Innovation for Jobs day at the House of Lords

Last Thursday, Craft participated in the “Innovation for Jobs” (I4J) ecosystem meeting at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Jim Knight.

Last Thursday, Craft participated in the “Innovation for Jobs” (I4J) ecosystem meeting at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Jim Knight.

I4J is a group cofounded by David Nordfors and Vint Cerf in Silicon Valley, that is developing visionary themes for the future of talent, including: “Disrupting Unemployment”, and building “technology that increases the value of people”, both near to our heart at Craft.

Our gathering was a diverse mix including a commissioning editor at Channel 4, head of Innovation at a big bank, a public policy analyst at Google, and senior executives from major corporations and non-profits.

Our task for the day was to invent 4 personas, project 10 years into the future, and imagine the tools and services these personas would use to manage work in their lives.

Our personas emerged as Sandy, a 15 year old of half Swedish/half Indian descent living in northern England; Pavel, a guitar-playing truck driver; Terry a 21 year old Londoner of no specific gender, running a farm-fresh food collective; and Corina, a sociable middle-aged call-center worker, looking for her life partner. Eclectic? Yes!

After a full day of creative brainstorming, our teams were ready to pitch their solutions to an expert panel drawn from The Creative Society, a charity in the UK that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.

The feedback was powerful.

Most of us had developed concepts which one way or another optimise people’s work experience, for example, through identifying the best project for them to work on each day. But one panelist made the excellent point that non-ideal projects - bad matches - can be very valuable and character-building, an important part of the life journey. Can’t argue with that!

For me, it was a powerful reminder that technology is often best when it’s part of the solution, not all of it. The importance of looking out the window, not only at the screen.

All in all, it was a thought-provoking day, with new friends made, and valuable exploration around what will work look like in our future, and how can we help build it?

We are looking forward to the I4J summit in Silicon Valley in January, where many in this group will reconvene to build further on these themes.

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