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Harriet Harman speaks on future of work

Posted on 5 June 2017

Former deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman will deliver a keynote speech on the changing world of work to launch a special York Festival of Ideas Future of Work Focus Day on 16 June.

Future of Work Festival Focus Day

In a series of four events, leading economists, social policy experts and journalists will discuss pressing issues such as job insecurity, zero-hours contracts, the meaning we derive from work and how robotics and artificial intelligence will shape our future working lives.

In association with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), speakers on the day include: Guy Standing, Co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network and author of the seminal The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class; Katie Schmuecker, Head of Policy at JRF; Martin Vander Weyer, Business Editor of The Spectator; Professor Jo Swaffield, Head of Economics at York; and Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher with Reform and author of a recent report estimating that 90 per cent of civil service jobs could be made obsolete through artificial intelligence.

Global businesses

Speakers from global businesses such as IBM, AT Kearney, IBM, PWC and the Women's Budget Group will also attend.

Joan Concannon, Director of York Festival of Ideas, said: “From zero hours contracts to work poverty, job insecurity to gender imbalance, the issues of today’s working world require active debate and discussion.

“The Future of Work Focus Day will see experts provide an overview of the state of labour markets right now, discuss alternative labour market proposals including the basic income proposal, and provide a horizon scan on likely future trends in terms of the impact of AI and robotics on labour markets.”

Focus days

Four Focus Days feature as part of this year’s Festival, tackling issues from the future of democracy and the NHS to what history tells us about Europe’s future, giving audiences the chance to listen to in-depth discussions on the pressing topics of today.

Starting tomorrow (6 June) and running until 18 June, the York Festival of Ideas programme features over 200 diverse events surrounding the theme The Story of Things: a celebration of human ingenuity and invention.

Now in its seventh year, the Festival has grown to become one of the largest free festivals in the UK, last year attracting over 19,000 people to over 150 events.

The Festival is led by the University in collaboration with more than 60 city and national organisations, including Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Morrell Centre for Toleration, the Shepherd Group, the British Academy, and IBM United Kingdom.

Further information:

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