Thursday 7 November 18:30 - 21:00

40 Islington High Street

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Social science on: The future of work

Science & Technology

Join us as we discuss the future world of work and explore the role that social science has in helping us address these issues.

Will robots replace us all? With increasing automation, our digital economy, political uncertainty and the challenges that come from changing demographics, the nature of work is changing.

Last year the World Economic Forum released a report on the future of work, ‘finding that the rise of machines, robots and algorithms could create double the jobs they destroy in the next decade’. Yet in March 2019 findings from the Office for National Statistics indicated automation threatens 1.5 million workers in Britain. Conflicting reports can be found throughout the traditional news media. While these issues are complex they require greater clarity; something that social science researchers can help bring to an informed public debate.

Join us as we discuss the future world of work and explore the role that social science has in helping us address these issues.

Our panel

Hear from our panelists Melanie Simms, Alex Wood, Karen Gregory and Sanna Ojanperä, on the challenges and opportunities open to the future of work: our ageing workforce, the rise in automation and big data, the digital economy and the skills needed to thrive in our future world of work. The panel chaired by Lou Coady, Head of Communications at SAGE Publishing, will address social sciences role in this topic of widespread public interest, including how social science research can have more impact upon society.


6:30pm: Registration opens

7:00pm: Event begins

8:00pm: Drinks reception

9:00pm: Close

About our panel

Melanie Simms is Professor of Work and Employment at the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School. Her research focuses on two main areas: worker voice and the transitions of young people into the labour market. Melanie is the author of What Do We Know and What Should We Do About the Future of Work? which is part of a new book series offering short, up-to-date overviews of key issues often misrepresented or simplifed in the mainstream media.

Alex Wood a lecturer in the sociology of work at the University of Birmingham and a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, a member of Oxford University’s iLabour project and the Communication Officer for BUIRA – the UK’s main association for those researching the politics of work.

Karen Gregory is a digital sociologist, ethnographer, and lecturer in the department of sociology at the University of Edinburgh and Programme Director of the MSc in Digital Society. She is currently at work on a research project that examines the possibilities for solidarity in a digital economy, conducting interviews among Deliveroo riders in Scotland.

Sanna Ojanperä is a DPhil Student at the OII and also a doctoral student at the Alan Turing Institute, where she leads the Data and Inequality Interest Group together with her supervisor Mark Graham. Her doctoral research investigates the relationship between accessing work through online platforms and informality, and how these practices impact inequality, social exclusion, well-being, productivity, and the government’s ability to collect taxes.

Please note: This event is free and space is limited. We may overbook our venue to make sure we have the largest audience possible. Having a ticket does not guarantee entry so please arrive in plenty of time.


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