Our work

Responsible AI Sandbox

Centring good work in AI governance.

IFOW’s Responsible AI Sandbox is an exciting new development in our work on responsible AI adoption, centring good work in AI governance.

The Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW) has established the first civil society-led Sandbox which will uniquely pilot AI governance frameworks that promote Good Work. The Sandbox builds on IFOW’s cutting-edge workstreams in the research, development and regulation of AI and automation technologies. It responds to a pressing demand for better AI governance across the private and public sectors and at regional, national and international levels.

We know that the fast pace of AI development can seem overwhelming, and that regulation of AI is around the corner. If you are responsible for driving innovation within your business, the Sandbox can help you adopt AI in a responsible way that supports good work whilst informing better practice and regulation. It uniquely couples support for responsible technology adoption with a panel of UK regulators and professional accreditation bodies. This allows the experiences of businesses to inform practical application of good work-focused AI governance approaches that will make for better regulation.

The Responsible AI Sandbox is designed to complement the Regulator Plus Forum, which includes a range of regulators and those who ‘soft regulate’ behaviours and competencies. IFOW has convened the Regulator Plus Forum to learn from practical applications in the Sandbox and inform the development of future workplace AI governance frameworks, tools, techniques and standards. In turn, this will inform the development of good work-focused, context-sensitive regulation.

Members of the Regulator Plus Forum

Through the Sandbox, we will work with industry partners who are deploying AI technologies to co-create, test, and evaluate the utility of different governance frameworks to promote Good Work through transition. Insights from these activities will inform the improvement and refinement of these frameworks, approaches and methods for AI governance at work - including - for regulators, advisory bodies and responsible practitioners.

Register your interest

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How will we work with businesses?

We will make dedicated calls for participants around themes of significant governance and regulatory challenge in responsible AI, particularly as this relates to the workplace context. These calls will specify whether there is a region, sector or technological application in focus.

Some project and partners will be supported for free, reflecting the funding of our activities. Organisations will be supported to test, develop and implement better governance frameworks through our support and advice and opportunities for peer learning.

Please use the form above to make an Expression of Interest and share where you are on your Responsible AI journey.

If you are at an early stage in considering the implications of AI for the workforce, we are open to a conversation about how we can best support you, including but not limited to AI governance advice and training through our exploratory.

How will we work with Regulators?

The ‘Regulator Plus’ forum that we have established includes both regulatory bodies and other organisations with a key role in effective AI governance, offering comprehensive oversight of AI governance in the workplace.

Beyond those directly involved in AI regulation, the 'Plus' signifies the inclusion of standards development bodies, professional accreditation organisations, and worker representative organisations.

Bringing the experiences of businesses together with these bodies reflects our understanding of ‘regulation’ as broader than the creation of hard and soft rules. It acknowledges that effective governance arises from collaboration. The Terms of Reference for those in the Regulator Plus forum can be found here.

Further Information


IFOW is a research institute whose founding purpose has been to build a future of better work through research-driven links between business and government. Having been working in this space – and with key players – for many years, we have deep expertise in design, human resource management, and socio-technical governance of AI.

Our internal team has developed a range of tools and methodologies for AI implementation and governance strategies that support 'good work' principles which have been platformed by bodies such as the OECD and the CDEI.

Our expertise lies in actively involving workers in this process, forecasting potential impacts of new AI systems, designing and implementing effective mitigation strategies, and conducting thorough evaluations to ensure the success and continuous improvement of workplace AI initiatives.

What is a Sandbox?

A Sandbox is an environment within which innovations, new services, or approaches can be safely explored, tested and learned from. First used to stress-test regulation in FinTech, the concept has more recently been embraced by governments across the world as people have identified a need to better understand AI. The idea is that - working alongside with organisations - regulators will be able to develop effective governance and regulation that is based on a better understanding of these new technologies and, and the business models that come with them.

How does this connect to wider work by IFOW?

The Good Work Sandbox will play a key role in our broader mission by engaging all of our key stakeholder groups. By working directly with industry, and investors, we will ensure good work is forefronted through innovation.  By learning from their use of proposed future governance tools and frameworks, we will devise templates and methods which can inform future regulation, and legislation of data-driven technologies.

By working with world-leading academics we will ensure our assessments and evaluations are robust and stand up to scrutiny, while lending the latest thinking on how to advance job quality through transition.

The Sandbox sits at the heart of our new architecture to deliver on the strategy. The Sandbox is supported through new research on wider changes to work undertaken in our Observatory, as well as tracking of important domestic and international legislation which will change these conditions for firms.

It is also supported by our  Exploratory, through which we translate our latest research findings to support better decisions in practice, by targeted training and workshops. These workshops are designed to enhance knowledge and best practices in AI governance that contribute to promoting 'good work'.

Get in touch if you are:

1. In business and looking to adopt new data driven technologies while managing risks, and advancing good work.  

2. A technology company providing workplace software solutions to businesses, interested in deepening understanding of good work considerations and the future regulatory landscape.

3. From a professional membership association and see the need for upskilling of your members with regards to the consideration of good work in workplace deployments of AI.

4. A Regulator keen to learn from practical applications of workplace AI and collaborate with other organisations in the AI governance space.

5. An academic exploring the ethics, governance or regulation of workplace AI, to join our network of Research Fellows and become a research partner of the Sandbox.

Register your interest

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Register your interest
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

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