Thanks to all those who have subscribed to the Workforce Futurist Newsletter on Substack - news, views and original research on topics related to the future of work.

I really appreciate all those who have started a conversation, shared the articles with others, shared something interesting with me, or initiated a collaborative project. That’s what it’s all about for me and why I put the effort in.

I wanted to start the new year positively and published Four Work Trends Set to Boom on New Years Day. There was no big plan, but I decided to publish an article every…


Getting Curious About Decentralized Finance

The cover of The Economist caught my eye this week –

“Down the rabbit hole — The promise and perils of decentralized finance”.

The weekly newspaper was founded in 1843 and owned by wealthy industrial families. It’s significant that a pillar of the financial establishment has a cover story on blockchain and decentralized finance.

The title reminds me of a wet weekend in 2017 when I first got ‘curiouser and curiouser’ about blockchain. It felt like I was getting pulled into an economic, political, sociological and technological rabbit🐇hole. Thankfully I still come up for air…


Frances McDormand, starring in Nomadland (2020) Photo Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Anywheres vs Somewheres and The New Geography of Work

The location of work has changed for half the workforce. When the world opens up again many will join the Digital Nomads because they can work anywhere. Others will need to stay local. This will have big implications for employers, and city economies too.

Anywheres Vs Somewheres

Any discussion on the future of work quickly moves to the future of society and involves politics.

Political power battles are constant:

  • capital vs labour — see for example Uber’s recent PR
  • those with Covid vaccines, and those without
  • young vs old — public spending clashes on education and health care

In David Goodhart’s book, “The…


This article is from the Workforce Futurist Newsletter, please subscribe for original research and insights from the rapidly changing world of work.

Decentralised autonomous organisations, or DAOs, have been a powerful idea in the blockchain universe for many years.

In my article Blockchain and the Decentralised Workforce I describe how Decentraland, a multi-player virtual world, use DAOs to run their organisation.

DAOs originate from the Ethereum school of Vitalik Buterin.

Definitions of DAOs aren’t going to help, so let’s break it down.

We understand Digital — yep, actually sick of the word.

We understand Organisation — been there and done…


The potentially scary overlap between wellbeing and workplace technology

This article is from the Workforce Futurist Newsletter, please subscribe for original research and insights from the rapidly changing world of work.

Workforce Tech is hot at the moment with Monday IPO last week ($7.6B valuation) and Eightfold’s recent fund raising valuing it at over $2B.

There’s money to be made in our data.

I have previously highlighted how Microsoft is becoming increasingly dominant in Workforce Technology with Viva, Teams, LinkedIn, GitHub, Glint.

Microsoft has filed a patent to give wellness recommendations based on a user’s personal data.

From an intimate…


Revenue by Creators — Source Web Smith

This article is from the Workforce Futurist Newsletter, please subscribe for original research and insights from the rapidly changing world of work.

One of my research interests is how the workforce is changing in the Digital Covid Age. Less about employment statistics, and more around where people find financial security, belonging, and sense of purpose.

Our needs are fairly consistent, but how we fulfil them is swirling around in an age of streaming money, tiktokification, and masks.

The ‘traditional job’ has ticked some of these boxes for some people, but is now being dismantled.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Worker


Blockchain and the Decentralised Workforce

This article is an excerpt from the original article “Blockchain and the Decentralised Workforce” on Workforce Futurist Newsletter.

The Tectonic Plates of Work are Shifting

We are at the intersection of some mega-trends that have been moving slowly but are coming to a crunch. These include:

The Decentralised Workforce — more ways to earn and learn using digital infrastructure, allowing millions to achieve their economic potential outside of traditional employment.

A New Infrastructure for Work — moving from the 1st generation internet business models to Web3 with self-sovereign identity, tokenisation of work, NFTs, digital credentials, and DAOs.

Industries Restructuring due to the economic impact of the pandemic.


What NFTs can tell us about the future of work…

A Piece of Something by Olive Allen

This article is an excerpt from the original article “NFTs and the Tokenization of Work” from the Workforce Futurist Newsletter.

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Token Holder

Christie’s became the first major auction house to offer a standalone NFT (Non-Fungible Token) work of art.

The vast, pixelated work called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” is by an artist known as Beeple, his collection of 20 works recently sold for $3.5m.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique, digital items with blockchain-managed ownership. Examples include collectibles, game items, digital art, event tickets, domain names, crypto kitties, essays (see below), and even socks.

As Jesse Walden explains, NFTs make it possible…


The Digital Workers Creating the Decentralised Covid Economy

This article is taken from the Workforce Futurist Newsletter

There are many ways to earn in 2020.

From labourers to playbourers, carers to sharers, and tippers to strippers.

There’s talk of a passion economy told by passionate platform investors — most people just want enough money to pay for their passions.

There’s also talk of a remote work revolution told by excited software vendors — the physical location of some work has changed - but the organisation of that work is still very much centralised.

53% of the world’s working-age women are not in the labour force.

They DO work…


Wanted — Very clever young people — Image from Daily Mail
Wanted - Misfits and Weirdos

Dear Dominic,

I read your job advert and would like to apply to work in your team.

I could programme neural networks in 1995, have hung out with project managers on disastrous government shared-service programmes, and had strange visions on how we could build a much better infrastructure of work for the 2020s. I’ve been around the world and back in the last few years, but feel I should spend more time in Blighty as it might just be a bit kiboshed.

I think I might qualify as “a weirdo and misfit with odd skills” and the most appropriate role…

Andrew Spence

Passionate about making work better. MSc in Cognitive Science and #AI. Subscribe to #WorkforceFuturist Newsletter for updates.

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