Good Work Guild: inspiring the future of work


  • Future of Work
  • Employment

The Good Work Guild was launched by the RSA’s Future of Work team in September 2021. Its purpose? Imagine a modern guild, focussing on community and social innovation aimed at engaging future of work practitioners, advocates and social entrepreneurs working together to ensure everyone can pursue good work in an age of technological change.

The main goal of the Good Work Guild was to convene a diverse global ecosystem of Fellows. This network would then act to tackle the most pressing issues related to economic security and labour-market transforming technologies. In doing so it would foster collaboration, share learning, and incubate opportunities for collective impact.

Underpinning these efforts were five principles. These stated that everyone should enjoy work that:

  1. provides enough economic security for people to be able to participate equally in society;
  2. does not harm people’s wellbeing;
  3. allows people to grow and develop their capabilities;
  4. provides people with the freedom to pursue a larger life;
  5. positively nurtures their identity and sense of self.

Over the guild’s twelve-month journey, members explored the future of work landscape and participated in sensemaking and visioning exercises with our Research team. They also hosted several case clinics. These sought to demystify key challenges through peer-to-peer learning about economic security, worker voice and co-governance of algorithmic systems in the workplace.

The guild also self-organised and elected to pursue shared advocacy and collective action on a range of themes. These included how data-driven technologies can advance good work principles, learning about good work and socialising its values, economic security for a better planet and promoting intergenerational dialogue around the future of work.

Looking to the future of work

With members from around the world engaging in different aspects of the future of work ecosystem, the guild became a powerful vehicle for our Fellowship. It offered fresh perspectives to key stakeholders on the selected themes and nurtured possible areas of experimentation.

Good Work Guild Journal

Discover the ideas for improving work practices that the team uncovered as part of the Good Work Guild.

Some of the ideas generated include an open-source diversity, equity, and inclusion assessment tool for organisations (especially small and medium-sized enterprises), redefining economic security to reflect the current planetary emergency and policy recommendations promoting intergenerational perspectives on good work.

The guild’s twelve-month journey is a powerful tribute to our living legacy of shared advocacy, social innovation, and community to confront 21st-century challenges.

The Good Work Guild is hosting its celebratory year-end summit at an interactive online showcase event on 22 September 2022. Join us as we reflect on the new ideas and recommendations on the future of work and how they might enrich future efforts beyond the guild. Register here below.

Good Work Guild Summit: final showcase event

Join us on Thursday 22 September at 5pm BST to celebrate this year-long journey with Fellows and members of the Good Work Guild.

Get involved

Do you have examples where some of the ideas from the Good Work Guild are already in place? How do you think the ideas of the Good Work Guild would be most efficiently implemented? Let us know in the comments below.

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