April 16, 2024

Briefing Paper: The Disruption Index

We are at a critical juncture in the structural transformation of the economy, largely driven by AI and automation technologies. This transformation is already having profound impacts on access to work, the quality of work, and workers’ wellbeing. To unlock the potential of people and places across the country, we need to understand how good work is created, shaped, distributed and disrupted – and the mechanisms through which changes to work are taking place.

The Disruption Index (DI) aims to inform how these challenges related to technological transformation are understood and responded to. Aggregating data from a wide range of public and private sources, the DI provides a deep dive into the primary components of technological transformation, our readiness for it and the wide-ranging social and wellbeing consequences of it. It provides an overview of the scale and trajectories of technological transformation across the country, tracking indicators across the technology lifecycle - from investment, infrastructure and the innovation ecosystem to education.

This policy briefing outlines IFOW’s initial findings from the full Disruption Index report and the key implications for policy and practice.

The DI offers a radical reframing of Levelling Up, highlighting the multidimensional approach – from availability of capital to technology dissemination – urgently needed to narrow regional inequalities.’ - Professor Philip McCann, Chair in Regional Economics, Alliance Manchester Business School

Read the full Working Paper here.

Read the background Technical Report here.

This Briefing is also being published in parallel with the 2024 release of our Good Work Time Series, tracking access to good work across all 203 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. Read the interactive report here.

Read the BriefingRead the Briefing


Anna Thomas, Bertha Rohenkohl, Jonathan Clarke, Christopher Pissarides and Philip McCann

Publication type

Policy brief


Pissarides Review into the Future of Work and Wellbeing

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