The future of X #1: the workplace

The future workplace is beyond the office. And our tools are becoming smarter and more powerful. How and why will our work change over the next 50 years? What does the next generation of the workforce care about? 


Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø, Future Navigator, is proud to be a part of OZY’s newest season of the podcast, The Future of X: The workplace. She talks about how frustration, curiosity and creativity is the key to success in the worklife of the future. To also give their input about the subject, was CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, James Canton and CEO of Smartsheet, Mark Mader. 

Based on OZY’s journalism and timely interviews with leading futurists, the podcast examines the ways in which technology will improve the contributions humans make to the world.


Watch out for the robots! Or what?

People often get really worried when they think about their future. Especially when it comes to their worklife, and especially in these times. Over the years, the technological era has really shown its face. The development of machines and robots is so fast, it’s hard to keep track of what we’ve got and what’s still yet to come. We talk about how almost every job that we see today is going to be a machine driven job in the future workplace and we ask: “well am I then going to be out of a job?”.

The truth is, human work has been evolving for a long time. It’s less than a 100 years ago that almost 100% of the jobs back then was found on farms. Who does the work on current farms? Machines! And the farmers are still not unemployed. They just found something better do do with their time. Doctor James Cantor states that as it is, humans aren’t event qualified to do future jobs. They need to learn new skills to stay in work. Human, emotional skills, that no robot can master.

We need to understand as individuals – as leaders of companies and organizations, as leaders of even nations – that we are in a seismic change in the workforce.”

-James Canton, CEO of the Institute for Global Futures.

From being an on-looker to doing!

Maybe the robots will overtake the future workplace. But does that stop us from working? Or does it give us room to do what we’re actually qualified to do? We no longer need to be machines and do the hard work. In the future, people will study to become great humans. Learning human skills and mastering human emotions.

“Everyone should be creative! And creativity needs oxygen which we’ll get when less meaningful work is done by AI and machines.” 

-Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet.

Think about the inventions and ideas that have been brought to life over time. Robotic vacuum cleaners, loan mowers etc. Where did they come from? Why did we start inventing machines in the first place? Because we didn’t want to do the boring housework ourselves! Frustration leads to a better, smarter solution.


“For me creativity is also being lazy. It’s also being irritated. It’s also being curious. It’s basically being all the stuff that machines are not.”

-Liselotte Lyngsø, Future Navigator.

That’s what the machines are for!

For the next generation, a job is never going to just be a job anymore. And future leaders will also expect so much more from their employees. Not just that they do the paperwork – the machines can do that. But that they bring creativity and innovation into every project that they’re handed. The future workplace is not about looking at what everyone else is doing. We have to make the best out of people and create mening wherever we go.


How do we prepare people for what to come? Are people without a degree in science or math going to be jobless in the future? Not according to Mark Mader, but that’s for you to hear about in the first episode of The Future Workplace by OZY.


You can also read more about the future workplace in these articles with Liselotte Lyngso.


Let’s save the climate – no time for compromises!

C40 Cities is an organization that connects more than 90 of the world’s leading cities to take bold climate action and build a healthier and more sustainable future. They represent more than 700 million citizens and one quarter of the global economy. Therefore the mayors of C40 Cities are committed to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Both at the local level, as well as to clean the air we breathe.

This year’s C40 Mayors Summit was hosted in Copenhagen and futurist Liselotte Lyngsø took part of the event.


The youth take over

The goal was to build a global alliance between leading cities, businesses and citizens. An alliance that takes the radical and ambitious climate action that our planet needs. At this year’s event, the attendance of young people was significant. For the past year with all the climate strikes, millions of children all around the world have shown that they are willing to take action and to do what has to be done.

We know that we are young. And we know that in the eyes of a lot of political leaders around the world, we are simply just kids. But our biggest wish for this meeting today is to sit down together as equal citizens. Not just as kids and adults but as a joint group who are all fighting for the same cause.”


A subject that took great place of discussion was climate in job and career. Today, there isn’t many sustainable jobs and university courses dealing with climate-related challenges. The youth makes up the next generation. Therefore it’s extremely important that they have the opportunity to choose career paths that address our future. If they work exclusively with climate change, it may actually entail economic problems!

Several green proposals regarding climate in job and career were developed by attending jury members – citizens from around the world. One idea was to make an online platform that gathers all our green job opportunities in one place. The platform would then provide a guide or strategy that inspires people to the pursuit of a green and impactful career.


