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Thought Leadership

Future of Work

Beyond generational frictions: The growing business case for intergenerational inclusion
Daniel Jolles

HRD Connect, published 15 February 2024

Abstract

Employees with managers more than 12 years their senior are nearly 1.5 times as likely to report low productivity, and nearly three times as likely to report being extremely dissatisfied with their job. Harnessing the ideas, experiences, and networks of talented employees from all generations has the potential to deliver significant productivity gains.

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Quantum Matters: Quantum & AI – Early Days For A Killer Combination
Karina Robinson

The Quantum Insider, published 7 February 2024

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) suffers from two massive blocks: colossal, costly energy use and a transparency deficit. The technology can be technically feasible but is still too expensive for most organisations to consider it. That was the conclusion of a recent paper from MIT Future Tech, which looked at computer vision tasks as an example of an AI-enabled technology. But the MIT group isn’t alone in highlighting the problem.

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Generational diversity is on the rise, and those embracing it are gaining a competitive edge
Daniel Jolles, Grace Lordan 

LSE Business Review, published 7 February 2024

Abstract

Major firms are experiencing a widening gap between their youngest and oldest employees. And frictions between people of different age groups are undermining the potential productivity benefits of generational diversity. Daniel Jolles and Grace Lordan write that the issue arises especially among younger workers with older managers. They suggest ways to overcome potential conflicts.

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Why women say hybrid working enhances productivity, while men don’t
Nikita, Anna Lane, Grace Lordan, Paul Middleton

LSE Business Review, published 17 January 2024

Abstract

There is a complex interplay between gender, remote work and productivity. Nikita, Anna Lane, Grace Lordan and Paul Middleton conducted a survey of more than 1000 employees in financial and professional services in the UK and found that men and women rank remote and hybrid working arrangements differently. The authors say that understanding these differences is key for an inclusive and productive work environment.

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Why People Quiet Quit: Motivations and Provocations
Odessa Hamilton

Psychology Today, published 7 October 2023

Abstract 

The interest in quiet quitting has been predominantly shaped by whether it anecdotal or real, a fad or a long-term phenomenon. This interest has extended to understanding the types of people who engage in quiet quitting, along with its effects on organisations and the economy at large. But it seems we continue to ignore the elephant in the room: Why do people quiet quit? What is driving this phenomenon and can organisations turn back the hands of time to restore workforce fidelity?

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Don’t let present bias keep you from getting ready for AI
Yolanda Grady, Dr Grace Lordan, Dr Jasmine Virhia 

LSE Business Review, pubished 13 September 2023

Abstract

Despite the quick pace of changes AI is producing in the workplace, many leaders are still not considering how things might soon be done very differently. ‘Present bias’ keeps them from leveraging new technologies to make the workplace more productive and inclusive. Yolanda Blavo, Grace Lordan and Jasmine Virhia suggest key actions for leaders who want to set themselves up for success over the next decade of workplace transitions.

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The A.I. revolution will also be a gender revolution as disruption revaluates women’s skills
Dr Grace Lordan

Fortune, published 29 August 2023

Abstract

As the relentless advance of A.I. continues to gain momentum, so too does the growing chorus of alarmist voices predicting its destruction of countless jobs. Undeniably, companies’ recent moves to streamline their operations through artificial intelligence paint a stark picture for the labor market. Big Tech layoffs claimed more than 150,000 jobs throughout 2022 alone, with Goldman Sachs predicting that 300 million jobs will ultimately be lost or degraded by artificial intelligence. Yet whilst the perils of A.I.’s devaluation of professional skills have been charted in lurid detail, little attention has been paid to the equally significant professional opportunities that this upheaval will generate.

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Starting the day like Jamie Dimon set me up for success
Dr Grace Lordan

Financial Times, published 28 August 2023

Abstract

For many chief executives, morning routines are a go-to fix for taking control of their day. It makes sense. There is a widespread belief that a purposeful start boosts productivity and wellbeing. The problem is there is a great variation in the types of ritual being recommended. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon likes to rise at 5am and voraciously read for up to two hours. When Jack Dorsey ran X Corp, he favoured a morning ice bath. As part of my behavioural science research I often take academic insights and apply them to myself to analyse the effects they have. Recently I decided to find out which morning routine touted by a CEO would make me more productive and less frazzled.

