Knowmads: the Workers of the Present and the Future

The knowmads show us another way of working that brings flexibility and innovation to the flag. They know perfectly how to combine personal life with work, without stopping doing what they are passionate about.

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With globalization, new forms of communication, technological innovations and various forms of work emerge. It is what has a situation of integration and change on a large scale, which influences all facets of life as well as at all levels of social organization.

Thus, economic, technological, political and social progress, in some way, has forced us to create a new way of relating through digital communication and, with this, distance work has been created.

At present, it is possible to work thousands of kilometers from the office or from home. A new work reality is present for many professionals. It is a labor scenario that has created a new style of workers: the knowmads.

Knowmads are the workers of the present and the future. Because in addition to being on the rise today, possibly your work style becomes the way of work for the future.

Now, who are they? What are their characteristics? What does this term mean and where does it come from? Why is it a revolutionary work style? Has this phenomenon been investigated? All these questions will be solved throughout this article!

“We live in a liquid society, where change is constant. The ability to manage change naturally and calmly is the highlight of the Knowmads: workers of the future.”

-Raquel Roca-

Who are the knowmads and how did the term originate?

The term knowmad was created and popularized from a TED talk by John Moravec, a professor and researcher at the University of Minnesota. This defined the knowmad as an enterprising person who sells his knowledge with creativity.

Moravec was the editor and main author of the book Knowmad Society. In it, he explores the future learning at work, the value networks and the emergence of knowmads as beings of innovation in the work of the 21st century.

Now, the word knowmad comes from the combination in English of two words: the first is know, which means ‘to know’ and the second nomad, which means ‘nomad’. Therefore, its meaning is ‘nomads of knowledge’. Although in some Spanish-speaking places, they prefer to call it “knowmads”.

In short, it is a trend that is emerging strongly and, increasingly, is more popular. In addition, they are classified as a social group among the different types of nomads of the 21st century.

Characteristics of the knowmads

The main characteristic of knowmads could be summarized in its ability to adapt to different contexts. They are tolerant people and with a lot of mental flexibility. Now, some characteristics more representative of this type of workers are the following:

  • Creative. The knowmads are constantly generating new ideas and looking for new perspectives.
  • Learners. They consider each obstacle as a teaching and are passionate about continuing education.
  • They go beyond failure. They do not usually get frustrated or dwell in frustration. They are resilient people, who see failure as a window to explore new routes that lead to knowledge and success.
  • Of any age. Being knowmad is not about something limited; it can refer to any person, of any origin and of any age.
  • Motivated. Knowmads are professionals who want to contribute their talent and knowledge to an organization or their own entrepreneurship project.
  • Dynamic. They are active people, who are in constant movement. They are continually acquiring new techniques and searching for new information.
  • Collaborative. The knowmads are empathic people, who work as a team. In fact, it is said of them that they can almost work with anyone. Wonderful, right?
  • Intuitive. They have a special ability to perceive, know and understand something immediately.
  • They have digital competences. They are people who are at the forefront of the digital age. They know how to move in this world and use it to obtain great benefits.

Thanks to the knowmads, we have a broader and more flexible perspective on the worker. They differ from the classic workers, above all, because they can be of any age, due to their adaptability, intuition and creativity.

On the other hand, even though the phenomenon of knowmads is relatively recent, there are already several research studies and books that speak on the subject. Here are two important examples to deepen more:

Benefits of being a knowmad

Being knowmad is equivalent to having a different and own lifestyle. Thus, some of its benefits are:

  • Work from anywhere. The business is based on online platforms.
  • Live from your passion. The knowmad is dedicated to what he likes and seeks the way to live from it.
  • Flexibility. Most knowmads establish their own schedule and place of work.
  • Power of choice. They choose where to work and with whom to do it.

Maybe it could be another type of teleworker, but with very marked differences. Not all teleworkers have a lifestyle that allows them to adapt to any environment.

Knowmads show us a new way of working. These chameleons of work teach us new strategies to develop in a job, as well as how to create a more flexible lifestyle in which we work on what we know and like.