The Future of Work

Advances in automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are transforming the world of work at an unprecedented pace. As providers of work, and as drivers of both the creation of new technologies and their application in the workplace, expectations for business to steer the future in a positive direction are great - but a clear and forward-looking view on appropriate business action has been absent from the debate.

The challenge

The disruptive effects of advances in automation and artificial intelligence on jobs and social systems is the subject of intense public interest. Predictions abound on the scale of jobs that will be created, lost or displaced, generating fears of jobless growth, income inequality and social instability. 

The challenge is further compounded by global trends of climate change, rising inequality, shifting demographics, migration pressures, increasing urbanization and political backlash against globalization.

The business case

Understanding the consequences of new technologies on work and taking a positive and proactive approach to shaping the Future of Work will allow companies to balance what is technologically possible with what is socially viable and sustainable in the long term. And responding to people’s desire for income security, flexibility, opportunity and meaning will become a critical differentiator for employers, in search of the best candidates for the future.

The solution

WBCSD’s Future of Work project’s aim is to:

  • Provide a joint understanding and inspiring vision of how business can shape the Future of Work.
  • Identify innovative solutions and support incentives that enable business to contribute to a future that works for all.
  • Create a collective voice of leading business to drive a positive future of work and identify global and regional platforms where the business voice will add value.

News and Insights

Next Event

Liaison Delegate Meeting 2019

1 - 4 April, 2019,
 Montreux, Switzerland

More Events

World Economic Forum 2019

22 - 25 January, 2019
, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

WBCSD Annual Member Meeting in North America at GreenBiz

25 - 28 February, 2019
, Phoenix, Arizona

WBCSD Council Meeting 2019

14 - 17 October, 2019
, Lisbon, Portugal
See more


Impact on SDGs

Creating strategies towards a sustainable Future of Work relates primarily to promoting productive employment and decent work for all. Training and skills play a crucial role in ensuring that people find work in a digitalized and highly automated era. Smartly applied, technologies can contribute significantly to reduce inequalities.


Kitrhona Cerri

Director, Social Impact

Davide Fiedler

Manager, Social Impact