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Generational Divides: The Do’s and Don’ts of Generational Labels
Daniel Jolles, Odessa Hamilton, Grace Lordan 

California Managment Review, published 28 August 2023

Abstract 

Generational labels like ‘Baby Boomer’, ‘Gen Z’ and ‘Millennial’ make for seductive clickbait. News feeds are flooded with research articles, editorials and whitepapers that claim to unlock the mysteries of what each generation knows and wants. Meanwhile, social media dishes up satirical videos that stereotype how each generation ‘shows up’ (or doesn’t) at work. But, there is growing concern about the negative influence that these cohort labels can have on workplace attitudes, in addition to the lack of scientific rigour that underpins them.

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Lessons for the workforce from the oldest person in the room
Karina Robinson

LSE Business Review, published 24 July 2023

Abstract

In a low-growth, low-productivity, low-birth rate era, with the pensions time bomb ticking away, keeping people working longer is crucial. But older workers are often overlooked for recruitment or promotion due to prejudice and ageism. Karina Robinson writes about her own experience and says that the problem risks getting worse, as more than half of today’s 5-year-olds in developed economies will live to at least 100.

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Research helps address ethnic disparities in degree awards 
Leslie M Gutman, Fatima Younas

LSE Business Review, published 18 July 2023

Abstract

There is a gap in degrees for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students at UK universities. This is often referred to as an ‘attainment gap’, as if the students were responsible for the inequality. However, many systemic factors – including institutional structures, racism and discrimination – contribute to student success. Leslie M Gutman and Fatima Younas describe their research to create positive change.

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How generative AI can support inclusion
Christine Chow, Charlotte Bourquin and Enkhzul Stricker

LSE Business Review, published 16 June 2023

Abstract

Large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT are prone to making things up, getting the facts wrong and infringing customers’ data privacy. But they also offer many benefits and domain specific LLMs are being integrated into specialised applications in different areas. Christine Chow, Charlotte Bourquin and Enkhzul Stricker find at least two use cases that can leverage ChatGPT’s distinctive advantages from an inclusion perspective: therapy assistance and policy communication.

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Age diversity demands more than celebrating ‘Martha Stewart on the cover of Sports Illustrated’
Daniel Jolles, Teresa Almeida

LSE Business Review, published 8 June 2023

Abstract

At age 81, American TV personality Martha Stewart graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine. As we live longer, these high-profile celebrity moments make us question our own aspirations regarding health, relationships and careers. Daniel Jolles and Teresa Almeida list ways in which leaders must focus their efforts to capitalise on the increased workplace age diversity that comes from these longer lives.

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Supporting Productivity with a ‘Remote-first’ Approach
Yolanda Blavo, Grace Lordan, Jasmine Virhia

California Management Review, published 8 May 2023

Abstract

The way in which we work has changed drastically in the past few years, and it continues to evolve. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous employees were required to work from home, which expanded the notion of which tasks could be done remotely. For example, discussing business strategies with clients and colleagues or monitoring market conditions. As the pandemic restrictions have lifted, there has been an increasing trend of employees seeking the opportunity to work remotely at least some of the time.

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UTOPIA and the City: the future of work in financial and professional services
Jasmine Virhia, Yolanda Blavo, Grace Lordan

LSE Business Review, published 19 January 2023

Abstract

In the midst of a reorganisation of work caused by the pandemic, there is no one-size-fits-all arrangement and employers are battling to find the right mix between office and home working. To learn more about how to get closer to optimal conditions in the sector, Jasmine Virhia, Yolanda Blavo, and Grace Lordan conducted 100 interviews with employees across financial and professional services and created a framework called UTOPIA.

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Age diversity: three steps to prepare for the multigenerational workplace of the future
Daniel Jolles

LSE Business review, published 1 December 2022

Abstract

Lack of diversity compels many workers to move on, to the detriment of the organisation’s performance, innovation, and employee trust. Behavioural science insights can help guide diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, but not all interventions work. Daniel Jolles suggests three steps to leverage data that can better equip companies to create the diverse, multi-generational and inclusive workplaces of the future. 

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Should machines be taxed like people?
Samiha Chowdhury, Nikita 

LSE Business review, published 24 November 2022

Abstract 

As governments struggle to find new sources of revenue, they are reminded of the possibility of taxing firms for the automation of work. But are robot taxes efficient? Samiha Chowdhury and Nikita overview the literature and discuss the feasibility of robot taxes as a source of government revenue.

