FutureWork – Work in the transition to the 22nd century

Work design and job scenarios of tomorrow: Together with the IQIB – Institut für qualifizierende Innovationsforschung & -beratung (formerly European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment GmbH), ZAK has started a future-oriented project with an extraordinary approach

The “Science Year 2018 – Working Life of the Future” revealed that future work environments will be structured completely different from what we are used to as of now. New professions, occupations and so far unimaginable applications of technologies will be influencing the labor distribution and organization as well as the social microstructure profoundly. The nearly three-year project FutureWork is part of the BMBF’s (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) program line „Zukunft der Arbeit“ and is supported by a total funding amount of 620,000 Euro. The project will address foresight science in order to reveal possibilities and the range of working life of the future. Due to the fact that no scientific long-term scenarios regarding the working life of the future are available, FutureWork will combine established and unconventional sources of knowledge to be able to foresee the future of work of the second half of the 21st century. An interdisciplinary team consisting of human factors and ergonomics scientists, futurologists and science fiction experts will analyse past studies and predictions of the future in order to develop new scenarios. During the course of the project, first results will be discussed with social partners and scientists from other disciplines at an expert conference.

According to the a public science concept the project FutureWork intends to include the public into the discourse from the beginning. Besides the expert conference, a public conference will be organized by the ZAK under the scientific convenorship of Prof. Dr. Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha. In this public conference creative and visionary people, artists and experts from science communication will initiate a public discussion process on the role of work in the upcoming decades.

With the project FutureWork the project group intends to unite technological and speculative perspectives with a scientifically justified view on possible future scenarios as well as to provoke discussions in research, economy and politics that support planning of our future working life which is also reflected in and by our society.

The IQIB – Institut für qualifizierende Innovationsforschung & -beratung and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are responsible for the scientific implementation of the project with regard to content, methodology and coordination of the interdisciplinary perspective. Contact persons at the IQIB are PD Dr. Oliver Pfirrmann (oliver.pfirrmann∂iqib.de) and Dr. Claudio Zettel (Claudio.Zettel∂dlr.de).

Funding note: This project is supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) and is supervised by the Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA) (funding no. “02L18A510/02L18A511”).