Future-forming interdisciplinary research

The Future of Work


Robotics, machine-learning, big data, social media on-demand platforms and the internet of things are technologies disrupting societies culturally, politically, and economically today. From HR functions like performance management, to the impact on factory workers and retail staff, the way we organise, perform and remunerate work is rapidly transforming. Digitalisation is reshaping the worlds of work, production and employment.

This roundtable will explore the:

  • probable – the digital trends shaping the future of work
  • possible – the status quo, mass job destruction, new economy of human growth and development
  • preferable – if and whether work will remain an important social function for the distribution of economic wealth

Though macroeconomic statistics are yet to capture this shift, the widespread perception is that digitalisation, and specifically, online platforms are increasingly transforming the architecture of the labour market, the relationship between employer and employee, the responsibility for labour formation, and labour fragmentation. Given this shift, the social welfare context in relation to the provision of training and development, financial security, and health and wellbeing support is falling through the cracks.

The roundtable will use an interdisciplinary futures approach to:

  • Understand the emerging disjuncture in traditional social contracts of work
  • Examine what other countries are doing in preparation for the future of work
  • Explore policy options , business models and financing options for upskilling and lifelong learning in this new paradigm
  • Revisit the flexicurity model proposed a decade ago in Europe to explore how job security and social security can or should be protected

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