Future of Work: Kickoff Event

The number of independent workers around the world—from well-paid contract workers to temp workers struggling to make ends meet—is growing rapidly. There are positive as well as negative sides to this evolution of the global economy. Given the inevitable advance of artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies in the coming decades, the lives of these independent workers could become far more complex and challenging unless we make immediate changes.

This kickoff event for our new Future of Work series featured a stellar lineup of thought leaders engaged in reimagining the future of work, including Tim O’Reilly, Founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media and host of the annual Next:Economy conference; Kristin Sharp, Executive Director, SHIFT: The Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology; John Battelle, Co-Founder & CEO of NewCo and host of the annual NewCo Shift Forum; Vivienne Ming, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Socos LLC; Donnie Fowler, CEO at Tech for America; Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and Founder of FlexJobs; Paul Saffo, Technology Forecaster & Professor at Stanford University; and Geri Barrison, Offering Manager for IBM Talent Management Solutions.

During this event, we began the process of catalyzing a network that will generate new ideas and insights that could help independent workers thrive in the years ahead. Our program touched on the major questions that we plan to explore in this series throughout the year. First, what can the technology and entrepreneurial world do to improve the work experience and lives of those working independently? And second, what should the public and civic sectors—particularly at the state and local levels—do to help those workers and their families thrive?

We want to use this event and the project to start building a diverse network from a range of backgrounds to arrive at new insights and ideas. We expect to draw off this network to hold other events, roundtables and in-depth interviews throughout the year too. If you think you have something to contribute or just have an interest in this topic, send an email introducing yourself to contact@reinvent.net.