Future of Work Series


The Past and Future of Work

When the ILR School was founded in 1945, the U.S. was emerging from crisis. During the previous decade we had been in the throes of depression and war, and we had finally come out on the other side. Americans were at a crossroads in how they wanted capitalism to develop: would our work lives return to the uncertainty and antagonism of the 1930s, or would we chart a new path forward for industrial and labor relations in America, one that reflected our democratic values and advanced the common interests of employers and employees, workers and owners?

Today we stand at a similar crossroads. We are emerging from war and depression and are once again confronting a new workplace, only this time we are dealing not with industrial and labor relations but with the internet.

While many different organizations are entering into the debates on the Future of Work, the ILR School has been at the center of these conversations since its founding. Uniquely positioned as an interdisciplinary school of work, we approach these issues from both academic and practitioner points of view. It is not sufficient simply to issue studies and reports; we need to intervene in the world. We need to understand how this economy is helping and hurting workers now so that we can support in them in the short run. Then, using those insights, we must work to change laws and policies to promote a more inclusive and just economy, without sacrificing the opportunities of the digital age.

What does the future of work look like in a digital age? And what can be done to ensure that this new digital economy benefits everyone?

The Institute for Workplace Studies is launching a series of initiatives—from fresh research to public forums to invitation-only gatherings—to help drive forward the conversation on the possibilities and perils of the digital economy. As part of this effort, the Future of Work Series hosts the most innovative thinkers as they imagine what the future of work will look like in the U.S. and around the world.

Watch the inaugural Future of Work events here.

View our upcoming events here: