Future of Work

In 2021, an interactive webinar covered 3 Key Questions -

1) How is the world of work changing?

2) Why do we need an entrepreneurial mindset? and

3) What needs can help people to develop the mindset and be prepared for the changes ahead?

Our speakers were:

Danie Jacobs, Guest Speaker, South Africa 🇿🇦

Sherisa Rajah Baird, Guest Speaker, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Stacey J Young, Guest Speaker, Canada 🇨🇦

The event was moderated by Paul Coyle, SHINE Project Founder, France🇫🇷

Registrations were received from participants in 12 countries:

Canada🇨🇦, England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, Egypt🇪🇬, France🇫🇷, Germany🇩🇪, Ireland🇮🇪, Norway🇳🇴, Pakistan🇵🇰, Palestine🇵🇸, South Africa🇿🇦, Spain🇪🇸 and Tunisia🇹🇳

Picture Credit: Pixabay

You can’t discuss these questions without reflecting on the societies we live in and the need for societal change.  We can ask who has access to paid work and how can we provide a fair income for all? The idea of the entrepreneurial mindset is to empower people with the right mindset, whether they are employees or entrepreneurs.

The entrepreneurial mindset is about empowering every individual to make their contribution to society (whether economic, social or cultural). This can be achieved when people run their own business or equally through employment.

The mindset empowers employees to give their best and make their best contribution, to be resilient in the face of changes in the workplace and the world of work, and be better prepared for the potentially catastrophic change of sudden redundancy and unemployment.

Danie Jacobs

Our first speaker was Danie Jacobs who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Young Entrepreneurs Virtual Academy, the first online business school for kids, teens and young adults. In his first video clip, Danie shares his views about how the COVID pandemic has accelerated the predicted effects of the growing 4th industrial revolution.

In a second clip, Danie identifies a need to educate children who can continue to up-skill and re-skill themselves as the needs of the economy and society evolve. He also sees a need to redefine entrepreneurship skills as being more than just about new venture creation.

Sherisa Rajah Baird

Our second speaker was Sherisa Rajah Baird, an Employment lawyer, with a key focus on global employment law, disruption and augmentation of the workplace, and the 4th industrial revolution. Sherisa talks about working from home in the pandemic and the differences in experience between developed and developing countries.

In a second clip, Sherisa emphasises the need for intrapreneurial skills that help people to deal with ongoing change in the workplace. There is a need to educate young people about the demands of the workplace and help them to develop  the right mindset.

Stacey J Young

Stacey J Young, our third speaker is a Consultant working with clients in the US, Canada and Europe in education and training. Her experience includes designing entrepreneurial programs for teachers, supporting young children and up-skilling adults. In her first video clip, Stacey reflect on the skills that employers say they need in workers.

In her second clip, Stacey asks if there is there enough recognition for people who set up their own business and sufficient understanding of the diversity amongst these new business owners?  Where does entrepreneurial potential exist and how can it be supported?


The speakers stimulated an interesting and important discussion amongst the participants leading to an identification of numerous key points.

Firstly, we can note that the contractual elements of work are in flux and the structure of work itself is changing. In the future, there might not be permanent jobs or traditional careers.

Instead, we may find ourselves working in the Gig economy, working on a project by project basis for multiple employers in quite a disconnected and fragmented way.  All these changes were in the air but have been accelerated by the restrictions and responses to COVID-19.

Secondly, there is a mismatch between the expectations and the practical realities of flexible working. On the one hand there is the super flexible idea that you can live and work anywhere.  However, employment and even residency rights are real issues. There are difficult questions if you live in one place but want to work in another jurisdiction. Even in an harmonised system like the European Union, procedures and bureaucracy are not straightforward e.g. in relation to how individuals declare and meet the administration requirements for personal tax. 

In terms of actions, we could do more to support the self-employed and entrepreneurs. For example, we need to help young entrepreneurs to have a realistic idea of the obstacles they will face and how to stay motivated when trying to overcome such hurdles. We can help them to appreciate how the ‘system’ is geared towards employees rather than entrepreneurs.

We have to remember that organisations may say they want innovation but actually they demand conformity. If we want employees to be more entrepreneurial, we must provide better support to help them to innovate, to take risks, to do something different.

There is always a sense of an untapped potential in an organisation because employees have more to give. They have ideas that would bring more success to their team and the organisation as a whole. Organisations must take action to tap into these ideas otherwise they lose out.

Finally, education providers must work hard to keep up with all these changes.  They need to anticipate the many likely changes in the future of work and ensure that they are preparing students for the challenges and opportunities they will face.◼️