#213 – Investor Special: The Future of Work experiment
What’s in this episode?
We look at the future of work experiment that is 2020 in this investor special, and interrogate some of the forecasts for the future of work now that many of them have come true.
For example, the office of national statistics here in the UK stated that 46.6% of people in employment doing some work at home as of April 2020 was largely because of COVID. But how many of them were happy about the shift? Who is paying their home, lighting and heating bills? What unfair distribution of success is homeworking having by function, i.e. depending on the level of human interaction needed? What about the people that can’t work from home, and what about the economy dependent on commuting?
Our guests this week are both investors but are coming at this conversation from two very different angles. One funds and supports ambitious ideas for using technology to improve the lives of low wage workers or ‘worker tech’, whilst the other is General Partner at an early-stage fund investing in workplace technology companies that have a strategy to sell to and through employers. Enjoy the episode. It’s a great listen!
You can follow the conversation using #voctechpodcast and #voctech.
Cansu is Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, an early-stage impact investor, where she leads partnerships. Previously she was with the global accelerator Startupbootcamp, first running their MENA branch in conjunction with a $10M micro-fund in Istanbul then scaling their industrial IoT programme to London and running it. She has been in the tech industry both as a founder and a facilitator for several years. Her background is in international politics and humanitarian law, before going into the tech industry she was with IGOs and NGOs like Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, and the UN in Turkey and France. Currently based in London, she is an alumna of UK Government’s Tier 1 Tech Nation Exceptional Talent scheme.
Allison Baum is a General Partner at SemperVirens, an early stage fund investing in workplace technology, healthcare technology, and financial technology companies that have a strategy to sell to and through employers. The firm has an ecosystem of executives, industry analysts, and distribution partners that serve as a proprietary platform for accessing, analyzing, and amplifying the most promising companies in its target sectors. The firm’s core platform partners include: Sequoia Consulting Group, PeopleTech Partners, and a leading network of Fortune2000 CHROs.
Prior to joining SemperVirens, Allison spent over ten years at the intersection of finance, technology, and the future of work, with experience as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, an early employee at General Assembly (which sold to Adecco for $413mln in 2018), co-founder of Fresco Capital, and an investor at Trinity Ventures. She is currently based in San Francisco, and has lived and worked in New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Allison has a B.A. in Economics with Honors, a minor in Film Studies, and a language citation in French from Harvard University.
Sophie is the founder of the iTunes new and noteworthy, The Edtech Podcast. The mission of The Edtech Podcast is to improve the dialogue between ‘ed’ and ‘tech’ for better innovation, through storytelling. The podcast is downloaded from over 145 countries with the UK, US & Aus in the top 3. Sophie has spoken and moderated at a variety of events including SXSW EDU, Yidan Education Prize, ASU GSV Summit, and the Next Billion Edtech Summit. She is an industry mentor and advisor, including to the UCL Knowledge Lab initiative EDUCATE, a Reimagine Education, GESA Awards, Bett Awards and XPrize Adult Literacy judge, and previous Edtech50 and Edtech Digest winner.
Sophie is passionate about lifelong and everyday learning. If she’s not interviewing a University Vice-Chancellor, Edtech Investor, School Leader, or StartUp about education innovation, she’s engrossed in Teach Your Monster to Read or wrestling her lockdown baby. A keen cyclist, she has recently relocated to West Devon which she considers the English version of the Pyrenees. She is very lucky to work with a distributed team on The Edtech Podcast.
Quotes from this episode
References from this week’s episode
- Ufi Voctech Trust – website, homepage
- Ufi Voctech – Twitter
- Ufi Voctech Trust – LinkedIn
- Ufi Week of Voctech – website link
- What’s next for VocTech and FE? – link to register for The Edtech Podcast session at #WeekOfVocTech
- Allison Baum Gates – LinkedIn
- Allison Baum Gates – Twitter
- Allison Baum Gates – Medium
- Sempervirens Venture Capital – Website
- Springhealth – Website
- Springhealth – Twitter
- Brightside – Website
- Brightside – Twitter
- The 100 Year Life – Website for the book Allison references
- A Hitchhiker’s Guide To Permanently Flipping The Workplace – Medium Article
- The Future Of Work Becomes Work – Medium Article
- Cansu Deniz Bayrak – LinkedIn
- Cansu Deniz Bayrak – Twitter
- Bethnal Green Ventures – Website
- Bethnal Green Ventures – Twitter
- The Resolution Foundation – Website
- The Resolution Foundation – Twitter
- Workerbird – Website
- Workerbird – Twitter
- Organise – Website
- Organise – Twitter
- Tendo – Website
- Tendo – Twitter
- Breakroom – Website
- Breakroom – Twitter
- The Resolution Foundation Publications – Direct link to The Resolution Foundation’s publications page
- What is Worker Tech– BGV blog post with their podcast episodes
Thank you to the Ufi Voctech Trust
Our aim is to help improve vocational skills in the UK’s workforce by funding digital solutions for vocational learning. We only fund activity that is ‘scalable’ through technology, ie projects that use digital methods to widen access to vocational learning. While digital learning solutions are potentially open to all, we are especially keen to assist digital projects which involve post-school age vocational learners that have failed to be engaged by the education system. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Head of Communications, Ufi Voctech Trust.
Tell us where you are listening in from
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in adult education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternately, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.