public_logoLast week I was in Madrid, taking part in the 24th meeting of the Future Trends Forum, a think tank set up by BankInter, a leading Spanish bank.
The subject was the Second Machine Age – organising for prosperity, and this short video was shot during the meeting:
The jumping-off point for the meeting was the eponymous book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, so a lot of the discussion revolved around automation and the possibility of widespread technological unemployment.
The organisers brought together a fantastic group of smart, experienced people who worked together in a very open and collaborative way during the three days to frame and try to resolve the knotty issues raised by this subject.  Our ringmaster was Chris Meyer, author of Standing on the Sun, and it was in no small part due to his great skill at the job that the event was thoroughly enjoyable as well as highly stimulating.
Great credit to BankInter, whose Foundation, run by Sergio Martinez-Cava, hosts these events, and also to Ludic, a design strategy consultancy which provided technical wizardry.
I’m really looking forward to the publication of the reports which the Foundation makes available following Forum meetings.  The debate was consistently fascinating, and it addressed some of the most important challenges we face today.
For me, one of the most interesting and significant findings was that slightly more than 50% of the participants do not think that automation will result in technological unemployment, and that we will work with the machines to find more and more value-added jobs.  I was in the dissenting minority.

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