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Shaping the future direction of empowerment, work and society

The People Space is partnering with a new research group at Open University Business School – the first of its kind in the world to focus on the future of empowerment in the age of robotics
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A pioneer in flexible learning for over 30 years, The Open University Business School delivers transformational, high quality business and management education

Humans and robots working together

How can the rapid technological advances in computing, robotics and communications that are revolutionising work and life be empowering, rather than disempowering, for people and organisations?

This crucial question is just one of the issues the department of people and organisations at the Open University Business School will tackle in a new research group seeking to explore and shape the future direction of empowerment, work and society. The People Space is excited to be partnering with the group to bring the voice of its practitioner members to help shape the discussion.

The Research into Employment, Empowerment and Futures group (REEF) will be the first of its kind in the world to focus on the future of empowerment. It will draw on the department’s scholarly expertise on themes of identity, leadership, power, human relations and learning to empower policy makers, organisational leaders, social practitioners and people from across contexts to work together to co-create innovative solutions for meeting these coming opportunities and challenges.

“There has not been a sustained group devoted to co-creating and putting into place concrete proposals, practices and strategies for making empowering futures a reality today,” says Dr Peter Bloom, head of the department of people and organisations and co-founder of REEF (pictured).

Dr Peter Bloom, Open University Business School

“With REEF, we aim to foster the production of inspiring and realistic policies for expanding personal, organisational and societal wellbeing in this rapidly transforming society.”

The People Space co-founder and editorial director Siân Harrington adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with REEF to bring a practitioner viewpoint to this important issue.

“There is an increasing discussion within our People Space community about artificial intelligence and robotics, and the growing trend of lower paid, less secure work and digital alienation. The danger is that these discussions can be theoretical and focus on the negatives. We believe there can be a positive future, but that all voices must be heard.

“Businesses must engage in a wider discussion that not only helps them prepare for these changes in their own organisations, but also helps their employees and communities to face the challenges in a positive way.”

For more information please see REEF – our mission

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