April Rinne is a global citizen and advisor. As the founder of April Worldwide, April prides herself on bringing a global perspective to advising businesses and organizations around the world in their endeavors to succeed. She is also a self-proclaimed global citizen and has traveled all over the world to learn and to help advise international businesses. We were honored to conduct a brief interview with April to talk about her experience with the CWA last year and to feature her as one of the panelists at the 70th Conference on World Affairs.
How was your experience with the CWA last year?
Absolutely outstanding. It was an unexpected highlight of 2017!
What made you want to come back to the CWA this year?
How much fun I had, how many interesting people I met, how much I learned and the overall feedback I had last year. CWA 2017 exceeded my expectations, and yet I felt like I only scratched the surface of what went on that week. Consider it my trial run. I want to come back and experience all the things I missed (as well as what I did not).
Was there a specific aspect of CWA that inspired you to come back?
Most of all, I was impressed and inspired by the community spirit. It was as though most of Boulder contributed in some way; each person giving a bit of his/her time and effort yields tremendous results. To do this on the scale of CWA is no small feat these days. I'm grateful to be part of that community and to be able to add unique value as well.
Did you make any connections that are long-standing with students, panelists, or community members?
We have family friends in Boulder, who were originally responsible for our invitation (Sally Friedman and Baine Kerr). We stayed with them and, not surprisingly, deepened our friendship. I also connected quite well with John Huston and we are still in touch. I'm excited to meet more people this year, too.
Outside of the conference, is there anything you’re particularly excited about working on in 2018?
I am in a "harvesting" phase this year, doing less advisory work and more writing. I have been "doing," traveling, working, etc. so fast for the past few years, that it's time to pause, reflect and synthesize what it all means. It's also time to sharpen my point of view.
I am especially excited about my work on global citizenship (which touches upon identity, belonging, community, globalization etc.). My focus on the new economy and future of work continue, and I love those themes, too. The global citizenship piece amplifies everything - and has implications for CEOs, policymakers, investors, students and basically everyone. :)
I know that you have studied the future of work quite a bit! What would you say to a senior in college about what to expect for the future in a rapidly evolving workplace?
Oh wow, where to begin! In short, every aspect of work is changing, and today's graduates face a very different future than even a few years ago. A few big-picture trends:
1) Lifetime career employment (and having a "job") is increasingly giving way to independent work, freelancing and self-employment. Universities aren't really prepared for this, however, whether in terms of curriculum or career services.
2) New technologies (and not least, automation) ratchet up the need for all workers to be lifelong, adaptive learners. It is no longer the case that studying hard and getting good grades will guarantee a successful career. Rather, it is likely that skills will be outdated within shorter periods of time and show what a person can do vs. what grades that person received. This means that workers will need to continually upskill and "reinvent" themselves. Again, we don't have particularly good structures in place for that today (other than jobs-based training, but when you factor in (1), that changes, too).
3) Think about your career more like a portfolio, rather than a straight-line path. Coincidentally, I just wrote about this!
April will be speaking on a variety of topics including being an entrepreneur, the future of work, international development, and the environment as an important aspect of business. Listen to her speak at panels during the 70th CWA, hosted on the CU campus April 9-13!