Theme 5 – Transforming the workplace and supporting innovation

The speed of technological change requires an urgent upskilling effort. Within twenty years, 90% of all jobs will require digital skills, and two thirds of the workforce will have already left education and be in the workplace. If a sector employs 3 million, then to survive, 2 million will need to be upskilled or reskilled within the workplace. While most employers agree in principle that there needs to be urgent action, they also say they are not ready. Yet the speed and impact of technological change will challenge their businesses and society at large.

Speakers include:  Dr Adrian Burden, Susan Clews, Garrick Jones

Dr Adrian Burden is a serial technology entrepreneur and commentator on business and innovation. He is the Chief Technology Officer of BlockMark Technologies, a blockchain start-up focusing on managing certification. He was the lead organiser and license holder of the first three editions of TEDxMalvern and is the founder of the nationally-acclaimed annual Malvern Festival of Innovation. In April 2018 he was appointed a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Birmingham, and he chairs the Industrial Advisory Board at the School of Physics at the University of Bristol. Adrian has a degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a D.Phil. in Materials Science from the University of Oxford. He was listed as a Maserati 100 Entrepreneur by the Centre for Entrepreneurs in The Sunday Times in February 2015. He is author of the book Start to Exit: How to maximize the value in your start-up, published in October 2017.

Susan Clews (Chief Executive at Acas), joined Acas in 1993 as a Senior Adviser and Conciliator and has undertaken a variety of roles including Regional Director for North West, Director of Strategy and Chief Operations Officer, before recently being appointed as Chief Executive.


Susan spent the earlier part of her career in a range of civil service jobs relating to the world of work: in job centres; benefit offices, running training and enterprise programmes and the very early days of Investors in People.

Garrick Jones:  Ludic Group Co-Founder and Partner, Co-Author of best seller ALIVE: Digital Humans and their Organisations and new book The Curious Advantage.

Garrick is a Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science where he’s taught Capstone programmes in International Relations and designed the ground-breaking Open Innovation Programme. His research is focused on Creative Economies and large scale support systems for commerce, culture, education and community development in which digital innovation is key. As Co-founder of the Ludic Group, Gerrick is focused on the value of the design process, visualisation methods and tools for enabling decision making and problem solving. Garrick works with advisers Fortune 100 clients, governments, the UN, UNDP and leading think tanks.

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