February 14, 2024

Press Release: The Future of Workers Initiative Elevates Workers and Guides Industry in Navigating AI and Tech Evolution

New Initiative Unites Workers and Industry to Forge the Future of AI and Tech in the Workplace

The Future of Workers Initiative is being launched today to support a worker-led effort to shape policies and technology standards in the workplace. The Initiative’s action plan includes developing local and national networks of workers, creating an infrastructure for worker engagement, piloting new models for worker-industry dialogue, and developing industry-specific guidelines and standards. 

“The public and not just expert participation in the future of AI and technology is essential,” says the Initiative’s founder Wilneida Negrón. “We have found that when given the time and space to understand technology trends, workers have ideas for solutions, policy proposals, and other protections.”

Ritse Erumi, the Program Officer for Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers) program, an early seed funder for this Initiative, has found that “when workers across industries have a say in shaping technology at the workplace, innovation will not only be profitable, it will also be equitable. The Future of Workers Initiative believes that democracy is not just casting a single vote, but a process of hearing every voice. By forging deep collaboration among workers, founders, investors, CEOs, and board members to design the future of work, this initiative offers a tangible version of human-centered innovation: one where everyone benefits.”

As part of this work, the Initiative collaborates with key industry stakeholders like venture capitalists, founders, CEOs, and corporate boards to adapt these standards into existing risk and due diligence frameworks. It emphasizes the need for due diligence in early-stage company investing as well as supports founders in adopting responsible company-building practices to navigate the challenges of technological advancement, balancing innovation with ethical and social responsibilities to the current and future workforces.

Similarly, CEOs are urged to ensure technologies are sustainable and support the long-term economic well-being of workers. While corporate boards are supported to adapt existing risk and human capital management frameworks to better understand the potential impact of new technologies on workers.

It is a critical time for workers with the rapid development and deployment of AI and other technologies in the workplace. I’m looking forward to the insights and actions this project encourages from investors, founders, CEOs, and boards” says Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta and Chair of the Aspen Business Roundtable on Organized Labor.