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16 future of work influencers you should be following

26 Aug 2020

As we look at all things future of work, these influencers could help you learn more about education, diversity, inclusion, economics, wellbeing and remote working.

Click here to view the Future of Work Week series.

The future of work has always been a hot topic of conversation. In recent months, however, working lives have been turned upside down for many of us and more focus than ever has been placed on how we’re going to work down the line.

To help keep your finger on the pulse, here are some future of work influencers we recommend following.

Ann Roddy

Technology is undoubtedly one of the most fast-changing aspects of work. One person worth listening to on the topic is Fidelity Investments’ Ann Roddy. As the company’s vice-president in technology management, Roddy leads a change-management programme that aligns with Fidelity’s future.

James Milligan

We’ve learned a lot about working life from James Milligan, most recently through an insightful chat about work after Covid-19 that he had with our editor, Elaine Burke. Milligan is Hays’ global head of technology, and is also a director at STEM charity Teen-Turn and professional services firm James Harvard.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been vocal about the shifting work perspectives he believes are just around the corner. He has also shared some great advice, including a podcast on how leaders can support their team’s childcare responsibilities.

Kirsti Lonka

The future of education is another big topic and Kirsti Lonka’s views are certainly worth a read. She’s a professor of educational psychology at the University of Helsinki and a founding member of the university’s Teachers’ Academy.

Her research spans multiple facets of education, from digital literacy to education design, and how we can create schooling for a digital-native generation.

Dave Anderson

Another area that has potential to be an important element of work in the future is serverless computing. Calls for more efficient methods of communicating will see many companies opt for the serverless route, Liberty IT’s Dave Anderson believes.

Anderson is Liberty IT’s director of technology and is well-versed in the nuances of a serverless business. If you’re keen to learn more, he’s definitely worth the follow.

Soraya Darabi

New York-based Soraya Darabi works with entrepreneurs and young companies in her role at Trail Mix Ventures, where she focuses on tech, sustainability and the future of work. She also hosts the Business Schooled podcast and has a Twitter following of more than 320,000 people.

Given her regular engagement with new business ideas, her feed is a great place to turn to if you’re looking for a window to the future.

Alan Lepofsky

Alan Lepofsky, vice-president of customer advocacy at Salesforce, has a pinned tweet on his feed that says: “My advice for people new to working from home: take the time you would have spent commuting and dedicate it to yourself, not your inbox.”

This is a great example of the kind of positive thinking we need to be encouraging as we work through the pandemic and prepare for the future. He mostly discusses tech, productivity and working from home.

Abby Langtry

The future of health research is an important and fascinating area. Abby Langtry of Genuity Science is one to follow if you want to stay up to date on developments here.

Langtry is Genuity’s director of patient advocacy and community engagement. She’s passionate about public and patient involvement, which is a growing area of emphasis for health research around the world.

Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford is an economist and director at the Centre for Future Work, based at the Australia Institute. The Centre for Future Work focuses on the future of jobs, wages, income, skills, training and more through an economic lens.

If you’re interested in the financial side of the future of work, Stanford should appear on your newsfeed.

Sarah Cunningham

Whether it’s preparing for a job that hasn’t been invented yet or predicting how we work now will influence the future, Sarah Cunningham is one of our favourite voices on the future of work. As vice-president of Mastercard’s Dublin technology hub, her expertise spans strategy, diversity and inclusion and brand identity.

Last year, Cunningham was named Business Role Model of the Year at Ireland’s Women in IT awards.

Alex Ferreira

Alex Ferreira is the modern workplace director for Avanade Ireland. He moved from Portugal to Ireland nine years ago and now works with Avanade clients to establish digital workplace programmes, transforming internal communication and collaboration.

Ferreira has a technical background in software engineering and focuses on harnessing Microsoft technologies to succeed in the future of work.

Eva Sage-Gavin

A senior managing director in Accenture’s global talent and organisation consulting practice, Eva Sage-Gavin is an expert in driving workplace evolution. Her teams help clients harness digital technology and prepare workforces for the future.

Her 30 years of experience spans multiple industries; she held senior HR leadership roles at Gap, PepsiCo, Xerox and Disney Consumer Products, to name a few. Sage-Gavin is also an executive in residence at Cornell University and a guest lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ali Fazal

Ali Fazal is senior director of marketing at people-management platform Hibob, which is looking to “shape the future of HR”. In particular, Fazal has looked at diversity and inclusion in the workplace and something he sees as potentially problematic for the future of equality at work is performative allyship.

Follow him for more important insights about diversity and other things leaders will need to keep in mind for the future workplace.

Sheree Atcheson

Another brilliant voice on the future of diversity and inclusion is Sheree Atcheson. We spoke to her earlier this year about how she has been making the most of the inclusive space created by the game Animal Crossing, for example. Her Twitter feed is full of cute pictures from her virtual adventures and of her adorable dog, but also great advice around workplace equality and wellbeing that need to be considered for the future of work.

Chris Herd

With Covid-19 restrictions, many companies have been reconsidering the role of the traditional office. Firstbase is a remote working consultancy that helps companies transition to an officeless environment. It’s led by Chris Herd, a self-described ‘remote work activist’, who treats his Twitter followers to arguments for remote-first companies and tips for people new to working from home.

Sarah Winton

Sarah Winton is Dun & Bradstreet’s senior communications manager. As teams dispersed at the start of the pandemic in Ireland, she wrote a guest article for on staying authentic in a virtual world. Authenticity, she believes, will be a central tenet of leadership in the future.

Tim Salau

One of the biggest challenges some companies have faced during the pandemic is the pivot to video training and distance learning, which is now likely to remain popular in the future. One virtual training tool is Guide, an app that helps onboard and teach staff remotely.

Its CEO, Tim Salau, is an active voice on Twitter. Based in Oakland, California, he posts regular updates about his own working life as well as useful advice for others.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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