At last week’s New Adventures conference in Nottingham, I gave a brand new talk called “The World-Wide Work.” (Update: I’ve published a transcript of my talk, “The World-Wide Work”.) Here’s the description I sent over to Simon many, many months ago:

These days, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The tech industry is facing a veritable raft of ethical, moral, and political crises. Automation and industrialization are reshaping our world. And sitting in the middle of all that? You and me. We’re digital designers, we’re developers, we’re product owners. But each day, our work is changing — more quickly than it ever has before.

Here’s the question we have to ask ourselves: what do we want that change to be? In this talk, we’ll look at some of the challenges facing our industry, and ask ourselves: what kind of work do we want to do?

Here’s the opening of the talk:

In this talk, I want to look at some ways the Web is changing, and how our work is changing alongside it. I want to talk about web design as an agent of power, and about its potential to do harm. I want to suggest that web design has, as a practice, become industrialized, and I want to look at how that will change the nature of our work in the months and years to come. I want to talk about how the web has excelled at creating new kinds of work, and then rendering that work — and its workers — invisible.

And then I want to talk a little bit about hope.

As you might’ve guessed, it was a very, very different kind of talk for me, which was thoroughly terrifying a bit scary. That aside, I’m told video of the talk will be online at some point, and I’m debating whether or not to write up the full transcript.

But in the meantime, I’ve been inspired by Jeremy, and pulled together a list of materials that were cited in the talk:

Articles, reports, and essays



Update: I’ve published a transcript of my talk, “The World-Wide Work”.