The future generation has strict demands for their employers

Another idea was to make a green manifesto. This agreement commits people to avoid the employment of polluting and unsustainable companies. As a part of the judging jury, Liselotte Lyngsø supported the idea.

“Only businesses living up to the green manifesto can enter a platform for recruiting the next generation. The youth will refuse to work, shop or support any businesses that are not living up to the demands of the manifesto. You will be kicked out – as a user as well as a business – if you do not develop in a sustainable direction! They know that their power lies in their feet.”
-Liselotte Lyngsø.
Watch the speech from Selma De Montgomery (14 years) on behalf of the Youth Takeover participants among speeches from Mayors of Copenhagen, Paris, Freetown and Seattle and other youth activists at this link or read more about the C40 summit 2019 here.
You can also read all developed proposals for future sustainable jobs in this Youth Takeover Folder – How can cities pave the way for a sustainable generation.

Er kuren til pseudoarbejde borgerløn? 

TEST: Kan du ikke forklare dine børn, hvad du arbejder med? Så laver du højest sandsynligt pseudoarbejde.


Pseudoarbejde: at opstille kulisser af travlhed 

Dennis Nørmark er antropolog, kommentator, konsulent og forfatter. Han har skrevet bogen Pseudoarbejde – hvordan vi fik travlt med at lave ingenting, som et opgør med vores moderne arbejdsliv og den spildtid, der går med ingenting. Den kommer ud af en forundring over, at vi i dag ikke arbejder de 15 timer om ugen, som fremtrædende økonomer og samfundstænkere for 100 år siden troede ville være realiteten på nutidens arbejdsmarked. Men hvor går grænsen mellem pseudoarbejde og fornuftigt arbejde? Må man gerne lave pseudoarbejde, hvis man godt kan lide det? Og hvornår er vi egentlig glade for det, vi laver?

Fremtidsforsker Liselotte Lyngsø interviewer Dennis Nørmark, for at høre mere om fænomenet pseudoarbejde. Hvad ligger der bag det, og hvilke tabuer udspringer det fra?


En løsning på pseudoarbejde på individs, virksomheds- og samfundsniveau

Pseudoarbejde er lig med spildtid, og vi skal helst finde en løsning på det, så vi kan begynde at bruge tiden på bedre ting. Hvorfor vi ikke allerede er begyndt, er på grund af det tabu, der ligger i begrebet. Et tabu kan defineres som noget, man egentlig godt ved er forkert, men som også bliver et tab, når man først ser det i øjnene. Så snart, vi begynder at tale om det, så bliver det ændret. Det samme gælder på pseudoarbejde. Folk orker simpelthen ikke at tage konsekvensen af, at snakke om det! For hvad skal de lave, hvis de ikke skal pseudoarbejde?


Lad os prøve at løse problemet med forskellige slags briller på – på et individ-, virksomheds- og samfundsniveau.


Individets ansvar

Når det kommer til, hvad individet kan gøre for at mindske pseudoarbejde handler det om at vi skal kigge indad. Vi må sætte os ned, kigge på vores arbejde og tænke over, om vi rent faktisk bliver lykkelige af det. Tænk over, om du i virkeligheden burde lave noget helt andet? Og så handler det om, at vi simpelthen ikke må finde os i pseudoarbejde! Selvom det betyder, at vi skal gå “udenfor” procedureren. I fremtiden kommer flere og flere mennesker til at arbejde som freelancere fremfor at være fastansatte. Så bliver vi kun hevet ind i et projekt, hvor der er brug for vores konkrete kompetencer. Vi går ind i projektet, giver den hele armen, og så forlader vi det igen og starter et nyt et andet sted.


Hvad kan du gøre som leder?

Ser man på, hvordan lederen af en virksomhed kan forhindre pseudoarbejde må vi være en smule strenge. Der er en grund til, at lederen bliver betalt mere end sine medarbejdere. Det er fordi, lederen sidder på det største ansvar. Et ansvar for, at ALLE nødvendige beslutninger bliver taget. Også dem, der er svære og især dem, der stopper pseudoarbejde. Lederen skal sikre sig, at alle arbejder men at ingen arbejder unødvendigt. Vi står overfor helt nye tider, med digitalisering og teknologiske muligheder, der udvikles hele tiden. Der skal tænkes ud af boksen! 4-dages arbejdsuge? Bordtennis på kontoret? Lederen skal ikke være bange for at tillade leg og lediggang – vi er mindst lige så produktive, når vi laver ingenting og får lov til at lade kreativiteten flyde.