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Why cryptocurrencies need more regulation
Richard Nesbitt, Thomas Kalafatis 

LSE Business Review, published 17 November 2022

Abstract

Crypto assets represent high-risk, largely unregulated and non-transparent vehicles that leave individual investors on their own, making it impossible to know what is really happening with their investments. There are calls for regulation in several countries, and regulators must balance consumer protection with encouragement to innovation. Thomas Kalafatis and Richard Nesbitt hope that the recent significant market reaction to a price reduction of crypto assets is a wake-up call for all players in the market. 

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How should we decide when to use artificial intelligence in decision-making?
Grace Lordan, Paris Will, Dario Krpan

LSE Business Review, published 2 November 2022

Abstract

Should organisations adopt artificial intelligence in their decision-making processes? Does AI work better than human judgment? In the case of recruitment decisions, Grace Lordan, Paris Will, and Dario Krpan write that AI-based methods lead to more efficient hiring decisions, increasing diversity of recruits and leading to the best performance in new hires. However, there is a problem of perceptions. Sentiment towards AI hiring is much more negative than sentiment towards human hiring.  

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Inclusion, inequality, and responses to the cost-of-living crisis
Sarah Ali, Teresa Almeida

LSE Business Review, published 8 August 2022

Abstract

With the costs of energy, housing, and food on the rise around the world, families are in desperate need of support. Some employers in the UK have been providing employees with food, discounts, and flexibility. Trade union membership is higher than in the past 30 years, but low-paid workers are underrepresented, and the government must provide targeted support for them. Sarah Ali and Teresa Almeida analyse business and government responses to the crisis and discuss the steps taken, how effective these forms of support have been, and the economic inequalities they have exacerbated.

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Why we need companies to report on their “digital ESG”
Yuhyun Park, Lutfey Siddiqi

LSE Business Review, published 16 August 2022

Abstract

Rapid digitalisation is often described in techno-deterministic terms. Fantastical narratives around crypto, blockchain, Web3, metaverse, etc., can go unchallenged when they are woven into a breathless thread of inevitability. Some regulators may even unwittingly encourage this view. We have paid the price in the form of lost privacy, algorithmic data manipulation, gambling in crypto exchanges, cyber breaches blamed on users, and other consequences. Yuhyun Park and Lutfey Siddiqi write that it is time to require that businesses produce an environment, social, and governance report of their digital activities.

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Companies cannot afford to be left behind in the quantum revolution
Karina Robinson

Financial Times, published 12 July 2022

Abstract

The last two months have seen a number of headline-grabbing announcements about technology based on quantum physics. US President Joe Biden signed two presidential decrees on quantum information science (QIS) in May. The UK Ministry of Defence bought a homegrown quantum computer in June. And at the end of June, Nato launched its €1bn innovation fund to invest in dual-purpose “deep tech”.

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Why the Benefits of Age Diversity need to be Shouted from the Rooftops
Karina Robinson

Age Diversity Day Forum Address, 7 July

Age has been in the news.

In the UK, we just celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of our queen, now 96-years old, and still delivering value in the workplace. In her case, that happens to be the balcony on Buckingham Palace.

In the US we have the oldest man to be sworn in as President at age 78. At age 29, Joe Biden was one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. He may be domestically unpopular - hugely unpopular – but I am not alone in being grateful that an experienced statesman is in charge during the biggest crisis to face the West since the Cold War.

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8 ways the metaverse can change inclusion at work
Dr Grace Lordan, Paris Will

Fast Company, published 7 June 2022

Abstract 

Since the start of the pandemic, a large number of professional workers have shifted from going into the office every day to working entirely from home, or opting for a mixture of the two with hybrid working practices. We are still very much in a transition phase, with technology promising to greatly impact the at-home work experience with virtual reality (VR). Whether you love or hate VR, it is hard to deny that the VR work environment represents a step change in what is possible when it comes to working at home.

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People vs. Machines: How can we ensure diversity in recruitment?
Dr Grace Lordan

Comment Central, published 8 June 2022

Abstract

In order to ensure the recruitment of more diverse employees and to eliminate the bias that has plagued recruiting for decades, Dr Grace Lordan argues that AI must play a greater role in the wider recruitment processes of businesses.

The Great Resignation has shone a light on the various flaws of workplace culture. People are overworked, underpaid and inevitably unmotivated by corporate motives that don't serve them. The result has been more empowered employees advocating for what they want their company culture to represent, putting more pressure on HR professionals to deliver these demands.

