The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Adecco Group, together with a wide list of sponsors, has produced an interesting format to discuss the future of work in the view of AI (Artificial Intelligence). It is coined Future Series (Fu.Se). This is not exactly my field, but as I am watching some aspects of it for the future of the the construction supply industry at B+L GmbH, I followed the kind invitation to the kick off in Milan on February 13-14. I never go to conferences, but as this was introduced to me as an action oriented “anti-conference” I got interested. I specially enjoyed the podium discussion between Guy Ryder, the Director General of the Internation Labour Organization (ILO), and Alain Dehaze, the CEO of the Adecco Group, on the need to renew the “social contract” in the new context. Alain also was in the Global Commission for the Future of Work, which published a report I found very comprehensive and insightful (click here to download). All over it was a colorful mix of industry leaders, public institutions, advisors and researchers, which made the breakout sessions extremly interesting. With Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, using an analogy how long it took from the invention of the automobile to the time it shaped the streets, he convinced not just the car parts of my brain (which are many) that AI’s take off point is about to come changing work life extremely significant. I also enjoyed hearing about the research on the “gig economy” by Judith Wallenstein from BCG, which she conducted as the European Head of the Henderson Institute - the think tank of the consultancy. Just a day later, I received the compilation of results and action items of all parallel break out groups. The only remaining question now is not what to do, but how to do it and when? I am looking forward to that.
Feibai had a workshop and conference in Bocconi. So, I also took the opportunity to visit Milan and so we met half way between Malta and Frankfurt. I don’t fancy conferences and did not participate, but really enjoyed re-exploring the city. Just ahead of the coming art week a lot was in preparation. From the past, I remember Milan rather industrial. But a lot changed and the formerly abandoned industrial premises experienced gentrification, with small specialised shops (I hesitate to call them boutiques, as what you can see is beyond fashion), restaurants and bars. Also, Bocconi made impressive progress, and it was the first time I was on campus since the University was rising to the top of many rankings. A friend showed me also around the campus of the National University of Milan, which was lively with graduation celebrations, and has an outstanding flair of a traditional comprehensive institution. But the best, was the introduction to Cantina della Vetra (www.cantinadellavetra.it). Normally, I don’t try the Tiramisu in restaurants, but here it was one of the greatest surprises.