Phillip Brown

Distinguished Research Professor, Cardiff University
Programme Director, Digital Futures of Work

Phil has extensive experience studying the future of work across advanced and emerging economies. He has interviewed many leading transnational companies and senior policy makers in countries including America, China, Germany, Singapore, and United Kingdom. He’s given keynote presentation in over 20 countries and authored a number of books including The Death of Human Capital?: Its Failed Promise and How to Renew it in an Age of Disruption’ (2020). He Chaired a Review for the Welsh Government on digital innovation for the economy and the future of work, and sits on the Council of Management, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Westminster, London.

Related Articles
Blog | March 13, 2023

Will generative AI lead to a degenerative workforce?

In the final year of our research programme, we’ve witnessed what’s widely believed to be a step-change in digital innovation, resulting from advances in generative AI. In some ways it’s a light bulb moment! The first street lighting in Paris for the 1878 Exposition Universelle, or in 1880 the first

Blog | December 1, 2022

If skills are the answer, we could be asking the wrong question

At the Global Lifelong Learning Summit in Singapore1, I recently participated in a panel session on The Future of Work is Now: Workplace Learning for a Future-Ready Workforce. At the end of the session, we were asked for a final comment which led me to suggest, ‘if skills are the

Publications | August 16, 2022

Working Paper 6: The rise of the digital labour market: characteristics and implications for the study of education, opportunity and work

The study of education and work has typically focused on the role of the credential in shaping individual opportunities in the competition of jobs. Despite its pivotal role in understanding the link between education and work how the labour market operates in an increasingly digital context has remained under-researched. This

Blog | March 11, 2022

The emergence of the digital labour market and its perils

Rapid digital innovation is transforming how people look for jobs and how companies recruit. As a result, the competition for jobs is being transformed. Digital tools give job seekers new ways of describing themselves and employers new sources of data on candidates, in real-time and at low cost. But are

Publications | December 2, 2021

Working Paper 5: Rethinking lifelong learning in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’

Two key discourses of our time, lifelong learning (LLL) and the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), have been inextricably linked to offer a compelling narrative of the coupling of education models and technological change to enable individual empowerment, social inclusion and a shared prosperity. This article takes an analytical view, examining

Publications | February 8, 2021

Working Paper 4: Technological change and labour substitution: can firm characteristics shield workers against automation?

A burgeoning literature that has emerged examining the potential of technology to automate labour. Much of this work, however, has relied on expert opinions and is ‘de-contextualised’, with little use of data on firms’ actual behaviour. We employ a rich dataset of over 3,800 companies to explore whether certain firm

Blog | February 3, 2021

There’s a lot at stake in the future of work: a reminder that technology is not destiny

All industrial revolutions are characterised by changes in the nature of work. This is not just a change in the types of jobs people do to earn a living – from farm labourer to factory worker to computer software engineer, etc. – but also changes in the role of work

Publications | February 2, 2021

Working Paper 2: Education, technology and the future of work in the fourth industrial revolution

It is widely believed that digital technologies are transforming all aspects of economy and society, driven by advances across a number of interdisciplinary fields and new technologies such as, artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, synthetic biology, and smart materials. Public debate has largely focused on the threat of large-scale technological unemployment,

Publications | February 1, 2021

Working Paper 1: Digital futures of work: reimagining jobs, skills and education for the digital age

Digital innovation is widely recognised as a game changer. Despite attention-grabbing headlines of robots outsmarting humans leading to widespread technological unemployment and counter claims that technology will create more good jobs than it destroys just like in previous epochs, there has been little systematic analysis or evaluation of exactly how