Speaker Derek Bates will argue that we should be able to properly engage with our elected representatives using modern communication and internet technology, have a “live” influence on our futures and express our opinions – effectively crowd-sourcing innovative policy and direction.
Recent advances in automation are stripping out all manner of jobs: not just those of clerks, typists and warehouse workers. Almost any job involving a programmable process is vulnerable. Should we rejoice, and anticipate their emancipation from labour; or should we be very afraid for the basis of our society? Chris Bratcher thinks the latter. He believes the fall-out from the Industrial Revolution will seem trivial by comparison, and that the imbalance of power between capital (which reaps the benefits of automation) and labour is leading to permanent, but insupportable, levels of unemployment.