Samfund – vi har alle et ansvar

På samfundsniveauet er vi allesammen ansvarlige for ikke at lave pseudoarbejde. Altså, hvis du godt kan lide at lave  de ligegyldige ekstraopgaver, så feel free! Men vi må sammen finde en løsning på, at holde os alle beskæftiget med opgaver, der betyder noget og som ikke spilder vores tid og planetens ressourcer. Vi bliver ældre og ældre, og vi kommer til at arbejde i langt flere år af vores liv, end vi har gjort før. Men det betyder ikke, at vi også vil arbejde mere intenst, end vi gør i dag. At vi arbejder længere giver en mulighed for at vi kan tage den med ro. Måske er borgerløn løsningen? At give alle et økonomisk udgangspunkt til at gøre hvad de brænder for, så de ikke skal ud og finde et spildtidsarbejde, som de aldrig kommer væk fra.

Læs om, hvordan vi i fremtiden dropper pensionen for i stedet at tage pauser og arbejder meget længere i denne artikel med Liselotte Lyngsø.


Kommer vi til at arbejde mere eller mindre i fremtiden? Ja, hvad betyder det at arbejde egentlig? Og er det at ville have en sprøjteorgasme pseudoarbejde?

Lyt med og tag selv stilling, når fremtidsforsker Liselotte Lyngsø interviewer Dennis Nørmark på SMUK festival 2019 om hans bog, Pseudoarbejde.

Se videoen på Youtube her.

What will our work life look like in the year 2100?

Machines and robots have already taken over many of the jobs that used to be performed by humans and there’s no doubt that we can expect to see much more of that in the near future. The question is whether the change is necessarily going to have a negative effect. It might actually end up giving us a whole new perspective on our work life!


In the radio program “The Naked Scientists” from BBC, futurist Liselotte Lyngsø talks about what we can expect from future work life, where robots have been given all the physically tough assignments.


How to get a job in the future: be good at being a human

Before getting all worried about loosing your job to the fast and top tuned robots, think about how it might end up being a total win win situation. All indicators show that the more we put technology into different areas, the more busy we get ourselves. For instance, within healthcare you now monitor the elderly people in order to know exactly when they need water, when they need exercise, and all it has created is this hydra’s head with even more jobs for the healthcare providers. And we will be around 10 billion people so there’s going to be plenty of stuff to do, it’s just going to be different tasks than we’re used to.

Today, many people get stressed and have to take leaves from their work. In the future we’ll look back and think that “people were so primitive, pushing people like lemons! Now we can actually get something better out of people, because we understand how they work.” Yes, the robots will take over many of the jobs that we have today, but luckily, there will be so many new jobs in the future, that we haven’t even discovered yet. And those jobs will require qualities that robots can’t offer, such as an emphatic mindset. Because we’ll make robots do the “hard work”, people will work in a whole other way, designed for them individually, so that they won’t get stressed and depressed. This will happen as we’ll go from “headhunting” to “teamhunting” because we’ve discovered that people work better together and need human contact. We won’t go on retirement anymore, instead we’ll take breaks and get recharged during our work life.


“Looking at ourselves as machines, that’s a big mistake. We really have to find out about human nature. Empathy will be important and difficult for the machines to master and the ability to be irritated is going to be the key to clever innovation. Likewise people can get lazy, and that’s also a good sentiment if you want to create a better planet because we find ways of doing things in smarter ways. We have to tease out human capabilities and find out how to find our individual potentials”.

-Liselotte Lyngsø


Listen to the whole radio program with Liselotte Lyngsø and learn about what future offices are going to look like when holograms are fully developed. You can also discover why we’ll replace our traditional education with micro chips and implants of memories!


You can also read the article “This is what work will look like in year 2100” from Fast Company, where Lyngsø explains further about the subject of how people will work in the future of machines and robots.

Du skal ikke være MERE leder – du skal være BEDRE leder

Den store sparekniv ligger i lederens hånd. Men der er ingen der har bedt dig om at bruge den til at begå harakiri. Det store problem i den offentlige sektor er at de ansatte bliver bedt om “at gå fra mere til mindre”. Dvs. de skal arbejde mere, levere mere – men for færre ressourcer. Det er ikke nogen supermotiverende hverdag at stå op til. Og det er et tegn på, at chefer er for dårligt klædt på til at spotte tidens trends for at finde nye og bedre veje. 
På kurset “Bliv fremtidens leder“, som afholdes i september 2019, vil fremtidsforsker Anne Skare Nielsen og Henrik Good Hovgaard lære dig hvordan du gør det – hvordan du spotter de vigtige trends, og omsætter dem til handling og “noget bedre”i hverdagen.


