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World of Work 2030

World of Work: 2030

As technology transforms the world of work, the question we ask is, how can business education help shape the future to meet the needs of employers by the year 2030?

Henley Careers has held three conferences looking into the challenges and opportunities that face us in the future world of work. Ultimately we want to create a community of like-minded people who are curious and committed to working together at the forefront of technological and social change. We aim to lead the conversation on both human and digital skills needed in the new world of work.

Our next conference will be held online. Sign up to our mailing list to be keep up to date with what's going on and find out more here.

Please do get involved in the conversation, there's a lot to talk about! #WOW2030


This year, we've taken the conference online! We'll be exploring the future of work in a COVID world, in a three day fringe festival, called WOW: What the Fringe?

We will be keeping the fun and spirit of the past WOW events by creating a festival-vibe, including live entertainment. This year the event is free, and we'd love to see you there!

Speakers and topics so far include:

  • Josie Cluer from EY and Professor Elena Beleska-Spasova - Megatrends and the skills-led recovery
  • Tiny Giant - How AI (and AR) are democratising creativity in the workplace
  • Now You’re Talking Network - Inspiring the next generation. Professional development of gen z and millennials
  • The Marketing Store - Sustainability and the future of organisational strategy
  • - Using AI for good, conversational AI in the workplace
  • Foundation SP - engaging employees – integrating technology and humanity during turbulent times
  • Centre for Countering Digital Hate - Misinformation/fake news, anti-vaxxers and the effect on the workforce (covid-safe workplace
  • Professor Moira Clark - The future of the high street and the impact on work

Find out more and book your place here.

Wow 2019 hero image for web 2 png

In September 2019 we reimagined what the workplace will look like in 2035, considering workspaces, diversity and inclusion, how leadership will be influenced by technology and the future of money.

The themes included:

  • How AI Influences Marketing
  • How D&I is Core to Large Corporate Success
  • The Four Day Working Week
  • AI Recruitment
  • The Future of Money
  • Leadership in the Age of AI

We had speakers from Microsoft, CIPD, Fearless Futures, Siemens, EY, Huawei and the University of Reading.

Our first keynote talk was with Tiny Giant, who spoke about how AI can work to our advantage in a session full of creative ideas, energy and captivating stories! They also brought some AI designed fortune cookies and cakes (including marshmallow, pea and strawberry, and wasabi and white chocolate - which were surprisingly delicious!).

Find out more about the conference in this booklet.

Wow image for web

At our second conference we went deeper into the world of robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning to discuss their predicted effects, with the aim to enlighten the dark side of the future world of work.
The talks included:

  • Can a Robot Seduce You? By Dr Raj Persaud, Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Sustainable Trust by Dr Brennan Jacoby, Philosophy at Work
  • Predicting the Future by Steve King, Black Swan
  • Driving Distruption by Rob McCargow, PwC
  • Diverse Minds Create the Future by Marie-Clare Fenech, Next Tech Girls
  • Augmentation Humans by Professor Doug Saddy, University of Reading
  • Career Agility by Helen Tupper, Squiggly Careers

We could continue, but you can find out more about them in this booklet.

We also released research about what our offices might look like in 2030 and had some fun with games controlled by brain power alone!

Hero wow 2030

At the first conference, we brought like-minded people together to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, to reflect on change and to gain inspiration from a range of leading authorities.

Talks included:

  • Work 4.0 by Ade McCormack, Digital Strategist
  • Staying Human by Cath Bishop, Olympic Rower
  • Don't fear the Robot Reaper by Naeema Pasha, Henley Business School
  • Virtual is the New Reality by Ron Edwards and Joe Birri, Serious Games
  • How Game Technology and AI will Humanise Recruitment by Robert Newry, Arctic Shores

Find out more in this booklet.

Henley Business School Office of the Future 2030 - CONTACT PR FOR USE

Experts at Henley Business School and speakers from our 2018 conference shared their thoughts on what the office might look like in 2030.

The office of the future could include:

  • AI Assistants (saving us 12 working days a year!)
  • Smart furniture to boost wellbeing
  • AI regulated environments
  • Robot co-workers
  • VR meeting rooms

As exciting as this sounds (are you already thinking about what you would do with those extra 12 days?), we need to be prepared for the challenges this might bring. Research found that even in the face of AI’s imminent arrival into the workplace, three quarters (74%) of business leaders were not preparing their employees with the skills needed to work alongside AI in the future.

Read more in our article released on 14 September 2018.


How woke is your company? Research from our 2019 conference found that being woke is an important consideration for both employers and employees looking to the future of work – especially when it comes to the younger generations.
To be 'woke' is to be aware of social issues of injustice and inequality.

The research found that when job hunting, 84% of people said an employer which cares about its impact on society is an important consideration, and 63% of Gen-Z employees wanted a career that helps them make a positive impact on society.

Find out more here.

Blog posts of interest

Should robots have the same rights as your child? Maddy Woodman, Careers Learning Manager

Big Data: Opportunities and Challenge Chris Flanagan, Data Impact Manager for Henley Careers

Should we fear the dark side of automation? Matthew Searle, Head of Relationship Management of Henley Careers

Worried about technology disrupting your career prospects? Tatiana Rowson, Lecturer in Coaching at Henley Business School

Blurring the divide between human and machine Maddy Woodman, Careers Learning Manager

Join the conversation and together we can revolutionise the future of work #WOW2030