Participants at the Future of Work lab. The next London lab will be hosted by HarperCollins in London on February 29, 2016.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Work

There’s been a lot of talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution at Davos. Social media, especially Twitter has been abuzz with discussions on the subject. How will the workplace cope in the age of the smart machine? The team and I have shared some interesting articles that have helped us reflect on the theme.

9 quotes that sum up the Fourth Industrial Revolution img src: bit.ly/20kBwjg

Investing in human capital has never been more important

How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution change the Future of Work? Especially when the world is poised to experience more digital progress in the next ten years than we have had in the last 50. These advances will exacerbate the gap between available and needed skills. Every organisation needs to invest in human capital and empower the workforce. The time is now!

This is one of the key themes of our Lab. We strongly believe that the Future of Work cannot be a case of coping with technological change. Especially as the rate of disruption is only set to increase. We believe in contextual digital literacies. Giving the individual a sense of agency and ability to deploy or in some cases, disregard new and emerging technologies.

Click here to read an article on this theme by Denis O’Brien on the World Economic Forum website

Is it time to prepare for a revolution?

Buzzwords dominate most discussions about smart machines. From driverless cars to avatars for the elderly. Sometimes it is tricky to separate myth from fact. The reality is that we are still in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and we cannot really predict what the future will be.

However, there is no room for complacency. As Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum puts it, we are “…too often caught in traditional, linear thinking or too absorbed by immediate concerns to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.” This statement is a clarion call for leadership in organisations to rise to the challenge.

We believe that the future of leadership is interdisciplinary. It is about forging new links and connections. This approach is central to all our activities in the Lab. The transition begins by sharing ideas and experiences across different skill-sets, sectors and roles!

Click here to read a piece by Larry Elliott (Economics Editor, Guardian) on the myths about Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Hundreds of thousands of computers everywhere…

In the future there will be hundreds of thousands of computers everywhere. Everything will be connected and human employees will be redundant. But is that really the case?

There will be key disruptions on employment levels, skills sets and recruitment patterns. However, in the present, the transition doesn’t have to mean less employees. It is more a case of a different kind of employee. In some respects, the Future of Work is about managing multiple intelligences and intents. The human and the algorithm. Will they work together, even socialise together? And will they have radically different needs and attitudes. In our Lab, we dip our toes in the future and explore such scenarios.

Click here to read a piece by James Temperton on Wired about the factory of the future and its potential implications.

That’s it for now. We’ll continue to add to this reading list. The themes in this post — new digital literacies, leadership and skills are at the core of our Future of Work Innovation Labs. The next Lab will be hosted by HarperCollins in London on February 29, 2016. Please click here for more information. We hope to see you at the event!

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Abhay Adhikari’s story.