The purpose of the Aspen Institute Initiative on the Future of Work is to propose a new course – a way to upgrade America’s economic reward structure to keep pace with the shifting realities of the 21st century. As we did in the last century, we must come together to forge a new economic model that fuels innovation, rewards work, and promises a brighter future for businesses and workers alike, for the sake of our economy and democracy. This project is a work in progress. We want to raise these challenging issues and foster a debate across sectors and parties to work together to address them. We propose various ideas to deepen that debate and sharpen our analysis. We don’t have all of the answers, but we have a strong belief that without addressing these questions, America’s prosperity will remain at risk. In that spirit, we put forward the notion of New Capitalism in beta version.
Over the past year, we have crisscrossed the country to talk with and collect ideas from entrepreneurs, investors, managers, and workers, as well as civic, academic, business, and labor leaders. The message was clear: the challenges are great and the opportunities diverse, there is no silver bullet, and the solutions must be as broad as they are bold. Our prospective policy agenda, attached to this narrative, therefore relies on four separate approaches: realigning business incentives, strengthening public information, reforming corporate governance, and empowering workers.