Det er det store paradigmeskifte, vi står i. Vi behøver ikke gå fra mere til mindre. Det er ikke den store opgave for offentlige ledere at lave spareøvelser, men at finde ud af hvordan vi kan lave noget bedre til nogle flere mennesker med de rigtige ressourcer

-Anne Skare Nielsen

Ikke mere, men BEDRE!

Vi står overfor paradigmeskift og store trends i alle brancher og især i det offentlige vil der ske en masse. Nu er det ledernes opgave at komme dem i forkøbet.

“Hvordan kan vi lave noget bedre til flere mennesker med de rigtige ressourcer?” Det er spørgsmålet, som et godt lederskab skal kunne stille dem selv. Det handler nemlig om at kunne finde ud af hvad “bedre” er, og at “bedre” ikke er det samme som “mere”. Undervisningen på en skole bliver jo, for eksempel, ikke bedre af, at man hyrer flere lærere. Den bliver bedre af, at man hyrer bedre lærere.


Etisk sans og empati bliver menneskets helt store guldkorn i fremtiden. At kunne trække dem op ad hatten bliver det, der adskiller os fra robotter, og det vil spille en kæmpe rolle for det gode lederskab. Fremtidens leder skal kunne se fordelene i at ansætte mennesker med følelser fremfor kolde robotter, og vise sine ansatte sin værdsættelse overfor dem. På samme tid vil lederens egen udstråling af empati blive central for anderkendelsen af lederen. Hvis folk skal følge dig, skal de kunne mærke dig som menneske, og at du også rummer drømme og håb ligesom dem.


Læs artiklen og se den korte video om at gå “fra mere til bedre”, med Anne Skare Nielsen og Henrik Good Hovgaard her.


LÆS OGSÅ: Fremtidens leder: skab magi!

The future parent: introducing the Baby Translator

Imagine always knowing exactly how your baby is feeling. A future where you can read your baby’s mind! Will mind reading solve the problems that we have in this world with lack of empathy? Or will it lead to huge conflicts? 

In a video created by NN Group, futurist Liselotte Lyngsø speaks about how we will soon be able to read brain waves and discusses the huge impact it might have on the world as we know it.

Mind reading and the end of privacy 

We already have technology that allows us to translate brain waves into language. What if you could buy an accessory or piece of clothing for your baby which in the same time makes it possible for you to understand exactly what is going on in its mind?

It’s not only the minds of babies that we have trouble figuring out. It’s not only a device for parents. Everyone would benefit from having access to a technology which makes it easier understand each other at a deeper level. Maybe it would even strengthen our ability to emphasize!

Watch the video with Liselotte Lyngsø here – would you buy the device?

The future office

What will the perfect working space and future office look like?
We all know how it feels to have tons of work to do, but no focus or energy to get it done. In a situation like that, a nice and quiet office can be a great way to get into your working mood, because it’s something that you can step out of again when you’ve finished working. It allows you to work when you have to work, and relax when you’re off.
Through time, the idea of what an office looks like has changed a lot and today, most people don’t even have one. Some people consider every comfortable chair or space as a proper office – just look at all the people working at Starbucks and other hip cafés. Other people work from home, which allows them to stay in bed all day!


In the article “Office Space Timeline: Past, Present and Future” you can take a look back at some of the previous decades’ office trends. You can also read Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø’s thoughts on what the future office is going to look like. Together with another futurist, Yesim Kunter, Liselotte points out future office-trends involving culture-, design- and attire.

Offices through the decades 

In this part of the article, a timeline from the past to the future illustrates office culture-, design- and attire along with how working per week and the amount of women in the workforce. The timeline begins in the 1950s and goes all the way to 2100!

The office of the future 

What will an office be like in 2030 & what will it look like in the 2100s century?

2030s: Influence of technology 

The cultural aspect of the 2030-office evolves around how we’re going to manage people both working from home and being digital nomads while still needing a space, where they can meet in real life.
The design is focussed on technology, sustainability and wellness. Offices will be designed based on the needs of every single individual and not one size fit all.

How are the working hours going to be distributed and how will women be considered?

“It is more likely that a woman is raised valuing empathy. While it’s difficult to feel empathetic towards a workforce of 200, it’s much easier for a workforce of 20. The progressive decentralisation of work will provide women with more opportunities to become leaders.”

-Liselotte Lyngsø

2100s: From high-tech to high-touch 

The fact that we’re already becoming digital nomads today and that the level of actual human interaction is becoming smaller and smaller will result in a gigantic need of intimacy later on.

