The future of work

Recording: You can watch the recording of this event at the top of this page

Read: Eight ways to thrive in today's workforce

Feedback: Help us improve our events by filling out this feedback form

About the event

Our fourth event of the series – the future of work - explored how Covid-19 and phenomena like automation and the gig economy are changing the nature of work globally. We looked at what individuals, entrepreneurs and leaders can do to build more inclusive workforces and shape a more sustainable future.

Our exciting guest speakers Raya Bidshahri, Regina Honu and James Bloodworth shared perspectives and experiences from around the world in an open discussion. We explored:

  • How has Covid-19 changed the world of work and disproportionately affected women and young people?
  • What other forces are shaping the future of work and how can they be used to encourage equality?
  • What skills do you need to thrive in the 21st century workforce?
  • How can we change the future for the better to increase opportunities and sustainability?


About our speakers

Raya Bidshahri

Raya is a futurist, serial entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker. As the founder and CEO of Awecademy, Raya is one of the world’s leading experts in alternative models in education, the future of work and exponential innovation. She has been featured by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential and inspirational women globally and is a member of the Bett Global Education Council. Raya has been described as a techno-optimist, a communicator of popular science, and an advocate of curiosity, critical thinking, wonder, and awe. Raya has had over 40 speaking engagements in 8 countries on a wide range of topics. She has been keynoting at conferences for the last 9 years – since the age of 16 – and brings a much-needed youth perspective to discussions. Raya can be found on Twitter @raya_bid.

Regina Honu

Regina is a big tech advocate and is working to bridge the gender gap in technology through skills development, advocacy and policy change. She is the CEO of Soronko Solutions, a technology social enterprise and just opened the first coding and human centered design school for children and adults called Soronko Academy. Her enterprise operates in two countries, Ghana and Burkina Faso. Regina is listed as one of BBC 100 most inspirational and innovative women for 2017. She was also awarded the 2018 AFS Active Global Citizen Award for her contributions to global competence education and a winner of the Challenging Norms, Powering Economies initiative by Ashoka, Un Women and Open Society Foundation for her work to challenge gender norms in women’s economic empowerment. She has also been featured on CNN, BBC, Aljazeera and DW TV. Regina can be found on Twitter @ragyare

James Bloodworth

James is a British journalist, broadcaster and author whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Spectator, Independent and Wall Street Journal. He is the author of two books: The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working Class Jobs and Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-wage Britain, which has been longlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for political writing. James has spoken on the TEDx stage in Manchester. James can be found on Twitter at @J_Bloodworth.

Shazia Khawar (chair)

Shazia Khawar is a development and cultural relations expert working to create open, inclusive and more connected economies through increased participation, community advocacy, and dialogue. As Director, Society, she has led on strategic development and delivery of the British Council South Asia development portfolio focusing on gender and inclusion, youth, civil society and governance, justice, security and stability and social enterprise. She has developed and implemented Social Sector projects for International Organizations and has led on the Next Generation Report Series for Pakistan and Bangladesh. In 2016, Shazia was awarded the prestigious Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Her Take a Child to School Project in 2018 was awarded Bond International Collaboration Award.