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January 5, 2024

IFOW January 2024 Newsletter | The View from IFOW

We hope that you have had a refreshing break and are looking forward to an exciting 2024 ahead. For us at IFOW, this promises to be another year of significant development and we look forward to telling you more about this in terms of our programmes in the coming months.

Perhaps you'd be interested in helping us deliver on that? As we grow our partner network, we are excited to be hiring a Head of Partnerships Development, a new role for someone who excels in relationship building and development. We are looking for a strategic thinker who can ideate, join the dots, and work through the practical operationalisation of strategic partnerships to help us deliver our mission of a fairer future through better work. If you think that might be you, we look forward to hearing from you. The deadline for applications is 19th January.

Through 2024 we will also be continuing to develop our thriving APPG on the Future of Work, for which IFOW acts as Secretariat and Strategic Research Partner. We have some great things in the pipeline for the group in a year that - with an election due and significant legislation like the DPDI Bill in progress - promises to be a busy one for us around Westminster.

Make sure that you follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to get the latest news on all that we are doing - and do come and join us on the non-Musk(y) Twitter alternative BlueSky too as we make a new home there.

Anna, Abby and the IFOW team

Deep Dive - The Pissarides Review

2024 will see research from the Pissarides Review into the Future of Work and Wellbeing, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, come to full fruition. This major project has workstreams analysing how the impacts of automation on work and wellbeing are differently distributed between socio-demographic groups and geographical communities in the UK.

Professor James Hayton's report on how AI and Automation are impacting jobs in UK firms received extensive coverage and is helping to inform policymakers across governance and industry to better understand how good work can be sustained through this technological transition.

We are currently making final edits to the next tranche of publications, which will be released in the coming months.

These will focus on:

  • a new, rich analysis of changes to skills requirements in the UK labour market and what this tells us about the pace and scale of change
  • the release of the UK's first 'Disruption Index', which will plot the geography and density of disruption due to automation being experienced, area by area across the UK
  • the results of a major survey of UK workers and the impacts that technology is having on people's health and wellbeing - providing a counterpoint to the firm-level survey released in September.

You can hear more about this work at the Nuffield Foundation's 'Place and Opportunity' webinar conference on 24th January (details below) where two of our lead researchers will be presenting on the detail of this work, and Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides will take part in a panel discussion with leads from other Nuffield-funded projects to discuss how this work can offer the UK a positive way ahead with innovation and social good advancing together.

Interesting reads / listens

Ending Stagnation

In early December the Resolution Foundation launched their final report of The Economy 2030 Inquiry, 'Ending Stagnation'. The combination of slow growth and high inequality is a toxic mix for low- and middle-income Britain. The result is a country falling behind its peers, where taxes, rather than wages, are rising, and living standards are under strain. A recording of the launch conference event can be found here, and the report can be read here.

DPDI Bill Briefing

Our friends at Connected by Data have been doing excellent work to convene civil society organisations working to amend the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill that had its second Lords reading on 19th December. They have produced a very good briefing around this Bill which can be read here.

AI for the Public Good

In the context of a wider project, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published an article considering what role AI should play in the public sector. How can we ensure AI adoption in public sector services generates public good? What values should drive the adoption of AI? What infrastructure, incentives, and guardrails are needed to support this?

What does it mean to trust a technology?

Jack Stilgoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at UCL, has a piece in Science magazine unpacking the apparent paradox that, though self-driving vehicles have improved immeasurably, public trust in the technology is low and falling. "For those concerned about public trust and new technologies, social science has some important lessons. The first is that people trust people, not things. When we board an airplane or agree to get vaccinated, we are placing our trust not in these objects but in the institutions that govern them."

Using AI to support better journalism

The Guardian reported last week on how the group that includes one of the world's oldest newspapers (Berrow’s Worcester Journal) is using AI to release its reporters to do more investigative journalism.

'Reporters input mundane but necessary “trusted content” – such as minutes from a local council planning committee – which the tool turns into concise news reports in the publisher’s style. With the AI-assisted reporter churning out bread and butter content, other reporters in the newsroom are freed up to go to court, meet a councillor for a coffee or attend a village fete.'

This resonates well with emerging research from across numerous sectors on how AI tools can 'co-pilot' with workers to take on routine tasks, freeing them to take on work that is more focused on human flourishing, something we have affirmed in our 'Reframing Skills' explainer, and forms a key part of our forthcoming research in the Pissarides Review.


Place and Opportunity: a better future for work and skills (24th January, online)

We are pleased to be joining the Resolution Foundation and National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to present new findings from our major Nuffield-funded projects. A panel of policy and business experts from across the country will unpack the research and reflect on what it means for their local areas, before opening to a wider discussion, giving attendees the chance to offer insights and suggestions for new areas of research inquiry. Sign up for a place here.

Tackling Health Inequalities Through Innovation (18th January, Manchester)

Alliance Manchester Business School is welcoming businessman, philanthropist and Honorary Professor of Translational Medicine Dr Gerald Chan as he shares his perspective on how innovation and improvement can drive progress in reducing health inequalities. This event is in-person in Manchester and you can book a place here. As part of our Pissarides Review we will be publishing in-depth case studies of how automation is being used in health settings.

Cities Outlook 2024 (22nd January, online)

The Centre for Cities is hosting its annual 'Cities Outlook' event, offering an in-depth look at the findings of Cities Outlook 2024, their annual health check of the UK's cities. More information and booking link here.

Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference (12-13th March, NEC Birmingham)

Registration is now open for the UK’s most established workplace health and wellbeing event, at which IFOW researchers will be presenting findings from our Pissarides Review into the Future of Work and Wellbeing, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. You can save £10 on a ticket by booking now.

Thank you for your time and interest.

If you enjoyed this newsletter and know someone else who would benefit from it, please do share it with them. If you would like to receive future newsletters yourself, please subscribe here. For regular updates about our work, you can also follow us on BlueSky, Twitter or LinkedIn.

If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions for future round-ups, please drop us a line at


Anna Thomas MBE


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