Teman Evans: Professional Precarity Panel Response at Taubman College's Risk Conference on March 30, 2012.
Professional risk has come to assume considerable significance for nearly everyone in today's uncertain economic climate. Unemployment statistics are regarded with the anxiety of sporting wagers, dominated by relentless speculation. Hazards abound and reactionary caution has become the status quo.
Despite, or better yet, in spite of this prevailing attitude, the members of this panel have dared to operate. In a time when the notion of job security has become an outmoded concept, these individuals have endeavored to re-define industries and boldly occupy unfamiliar territory. Their respective practices have eschewed the easily codified. They have turned their backs on the purported security of conventional modes of working for what can be described as a new kind of professional risk-taking. What is this phenomenon? How does one set benchmarks and define their role within a practice for which there are no models or categories? What are the metrics of success when no one-to-one competitor exists? Is 'success' even relevant? Not only will the speakers on the panel address these (and more) pressing questions in detail, but they will also begin to speculate upon the implications of their intentionally precarious professional endeavors for the future of the industries within which they work.
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