You can't beat that, right? But I'm not talking about the revolution of work as I did a week ago, how serial entrepreneurship is at all time hight and according to a stat I heard last night, there are about 22 million single-employed business owners today. And growing. How there are also more collaborative part-time workers worldwide than we've ever seen before. And how it's the clicking with one another that makes for this collaborative magic.
And I'm not talking about organic farming either or any other legally mainstream sustainable way to make a living.
I'm talking about living off the grid, the other future of work.
This isn't a political diatribe about public policy or how the glow of motivational HR speak from the likes of Steve Forbes and Al Gore still shines off of SHRM 2010 attendees ready to take on the workforce world.
No, this is about the fork in the economic road, or more realistically many-pronged fork, that includes living on and off the grid.
I just read this morning in The Washington Post that "the Senate failed once again late Wednesday to advance a plan to restore jobless benefits for people out of work more than six months, leaving millions of unemployed workers in limbo until after the July 4 recess."
But that they "extended the deadline for home buyers to claim a tax credit aimed at reviving the housing market until Sept. 30."
Job loss and foreclosure -- two reasons why homeless shelters are spilling over into the streets, underpasses, hillsides, hidden valleys and other nooks and crannies in and around our cities.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless:
On an average night in the 23 cities surveyed, 94 percent of people living on the streets were single adults, 4 percent were part of families and 2 percent were unaccompanied minors. Seventy percent of those in emergency shelters were single adults, 29 percent were part of families and 1 percent were unaccompanied minors. (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2008).
And that's from over a couple of years ago.
The total number of homeless people in the U.S. varies depending on who's doing the counting, but it's anywhere from 1 to 5 million.
The problem is that many people will not be counted because they are not in places researchers can easily find. This group of people, often referred to as "the unsheltered" or "hidden" homeless, frequently stay in automobiles, camp grounds, or other places that researchers cannot effectively search. For instance, a national study of formerly homeless people found that the most common places people who had been homeless stayed were vehicles (59.2%) and makeshift housing, such as tents, boxes, caves, or boxcars (24.6%) (Link et al., 1995). This suggests that homeless counts may miss significant numbers of people who are homeless, including those living in doubled-up situations.
And who knows how many choose to live off the grid because of mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism and/or the serial entrepreneurial spirit of selling contraband in local markets.
Can you imagine what the workplace violence is like?
No matter, the off-the-grid market is booming, let me tell you. And it's right down the street from where I live in Santa Cruz.
In fact, recently a local park called Pogonip was cleaned up and local law enforcement uncovered about eight campsites, including an elaborate two-story makeshift home. The sites were littered with more than 100 needles, and a range of junk and furnishings, which filled a large, 40-cubic-yard Dumpster parked at a farm off Ocean Street Extension.
Multiply this locally outward from every city across the nation.
1 to 5 million homeless at any given time, a percentage of which are permanently off the grid in this new millennium market growth sector.
It's going to take the mainstream entrepreneurial spirit to transform the growing off-the-grid world.
But for those who own their faculties in our local markets, there is a choice in leading one's self and employment destiny.
There's always a choice.
We have the opportunity to guide folks along the fork.
Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!)
Labels: collaborative work, future of work, homelessness, HR suppliers, joblessness, leadership, SHRM 2010