Blog and news
February 2, 2023

IFOW Newsletter February 2023 | The view from IFOW

The Good Work Monitor 2023

With the IMF’s forecast this week that the UK’s economy will — uniquely among the G7 nations — shrink this year, it is clear that far better approaches are needed to address the multiple problems that we are facing.

Today we have launched the 2023 release of our Good Work Monitor. In contrast to the existing ‘begging bowl’ process of Levelling Up funding, the Good Work Monitor provides a clear framework for consistent, evidence-based action where it’s most needed.

We have analysed ‘good work’ trends to provide a unique view over a decade aimed at unleashing the potential of people and places across the country. As our Co-Chair Nobelist Christopher Pissarides says, 'good work' aligns economic, social and health interests and is the single most effective way of Levelling Up.

We hope that policymakers at different tiers of government enjoy digging into the report as part of developing future of work Strategies.

If you'd like further information about the Good Work Monitor or IFOW, do get in touch.

Anna Thomas
Institute for the Future of Work

The Future of Work and Wellbeing Conference - 25th January 2023

Last Wednesday saw our Future of Work and Wellbeing Conference at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, in association with the Nuffield Foundation, featuring a stellar line-up of economists, politicians and figures from industry.

Tackling the question of how we predict what the future of work holds, the simple answer is: we shape it!

Session 1 - Why wellbeing is central to the future of work

Watch Professor Jolene Skordis, UCL (moderator), Dr Jennifer Dixon of The Health Foundation, Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides, Regius Professor of Economics, LSE, and Co-Founder, Institute for the Future of Work, and Nancy Hey of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing discuss how 'good work' underpins good health and would encourage the young and the over 50s back to work.

Session 2 - Innovation and Investment Equality

Watch Professor Lynda Gratton, LBS (moderator), Professor John Van Reenen, LSE, Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, Stanford, and Anna Leach, Deputy Chief Economist, Confederation of British Industry, discuss the uneven adoption of automation across the UK.

Robotics and AI adoption is concentrated in a few super-star cities and firms. But it's the ‘intangible capital’ that could really make a difference and ensure that technology complements humans, driving growth and better jobs.

Session 3 - Shaping the technological transition for the benefit of all

Watch Naomi Climer CBE (moderator), Professor Daron Acemoglu, MIT (remote), Kirsty Blackman, MP and Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Scottish National Party, and John Evans, Former General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, discuss how better policies could encourage 'good' automation and empower local communities to shape better futures of work.

You can see all of the videos from the event here.

Interesting reads / listens

The Outlook for Living Standards in 2023

To deepen understanding of where this crisis leaves Britain, The Resolution Foundation's fifth Living Standards Outlook uses a new survey of 10,000 adults in the UK to explore how households are coping with the current crisis and what its lasting effects may be.

This modelling is then used to help understand what the latest economic developments and planned government policy mean for household incomes and poverty this year and beyond.

Bridging the Gap - Making Young People a Vital Part of Everyday Workforce

This research by the Institute for Employment Studies looks at employers’ perspectives and experiences of good quality youth employment.

It explores employers’ views on good quality work, recruitment, management and workplace practices; engagement with education and employment services, as well as challenges and support needs; and what can work do to improve access to better quality employment for all young people across the UK.

Automating Learning Situations in EdTech: Techno-Commercial Logic of Assetisation

This research in Postdigital Science and Education builds on existing debates by asking: does automation of learning situations contribute to assetisation processes in EdTech, and if so, how? Drawing on document analysis and interviews with EdTech companies’ employees, the paper argues that automated interventions make assetisation possible.

Cory Doctorow On The Future of Business, Technology and Society

Author, journalist and activist Cory Doctorow takes a wide-ranging look at the future in this episode of the Six Pixels of Separation podcast.

The Retained EU Law Bill 2022 and UK workers' rights

The Work Foundation has published new analysis this month that reveals that government plans to rush the ‘sunsetting’ of EU laws by the end of 2023 could put the rights and protections of more than 8.6 million UK workers at risk.

Workers on part-time, fixed-term or agency worker contracts will be most at risk if the Government presses ahead with post-Brexit plans to amend, replace or scrap thousands of pieces of retained EU Law by 31 December 2023 without greater parliamentary scrutiny.

Power and Prediction - The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence

In this just-published book, Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb describe what businesses can do to prepare for the disrupting influence of AI across banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, automotive, medical technology and retail.


Exploring foundation models

09:30—17:30 GMT |  Wednesday 22nd February 2023

The Alan Turing Institute hosts this one-day symposium to explore the state-of-the-art in foundation models - an important emerging class of AI systems, characterised by the use of very large machine learning models, trained with extremely large and broad data sets, requiring considerable compute resources during training.

Saving Capitalism, Rescuing Democracy

18:00–19:00 GMT | Tuesday 7th Feb 2023

Recent decades have not been kind to liberal democracy. Growth has slowed, inequality has risen. Powerful voices argue that capitalism is better without democracy, while others argue that democracy is better without capitalism. The Resolution Foundation hosts the launch of Martin Wolf's new book, The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.

Cities Outlook 2023 Deep Dive

14:00–14:30 GMT | Monday 13th Feb 2023

Through February, the Centre for Cities is running a series of online 'deep dive' sessions into the outlook for various urban regions. This session on Monday 13th will explore Manchester and the cities of the North West. There is also a focus on London and South East on Monday 6th February, and further sessions looking at Scotland and the East Midlands.

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 someone has forwarded this page to you and you would like to receive future newsletters yourself via a monthly email, please subscribe here.


Anna Thomas


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