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Artificial Intelligence job hiring outperforms human hiring, but humans don't want to use it
Dr Grace Lordan

LSE News, pubilshed 17 May 2022

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) job hiring is equal to or better than human hiring, but people react negatively towards it, according to a new study by The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at LSE. "There is evidence that current hiring processes are palgued by cronyism and bias. It is time that humans hand over the hiring process to machines"- Dr Grace Lordan

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Fifty things NOT to say to chronically ill people
Odessa Hamilton

LSE Business Review, published 13 May 2022

Abstract

Knowing what to say and how to support those around us who are chronically ill can be a challenge, particularly when we ourselves do not understand their plight and carry misconceived ideas about chronic illness, whether it be of a physical or mental nature. The way we react can affect the person’s ability to thrive at work and establish meaningful relationships with colleagues. Odessa Hamilton led an informal survey with a diverse group of people experiencing chronic illness and pooled together a list of comments, some reported as coming from even the most well-intentioned acquaintances.

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Inclusion, cryptocurrency, and inspiration: a view from the Financial Conduct Authority
Karina Robinson

LSE Business Review, published 12 May 2022

Abstract 

The government wants the UK to become a global hub for cryptocurrency, but to get there, the country needs to face conflicting interests between consumers and the crypto industry. Sheldon Mills, the executive director of consumers and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, says that this is one of the many balancing acts faced by the regulator. He spoke about crypto, diversity and inclusion, consumer protection, and more with Karina Robinson, co-director of LSE’s The Inclusion Initiative.

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Why the ‘Great Resignation’ must lead to more inclusive workplaces
Grace Lordan

Business Leader, published 13 April 2022

Abstract

In this guest article, Dr Grace Lordan, Founding Director of The Inclusion Initiative and Associate Professor in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics, shares her ideas regarding how employers can change their hiring and business practices in the age of the ‘Great Resignation’, so they can move towards a ‘great recruitment’ period – creating a more inclusive and positive workplace.

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AI and fairness in the workplace: why it matters and why now
Dr Christine Chow, Mark Lewis and Paris Will

Harvard Business Review, published 28 March 2022

Abstract 

Artificial Intelligence is tremendously useful, when applied correctly, to improve fairness, transparency, efficiency and even to correct historical biases, including ethnic and gender biases imposed by humans. However, when applied in a ‘plug and play’ manner, we risk exacerbating social and economic inequality. 

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Forbidden words in diverse and inclusive companies
Odessa Hamilton, Elle Bradley Cox, Lindsay Kohler and Dr Grace Lordan

Moonshot News, posted 29 March 2022

Abstract 

The routine office language can be harmful and prevent companies to get a truly inclusive culture. We need to make a list of forbidden words and find neutral alternatives to biased expressions, four researchers advise. 

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Comparing cryptocurrencies in search of features that promote social inclusion
Richard Nesbitt and Thomas Kalafatis

Harvard Business Review, published 25 March 2022

Abstract 

Cryptocurrencies raise many potential problems for social inclusion. Thomas Kalafatis and Richard Nesbitt examine whether newer forms of cryptographically enhanced commerce, and more specifically central bank digital currencies, can address the issue. Their framework for contrasting currency features helps them consider issues of inclusiveness and glean some possible answers to the many questions that have been raised.

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Combatting the privilege of attending elite institutions
Ipsitaa Khullar

LSE Business Review, posted 7 March 2022

Privilege in the Workplace series

Abstract 

Education privilege, both in terms of the level of qualifications attained and where these were attained, still permeates the workplace, despite there being insufficient links to better performance. Ipsitaa Khullar explores how education privilege interacts with social privilege, impacting income and social mobility. Moving forward, recruitment processes and internships must allow for success beyond education indicators.

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Will cryptographically enhanced commerce lead to a better world or make it more unequal?
Richard Nesbitt and Thomas Kalafatis

LSE Business Review, published 4 February 2022

Abstract

Web 3.0 is meant to describe a new set of technology developments for the internet that are moving the pendulum back to a more decentralised environment, away from walled gardens such as Apple, Facebook, and Google. But the jury is still out on whether cryptographically enhanced commerce will be positive or negative for improving equity, diversity, and inclusion in societies and organisations. Thomas Kalafatis and Richard Nesbitt explain how having a better world or a more unequal one depends on how cryptographically enabled techniques are rolled out across software and finance.

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Fintech and Banking in the Next Decade
Richard Nesbitt

TII Blog, published 27 April 2021

Abstract

We begin my blog with a few thoughts on inclusion and how important it is that as we rebuild from the Pandemic that we do so in an inclusive way to share the benefits of our work better than in the past.

