The Future of Work - RSA

The Future of Work

Research & Impact Event


Zurich, Switzerland

RSA Director of Policy and Strategy, Anthony Painter will be joining Prof. Dr. Yanis Varoufakis, Prof. Robert Reich, Nell Abernathy and other world-leading thinkers at the Future of Work conference in Zurich to explore the role Universal Basic Income can play in the rapidly changing workplace of the future.

Why exactly does Silicon Valley support an unconditional basic income? Why is that support seconded by ultra-liberal think tanks? And why are trade unions so strongly against the idea?

It is about more than just a basic income. Work and merit are becoming increasingly disassociated. Twenty-year-olds become billionaires overnight, Uber, despite having only 5,000 permanent employees, is worth USD 50 billion, and robots are taking on jobs formerly done by humans. Who will be paying my salary tomorrow – and what for?

Some of the most radical opinions on the subject are set to clash on 4 May 2016 at the GDI, the world’s foremost conference on the future of work. Those present will include:

Researchers and academics

  • Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor at MIT (Video-Interview)

  • Basic income expert Guy Standing, University of London

  • Bruno S. Frey, Zeppelin University, pioneer in cultural and industrial economics

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs

  • Investor Albert Wenger (Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Etsy, Kickstarter)

  • Natalie Foster, former Obama advisor and sharing economy expert (

  • Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase

Politicians and civil society lawyers

  • Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Minister of Finance

  • Ville-Veikko Pulkka, representative of the Finnish government

  • Daniel Häni and Enno Schmidt, authors of the Swiss basic income initiative

Influential trade unionists

  • Andrew L. Stern, “the most important labour boss in America” (CBS)

  • Vania Alleva, President of Unia

The event is a cooperation between Neopolis and GDI with a number of other renowned think tanks: The RSA, the Roosevelt Institute, the CATO Institute, the Institute for New Economic Thinking, first world development and the Institute for the Future.

Purchase a ticket or find out more about the future of work congress.

Explore the RSA's work on the case for a universal basic income.