Read the article and discover how this will have an influence on different aspects of the office of the 2100s.

Read the article on this link to the BBC radio program.



Who owns the future?

Will we let the future be lead by “the big five”?

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. These are the five big companies, that dominates the digital and virtual world today. Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø interviews Swedish Andreas Ekström about how this will affect our society. Will we let them dominate, or should everybody have that chance?

Will “the big five” create a society with more widespread democracy and make it easier for the world to come together? Or will it turn the other way and create an uneven devision of powers?

Liselotte Lyngsø interviews Andreas Ekström on what the main critical points of a world lead by “the big five” will be. Andreas Ekström talks about starting to shape our world view after the digital dominators and how much of our privacy we will be willing to show in the future.

Should we start creating more diversity, or should we stick to “the big five”?

Watch futurist Liselotte Lyngsø’s interview with Andreas Ekström below, or at this link.


The road to driverless cars

How do we prepare for a future with driverless cars? Panel discussion on June 23. 2017 with reporter Ian Telfer.

Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø attended a panel discussion broadcasted on Radio New Zealand RNZ where the main focus was what a world with driverless cars is going to look like.

How will companies and countries prepare for the future, which is just around the corner? Driverless cars will be a significant changing factor for our view on technology. We have to be ready for achieving its full potential, by figuring out every detail that comes with it.

What opportunities will it bring us, and how will our society greet it? Can we redesign the vehicles in order to give the consumer the same feeling of control as if they were driving the car themselves? How will it affect people, that they won’t be able to, or won’t have to drive the car themselves?

Liselotte addresses co-driving as a possible scenario that is worth fighting for. Spontaneous co-driving in cars will allow os to expand our social lives. Suddenly, we’ll be able to make use of the time that we would normally use on driving alone from A to B. Driverless cars will allow us to catch up with friends, finish our last work meeting or connect with our families whilst being driven to our destinations. It will also create opportunity to socialize and network with a used-to-be stranger from our neighborhood.

Quote from the Associate Professor James Maclaurin about the self-driving car: “They don’t get road rage. They’re uniform and measured in their moral response. Maybe they’ll be better than we are.”

Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø speaks about how we are going to make driving an online marketplace, like we’ve done with Airbnb. People will collect cars as a hobby. The public interest in nice designs, usability and the interest for the sexiness of the cars will continue to rise. People will expect to rent a car according to situation-based personal needs. Private car-ownership might be essential in order to ensure a continued flowering diversity within mobility.

The urgent and most important question to solve, is the question of who will be in control of mobility. As the driverless cars will be connected to the internet of things IOT – it could be at the national level, at the car manufactoring level or at the personal level. Listen to the broadcast and find out why we should integrate the driverless cars, and make up systems so that people will share and make it possible to reduce the numbers of cars on the road and eliminate the need for most of our current public transportation. You will also hear about how  the driver-less future might be a target for new ways of hacking and terrorism that needs to be dealt with.

Listen to the panel discussion here, and imagine the road to driverless cars with motoring journalist David Thomson, Ass. Professor James Maclaurin, CEO of the Ministry of Transport Andrew Jackson and  Futurist, Liselotte Lyngsø. On this link you can also read about the speakers on the panel.

Who owns the future?

Who will dominate the future?

Will “the big five” create a digital society with more widespread democracy making it easier for the world to come together – including those 3 billion who are still not online? Or will they create an uneven monopolistic division of powers?


Andreas Ekström is a journalist at Syd Svenska Dagblad, and a revolutionary, who wants to fight for equal access to the internet in the future. He is extremely worried about leaving the control over the internet to the “big five:” Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and facebook. In September 2017, Andreas spoke at the IT Summit 2017 – Sustainable Societies, hosted by InfinIT with Liselotte Lyngsø as moderator. During his speech, the audience was able to send questions that are included in the following interview.

Five big companies dominate our digital world today – and as everything material is sucked into the virtual world – their power is likely to increase even further in the future. This development forces everybody else to be compatible – developing and thinking “inside the box”. This will will be lethal to our ability to truly innovate, our privacy and punish small countries and companies.

Or will it? Liselotte asks Andreas whether the big 5 may indeed have helped the global democratization process? Whether new technologies like the BlockChain will counter-act this development? And finally, they discuss how we might counteract theist monopoly both as people and as nation states.


Watch futurist Liselotte Lyngsø’s interview with Andreas Ekström below, or at this link