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Hybrid working may change our workplace social networks. What does it mean for inclusion?
Paris Will

LSE Business Review Blog, published 16 March 2021

Abstract

The workplace is quickly changing shape, and hybrid working, split between home and the office, is likely to be the future. These changes affect organisations’ internal social networks. Opportunities for informal contact are reduced, Zoom fatigue sets in, and communication can become more difficult. Paris Will looks at what social network analysis reveals about these changes’ potential for affecting inclusion in the workplace, and finds that there may be positive impacts, such as stronger ties and greater involvement in workplace processes, along with the risks of reduced social information sharing.

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A Reflection
Richard Nesbitt

TII Blog, published 14 December 2020

Abstract

On the 23rd November The Inclusion Initiative (TII)  launched at LSE.  2020 has been an eventful year at LSE and the challenges we have all faced have strengthened Dr Grace Lordan’s vision of providing ground breaking research and meaningful ideas to improve organizations by making them more inclusive.  TII brings behavioural science insights to firms to allow them to enhance the inclusion of all talent.

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Hybrid working: an LSE dictionary of behavioural biases
The BE-Inclusive Group, Teresa Almeida, Paris Will, Grace Lordan

LSE COVID-19 Blog, published 1 December 2020

Abstract

The pandemic will probably ease next year, but ‘hybrid working’ – some work done at the office and the rest at home – will almost certainly become the ‘new normal’. This poses challenges for inclusivity. The BE-Inclusive Group with Teresa Almeida, Paris Will and Grace Lordan (LSE) look at some of the behavioural biases that emerge when people work from home.

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Not all data is created equal: the promise and peril of algorithms for inclusion at work
Teresa Almeida

LSE Business Review Blog, published 21 October 2020

Abstract

In 2016, Microsoft unveiled its first AI chatbot, Tay, developed to interact and converse with users in real-time on Twitter and engage Millennials. Tay was released with a basic grasp of language based on a dataset of anonymised public data and some pre-written material, with the intention to subsequently learn from interactions with users.

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How behavioural science can help firms navigate the 'new normal'
Teresa Almeida, Dr Grace Lordan

LSE COVID-19 Blog, published 9 June 2020

Abstract 

As businesses try to adapt to the ‘new normal’, the temptation is to rely on past experience to make big decisions. Teresa Almeida and Grace Lordan (LSE) warn that they need to adopt different, scenario-based approaches, and listen to a wide range of voices in their organisation – not just ‘people like us’.

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On being human: how behavioural science can help virtual working
Teresa Almeida, Dr Grace Lordan

LSE Business Review Blog, published 4 June 2020

Abstract

In 1816, Mary Shelley spent the summer in Geneva in the company of her family, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. The weather was dreadful due to the eruption of Mount Tamboro in Indonesia, and the group spent much of their time locked inside to escape the incessant rain. The group had stirring discussions on science and the principles of animation, Polidori contributing his medical knowledge for the authors’ more creative musings. To up the antics, one evening Lord Byron challenged everyone to a ghost-writing contest. Mary Shelley’s resulting story was the origin of Frankenstein. Lord Byron contributed a fragment of a story, which Polidori developed and eventually turned into The Vampyre.

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People versus Machines: Automation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Labour Force
Dr Grace Lordan, Cecily Josten

TII Blog, published 28 May 2020

Abstract

Automation and technical innovation are currently shaping global labour markets. Research on the future of work has brought contributions that seek to determine the exact jobs that have been lost in the past, and those that may be lost in the future. Overall, this research indicates that the winners and losers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are determined by skills. While low-skilled individuals performing routine tasks remain at high risk of being replaced by automation, individuals with abstract thinking and people skills will continue to be in high demand.

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Relevance of Inclusion in the City in the midst of a global pandemic
Karina Robinson

TII Blog, published 14 May 2020

Abstract 

In the midst of the painful COVID-19 crisis that is shaking up how the world works, innovative thinking is at a premium. Inclusion is key for it to happen. But creating the corporate culture in the City that allows for the flower of innovation to bloom is hard work – not unlike the digging, weeding and planting that many of those in lockdown with gardens are engaged in this Covid19 spring.

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COVID-19: overcoming obstacles to virtual inclusion for City of London workers
Dr Grace Lordan

LSE Business Review Blog, published 5 May 2020

Abstract 

In March 2020, as part of the COVID-19 response, firms in the UK made the transition from physical workspaces to virtual ones, with limited or no planning time. A similar pattern happened across the globe with different start dates. Today, most organisations have moved beyond the initial hurdle of shifting their workforce to a virtual format, and are now searching for a new definition of business as usual. 

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