28 Nov 2017 12:35:38 PM

The Future of Work, Workplace, Workforce Conference 2017

YB Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Member of TalentCorp's Board of Trustees and Shareen Shariza Dato' Abdul Ghani launching the Future of Work, Workplace, Workforce Conference 2017 with IBM Robot Nao
The debate on whether technological innovation will result in a jobless world or usher in a golden age of job creation is a mainstream topic among technologists and economists. Today more so than ever, the need to address this is crucial as we open our doors to technology the likes of automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). 
With this in mind, TalentCorp organised the inaugural Future of Work, Workplace, Workforce Conference on 20 November 2017 in Kuala Lumpur with the aim of kick-starting a national conversation on the future of work. More than 700 delegates were in attendance, representing various Government ministries and agencies, multinationals, academia, and NGOs. 

“The nation is now at a critical inflection point that will shape the country’s economy,” says Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani, CEO of TalentCorp in her opening speech. 
Organisations need to rethink their business models, policy-makers need to think beyond automation and people need to redefine work.”
Professor Dr. Andrew McAfee, Co-founder and Co-director of MIT Initiative on Digital Economy giving his opening keynote presentation
YB Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department concurred. “Given the demands of the rapidly changing global environment, ensuring Malaysia's continued prosperity calls for a new approach towards leveraging all our sources of talent and towards future-proofing our human capital,” says the minister in his special keynote address. 

The opening keynote was delivered by Professor Dr. Andrew McAfee, Co-founder and Co-director of MIT Initiative on Digital Economy. In his one-hour presentation, Dr. McAfee offered an executive’s guide to succeeding during this turbulent era when technologies are hurtling forward at such a startling pace. “Technology rewrites the business playbook,” he reveals.
Let machines handle the routine work; let people make the judgement call.” 
Nora Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer of Maybank speaking during the first panel session of the day: The Disappearing Office
The first of two panel sessions, The Disappearing Office saw Arne Gast from McKinsey & Co Kuala Lumpur, Chong Chye Neo from IBM Malaysia, Nora Manaf from Maybank, and Timothy Tiah from Colony Co-working Space in a lively discussion on what makes workplace innovations so attractive, and what traditional offices can learn from them. The panel discussion was moderated by Sumitra Nair from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), who posed the topic as a question to the panellists.  

“Is the office disappearing? Yes,” says Nora. “But from a perspective of the workplace that we define it today, it's fast being replaced by something more dynamic, and none of us can claim to what it looks like.”  

In the second panel session, Jan Bartscht from Leadapreneur moderated the discussion on Making Disruptions Work. The panellists, Francesca Chia from GoGet, Saqib Shaikh from Microsoft UK, Sehraj Singh from LinkedIn India, and Tunku Alizakri Muhammad Alias from the Employees Provident Fund exchanged insights on how we can harness new technology to remove the barriers faced by individuals and social communities to participate in the economy. 
I see AI as an incredible opportunity because everyone in the world is different. Your hands are full, our ears are full. AI's job is to work alongside humans and help us.” 
Says Saqib, who is also the Microsoft UK team lead for Seeing AI, a life-changing project that enables someone who is visually impaired to hold up their phone, and hear more about the text, people, and objects in their surroundings. 

Closing the conference with an eye-opening keynote on education reform was best-selling author and an education and creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson. "Many go through the education system without knowing what they’re good at, or think that they’re not good at anything,” Sir Ken says. 
Human resources are much like the world’s natural resources, you have to find them and refine them. And this is what education is meant to do.”
Sir Ken Robinson giving his closing keynote speech
In his presentation, Sir Ken urges parents to allow children to play as much as they want and question any form of ‘standardisation’ present in many school syllabuses. He capped off the conference with this reminder, 
We shouldn’t be promoting competition. We should be promoting collaboration and diversity. And through the Internet, people are collaborating more than ever.” 

The Future of Work, Workplace, Workforce Conference 2017 was organised by TalentCorp in strategic partnership with Maybank. Our thanks to our technology and media partners: CXS, Microsoft, IBM Malaysia, BFM 89.9 and The Edge Malaysia. Watch the video below for our event highlights!