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9 future-of-work influencers to follow

27 Sep 2023

From a menopause workplace consultant to the young CEO who wants to empower the creator economy, here are some future-of-work thought leaders you should know.

Click here to view the full Future of Work series.

Narrowing this list down to nine people was challenging because there are so many great people contributing to conversations around the future of work. Not all of the people we have chosen are influencers (in the sense of being all over TikTok) but they are all influential.

Barry Winkless

The leader of Cpl’s Future of Work Institute, Winkless is an experienced strategist, public speaker and motivator. Under his leadership, the institute provides consultancy services, workshops and events themed around future skills, technology, new ways of working, leadership and diversity and inclusion. He’s not very active on X, but he has a strong network on LinkedIn where he posts about the work he and his colleagues are doing.

Catherine O’Keeffe

Workplace wellness is very important for the future of work and O’Keeffe is a great example of someone who is grafting to make workplaces aware of a very important life event that happens to a lot of workers. She’s a menopause workplace consultant and founder of Wellness Warrior, a resource that aims to help women manage their symptoms in a positive and open way. As well as writing books and recording podcasts, O’Keeffe works with different companies to spread awareness of menopause and how it can affect women at work.

Josh Bersin

Bersin is a HR titan. He founded the Bersin HR division at Deloitte and he also runs his own company which provides thought leadership in the areas of HR, leadership, work and technology. He is a researcher, published author and an internationally respected authority on all things work related. He has a large following on X and Threads, as well as on LinkedIn. His website has lots of useful blog posts about everything from generative AI to organisational design.

Sharon O’Dea

No relation to the writer of this article, O’Dea is a digital strategist with 15 years of experience in advising organisations on how to leverage technology to boost their business. She’s also a co-founder of a consultancy practice called Lithos Partners. She describes herself on her website as “a digital all-rounder” but one of her areas of interest is the future of work and she blogs and tweets on the subject quite regularly.

Fania Stoney

Stoney talks about work quite a lot because she’s a business development strategist with Great Place to Work, a company that describes itself as “a global authority on workplace culture”. Stoney speaks at events around the country about the future of work, empowering people, talent strategies and women in leadership.

Furkan Karayel

A former Women Invent interviewee, Karayel is best known for her work in making the tech industry more diverse and inclusive. She used to work in tech but became frustrated by the lack of women and people from non-Irish backgrounds in the sector. These days, she is a diversity and inclusion speaker, writer and consultant who spreads awareness on the subject as part of her company

Emily Durham

Toronto-based Durham is a careers coach, content creator and professional influencer, in more ways than one. She has a large audience on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram where she talks about all things careers. Her podcast is called The Straight Shooter Recruiter. As well as the social media side of things, she offers career consultancy services for organisations and jobseekers. She also travels around to universities to do speaking engagements for future graduates.

Dale Whelehan

As the CEO of 4 Day Week Global, Whelehan is spearheading the campaign to reduce the working week from five days to four. The campaign has really gathered momentum over the past few years, especially since the success of several international trials. The four-day working week is definitely a trend to keep an eye on for anyone interested in the future of work. Whelehan regularly advocates for it on his LinkedIn, while providing science-backed insights on why the change could benefit workers and companies alike. As well as a CEO, he is a organisational science researcher.

Harry Gestetner

Gestetner and his business partners Cameron Dallas and Simon Pompan are founders of Fanfix, a company that is targeting the creator economy and Gen Z. As he falls into that age bracket himself, Gestetner knows his market. In an interview with, he told us that being a content creator will become a regular career just like any other. “It is the future of work. We believe that in the next five years, being a creator will be just as viable and common a career path as being a lawyer or a banker.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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