies like Virtual Reality are creating fun and effective options for training. He’s also encouraged by growth in the “workforce ecosystem” – independent foundations, companies, and other organizations who are innovating to close gaps in skills and opportunity. Check out this episode of Workforce Rx as Bryan and host Van Ton-Quinlivan explore all of those issues plus the growing importance of soft skills, the impact of the gig economy, and how employers can take a “talent first” approach.   Listen Now
You can’t have an effective response to public health challenges without putting racial and social equity at the center of your approach, and one key way to do that is supplementing the healthcare workforce with “trusted voices” from underserved communities. That’s the view of Dr. Rishi Manchanda, a public health veteran and healthcare leader whose career has focused on developing new strategies to improve health in resource-poor communities. Through a mix of frontline and leadership positions, he's helped provide care for homeless veterans, immigrant workers in rural areas, and communities in South Central Los Angeles. As an author and CEO of HealthBegins, he’s become a leading national voice on shifting the focus of our healthcare system to “upstream” causes of poor health status – such as access to quality food and housing -- and creating equitable access to care. Check out this illuminating conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan to learn about “upstreamists”, the workforce-equity connection, and what COVID is teaching us about our healthcare system.   Listen Now
If you want to know how employers are changing their thinking about educating workers in the wake of COVID, Jaime Fall is in a great position to tell you. As director of the Aspen Institute’s workforce development initiative Upskill America, Jaime is constantly in touch with some of the 5,000 businesses in the program’s network and he has plenty of news to share with host Van Ton-Quinlivan in this episode of WorkforceRx with Futuro Health. From diversity to digital literacy to new safety protocols, businesses have many targets for training and advancement practices that were not necessarily priorities pre-COVID. And have you heard of the new trend in “outskilling”? Jamie is here to fill you in. Bottom line: as the pace of change continues to accelerate, companies need to invest in a culture of learning so their workers will have the skills they need to be effective and productive.   Listen Now
A Q&A with host Van Ton-Quinlivan on the origins of Futuro Health’s groundbreaking model for growing the healthcare workforce, and the innovative ways Futuro is building onramps to education for adult learners.   Listen Now
Van Ton-Quinlivan reveals that her deep appreciation for educational opportunity is rooted in experiences making a new life in the U.S. after her family fled the Vietnam War. Helping others access the same transformational opportunities is her life’s work, and led to her guiding a billion-dollar workforce development program in the largest higher education system in the country, and becoming the founding CEO of Futuro Health.   Listen Now
Host Van Ton-Quinlivan describes what’s in store for listeners in this new interview series with national leaders and innovators in workforce development.   Listen Now