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London Lab #5, Tuesday 20th Sepember

The future of work.

Here’s a review of what happened at the last LOPO – just in case you didn’t make it. We had a great evening talking about the Future of Work as part of the Service Design Fringe Festival, which ran at the end of September. Thanks to the team there for including LOPO in the line up and for all the positive feedback. It was a bumper event involving (deep breath) Escape the City, the Before I Die Network, Buena Vista Start Up Club [@bvsc_dr], Nomad, a conversation between LOPO co-founders Mark and Tom about some of the future trends in work, positive news, a Letter to the Future, illustrations, connections, collaborations, ideas, and general LOPO-ness! Oh, and it was all filmed too (we’ll post this when we have it).

We kicked off with a talk by Mikey Howe, one of the brains behind Escape the City who have been helping people find fulfilling work all over the world since 2010. He spoke about his own journey and how Escape has changed from providing a weekly jobs board for unhappy corporate workers to running events, workshops and career management programmes in several cities. Mikey touched on one of the LOPO principles – ‘play the long game’ – and how he and his co-founders were prepared to lose a lot in the beginning to get to where they are today. Escape the City is a company close to LOPO’s heart and it was great to hear about the great work they are doing to help people find work that they love. Following some questions Mark and Tom then had a look at some of the jobs of the future – anyone fancy becoming a body part maker?

If Escape the City are all about helping people in work change careers then the first Project Worth Doing aims to give a start to young people who are struggling to find a job in the first place. The wonderful Olivia Comberti told everyone about the Before I Die Network, inspired by artist Candy Chang’s Before I Die Project. It aims to build a community of young people “to help people think about what they want to do with their lives, and how to get there”. Olivia had a huge number of offers from LOPOers including to help re-build the website, impact measurement and some who wanted to get more involved. She described it as “crazy-inspiring”!

The Before I Die Project inspired our collective Letter to the Future. Rather than an individual reading out his or hers, we got everyone involved! Suggestions included the community wanting to…. “connect people and planet with openness and authenticity” … “see the ‘co’ of everything” … “be inspired and be an inspiration” … “make every person give a shit about the environment”. Thank you everyone who contributed.

Our second Project Worth Doing was the Buena Vista Start Up Club. Founder Rob Fenton came to tell us about his idea for setting up a venue for digital nomads in the Dominican Republic. He aims to attract people from local communities to share their skills to give something back and help reduce poverty. The concept of work not being tied to a fixed location is one of the current trends in the future work space and it was interesting to hear Rob taking it somewhere unexpected.

Finally, as a special bonus, Sonia Barbey from Nomad did a short pitch about her start-up that aims to connect people who want to work with places and spaces in which to do it. If you have an idea about how and where you’d like to work in the future then Nomad have a short survey they would love you to complete. Sonia also brought along an illustrator who made some drawings during the evening, which we think are fantastic and capture the spirit of LOPO.
Two of the ideas are by Tim and Katie from the Service Design community.

So all in all, it was a fantastic LOPO Lab! Please do check out the links if you are curious about any of the projects or speakers. We’ll see you on Tuesday evening – same place, same time. #dreambuildtogether