The Future Of Work in Northern Ireland
Solutions Summit

Wednesday 28 February 2018

The Future of Work in Northern Ireland Solutions Summit will provide business leaders and key stakeholders with a unique forum to learn about automation from world experts. Learn from businesses who have gained significant competitive advantage from adopting automation and how they have dealt with challenges such as: managing displaced workers, sharing new ideas, building real-world solutions and applying the newest tools for accelerating innovation, entrepreneurship and impact at scale. Join us, and your peers from around the world as we learn and build together.

Steve Orr, Connect Director

November 2017


While the profound uncertainty surrounding the development and adoption of emerging technologies means that we do not yet know how the transformations driven by this industrial revolution will unfold, their complexity and interconnectedness across sectors imply that all stakeholders of global society – governments, business, academia and civil society – have a responsibility to work together to better understand the emerging trends.

Klaus Schwab

Why you should attend!

Northern Ireland is targeted to be a leading knowledge economy by 2030 with an additional 80,000 jobs created. 


This summit will allow delegates to explore how we take advantage of the opportunities from automation and apply them to our business operations in Northern Ireland.

Whether you are in a major corporation, leading an SME, launching a start-up or influencing government policy, you should take this unique opportunity to learn how we, as businesses and as a regional economy and society, prepare and retool our talent for this new world.


The key questions we will ask and answer are:

  • What jobs will be impacted by automation?
  • How do we re-tool to be competitive?
  • What does a regional island economy need to do to generate 80,000 new jobs by 2030?


Ravin Jesuthasan

Chicago, USA

Thought Leader

A thought-leader on the future of work who has led research on the global workforce, the emerging digital economy and the transformation of work. Ravin was lead partner for the World Economic Forum’s “Shaping the future implications of digital media for society” and has spoken at conferences worldwide. He is the author of  the recently released,
Lead The Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment, Harvard Press.

Jonathan Downing

Oxford University


A leading researcher at the Oxford Martin School, responsible for publishing the September 2017 report entitled “The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030” which takes an entirely new approach to forecasting employment and skill demands in the US and UK. The study finds that many jobs will still be in demand by 2030 but the skills needed for success are changing.


BBC Northern Ireland

Economics and Business Editor

John brings a wealth of understanding of the Northern Ireland economy and how we can collectively embrace both the challenges and opportunities automation will pose.


Registration & coffee

Part 1 – How do Northern Irish businesses thrive in the age of automation?

Welcome & opening remarks
John Campbell
BBC Northern Ireland’s Economics and Business Editor. John brings a wealth of understanding of the Northern Ireland economy and how we can collectively embrace both the challenges and opportunities automation will pose.
9.15-9.40Keynote speech - “The Global Macroeconomics of Automation”
Ravin Jesuthasan, advisor to the World Economic Forum and distinguished author
Why automation is an unstoppable force?
What is happening in China, Sweden, Germany, etc?
What do smaller regional economies need to do to thrive?
Followed by interview by John Campbell
9.55-10.253 local SME case studies
Outline of how Northern Ireland’s SMEs are already automating key functions in manufacturing, customer service and other business operations.

Followed by moderated panel discussion
10.25- 10.40Which jobs in Northern Ireland will be automated by when?
10.40-11.10Coffee break
11.10- 12.30Solutions Breakout 1
Using design thinking, summit delegates break into 4 workshops to collaboratively help 4 different company owners (personas) to reposition their businesses to thrive in the age of automation
  • How might NI companies develop a competitive edge from automation?
  • What opportunities does automation create for entrepreneurs?

Part 2 – Talent

1.30Keynote speaker - What are the new jobs that will be created?
Jonathan Downing, Oxford University
What are the jobs that will be created?
What skills will thrive in the new world of work?
How will companies and government need to evolve talent development including life long learning and education?
1.50pm-2.20pmCase studies: retooling displaced workers
2.20-3.25Solutions Breakout 2 - Skills
Using design thinking, summit delegates break into 4 workshops to collaboratively identify the answers to two significant, but different challenges:
  • How might we retool and repurpose displaced workers?
  • How might Northern Ireland’s education system change to develop young people?
3-25-4.00Closing summary
What must we do now:
- As businesses
- As Government (incl education)
- As society
Followed by Keynote speaker response

Early Bird tickets now available


Belfast Waterfront

2 Lanyon Pl,

Belfast BT1 3WH

Contact Details

Trudy Parry  | Catalyst Inc

028 90737 920


Waterfront Conference Centre