Beyond Buzzwords. "Industry 4.0." "Internet of Things." "Big Data." All of these are prolific terms in discussions of how technology is changing how we approach everyday processes, especially in the context of work. But name-dropping these terms doesn't bring us any closer to actually grasping what technology is changing in the world of work and how.
This is the goal of Call It Work, re:publica TEN's track dedicated to understanding the reality of technology in the realm of work. For example, what does Industry 4.0 and automation really mean for the future of production? Many people seem to think robots will become our professional competitors, but could they not also become our indispensable partners?
Technology also provides critical new means for collaboration in work, from videoconferences to websites and software that aim to make it simple for people to work together on projects, no matter from where in the world. How can technology continue to transform how we work together? What does the future of professional collaboration look like?
The impacts of these changes extend beyond the world of work: for many people, the work they do plays a major role in shaping how they perceive themselves and how they interact with the rest of society. Thus, when we talk of how technology is changing work, this raises questions like, How will society itself change alongside it? Will our perception of what work is supposed to look like and how it should be conducted change? Will this change how we view ourselves as members of society?
These are just a handful of the questions Call It Work was seeking answers to during re:publica TEN as we went beyond the buzzwords to see what's really changing in the world of work today.
Photo credit: Bryce Johnson (CC BY 2.0)