WorkScapes: Future of Work

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to Friday, September 28, 2018
India Habitat Centre

Draft Concept Note

Driven by latest technologies, growing entrepreneurialism, changing aspirations and ground-breaking scientific research and innovations; the world of work is evolving. This transformation, however, is not only going to change the ways in which we design, develop, manage and maintain products and services; but rather the way we will work in the future. Gradually moving towards an era where man and machines shall co-work by deploying technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, IoT at the site of work and otherwise, the challenge in the future would be to extract the best out of this co-working relationship while considering other dynamics at play. This further involves preparing ourselves for the changes to come and strengthening the resilience and adaptability of the technological, economic and societal systems to manage this transition with minimal disruption and maximum potential benefits. 

Redefining the concept of employment and setting new norms for the labour market, the future is expected to be all about changing nature of jobs. This essentially means that while routine-less complex tasks will be automated; tasks that are complex, creative and demand analytical skills and problem solving will increase the need for hiring more human employees than ever before. This further calls for preparing for an inclusive future of work with massive efforts at up-skilling through innovative forms of training delivery, new kinds of job discovery for unskilled and semi-skilled workers and social security structures that support those excluded from opportunities.

Similar to employment, it is also anticipated that the work in future will also reflect a change in workplaces and working environments. Empowering individuals and teams through reorganized structures of working and technological tools such as teleconferencing, remote-working etc., what will be interesting to observe in future is whether this decentralization will provide new freedom to the employees or create silos and lead to other sociological and psychological consequences.

Shifting trends towards increasing dependency on technology and automation will have tangible and intangible effects on businesses, economy, society and on individuals. Moreover, while these effects are most often over-simplified and considered to be beneficial for everyone, social-scientists claim otherwise as they believe issues like migration, data-privacy and security, ethical use of data and social equality will get neglected or jeopardized.

Hence, with an aim to understand and evaluate the changing scenario of work in terms of technology and other impacts, the DWIH flagship annual conference ‘WorkScapes: Future of Work’ together with Indian and German academicians, scientists, policymakers, representatives of international organisations will be organized around five broad themes:

Session 1 - Artificial Intelligence Vs Intelligence Amplification/Augmentation

  • Current and future technologies
  • AI assisted jobs/tasks/sectors
  • Human intelligence vs Artificial intelligence
  • Intelligence Amplification – a third dimension


Session 2 - Reimagining Workforce

  • Current and future technologies changing the face of workforce
  • Robots replacing humans or both working together
  • Change in the nature of jobs
  • Humans acquiring new skillsets to work
  • Impact on the labour market – wages, work conditions, labour unions etc.


Session 3 - Automation and Efficiency

  • Automation improved processes – the efficiency factor
  • Productivity and automation
  • Economic impacts of automation in the future
  • Social impacts of automation in the future


Session 4 - Redefining Workspaces

  • The design aspect of infrastructure – restructuring offices/homes/cities
  • Digital workspaces
  • Vanishing boundaries between private and commercial


Session 5 - Digitalisation and Globalisation

  • Migration
  • Rise of gig economy
  • Data privacy, security and ethical use of data