The Future of Work is Human

On the morning of Tuesday 8 March, the CIPD hosted an Un-Seminar discussion on the future of work at The RSA. With a non-hierarchical structure, participants led by expert speakers swapped ideas and challenges with a community fascinated by the future of work and working lives. The same old conversations donʼt seem to be getting us anywhere; our determination was to ask the right questions.

  1. Robert Phillips, Co-Founder of Jericho Chambers and Chair for the day explained the Un-Seminar format which encourages questions, thoughts and dissent from the audience throughout. Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD then welcomed the group of 85 participants - a broad mix of business leaders, policy makers, academics, media, NGOs and HR professionals - and set the scene by describing the challenges facing today's work place.
  2. Margaret Heffernan, author of Wilful Blindness and The Bigger Prize kicked things off with her inspirational thoughts on how obedience - the enemy of creativity - is bred into us from a very early age.
  3. James Bidwell, CEO of Springwise, took the group on a whirlwind tour of the top 12 innovations in work you've never heard of including brain scanning recruitment agencies and mobile offices on catamarans.
  4. Next our four provocateurs Veronica Hope Hailey, University of Bath; Jane Storm, Tesco; Roger Steare, Cass Business School and Indy Johar, 00 had 5 mins each to pitch the group their ideas on power, inclusivity and diversity, love and why we should stop looking at employees as bad robots. One giant conversation followed...
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