The Many Futures of Work: Harnessing Technological Change

Rapid technological change and its effects on the world of work have come to the forefront of public discussion in recent years.

Whilst most people accept that these vast changes will rupture work as we know it, thinkers and commentators are divided on what this change will look like, and who will benefit. On one side are optimistic accounts of the future of work, in which machines do tedious jobs, freeing humans to enjoy more interesting jobs, higher incomes, and extra leisure. Against this are many pessimistic accounts of jobs, industries, and communities threatened by technological unemployment.

The tension between these ‘many futures’ of work was discussed this month in a one-day conference at The University of Melbourne hosted by the Centre for Workplace Leadership in collaboration with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the John Cain Foundation.The goal of the day was to bring together contributors from diverse backgrounds to discuss the extent of current technological change, its effects in different parts of the economy, and its implications for workers, organisations and governments. Participants were from a wide range of organisations and backgrounds, including researchers, engineers, industrial advocates, policy advisors, think tanks, politics, and the media.A line-up of excellent speakers challenged us to think anew about how technology is changing work and well-being in Australia today. This post is a recap of the day, sharing with you highlights and areas of thought provocation.

Read more: The Many Futures of Work: Harnessing Technological Change – Centre for Workplace Leadership

Posted in The future is now.

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