The Future of Work – Virtual Freelance Festival

Today's workers must adopt new skills, embrace change, and adapt to novel ways of working.

How will the workforce change and the jobs we currently do? What will be the long-term impact of the coronavirus crisis, of automation, of artificial intelligence and of declining legacy industries?

Speakers from around the country will address these topics and more at the annual Launceston Freelance Festival which begins tomorrow.

Aimed at freelancers and entrepreneurs across all occupations the festival, running from Sunday to Tuesday (July 5-7), includes workshops, panel discussions, wellbeing events and talks from speakers such as comedian Rachel Berger, The Institute for Working Futures’ Marcus Bowles, the Walkleys’ Louisa Graham and the Google News Initiative’s John Bergin, to name a few.

Festival director and digital education consultant Sue Bell said: “By the mid-2020s, more than one-third of the skills we currently consider crucial for today’s jobs will have changed.

“This means that as we head into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, freelancers, traditional workers, and those looking at self-employment, must stay ahead of the curve by adopting new skills, embracing change, and adapting to novel ways of working.”

Delegates at last year’s festival. Coronavirus health risks have necessitated holding the festival remotely in 2020. (Photo: Launceston Freelance Festival)

Those ways include having a multiplicity of skills outside traditional education structures.

One of the speakers Simon Harman, founder of blockchain start-up Loki, an encrypted messaging and data transfer app, said the education system was one sector that needed to change to support future work cultures and requirements.

“I don’t think schools and universities incentivise properly, I don’t think the traditional ways of teaching are congruent with a system that encourages  self-direction and entrepreneurship,” said Mr Harman.

Loki founder Simon Harman: “We like feeding students down a debt hole.”

“In reality we  like feeding students down this debt hole and forcing them to study topics they may not want to because it’s the obvious path forward.”

Mr Harmon, who addresses the conference on Monday, added ensuring privacy and the security of information would be increasingly necessary, especially in fields like journalism.

“If you have pervasive surveillance on all communications, it becomes difficult to talk to sources and acquire information and put together sharable stories about what is actually going on, particularly in other countries,” he said.

The festival, which is being conducted remotely because of the coronavirus health risks, launches tomorrow afternoon with a sustainability workshop, followed by two days of specialised events around work practice, including accounting tips for freelancers and a video editing lab.

A general admission ticket for all events is just $55 and $35 for concessions and members of the MEAA, MediaSuper or Freelance Collective. To book tickets CLICK HERE.

For a full itinerary of talks and workshops CLICK HERE.

Main picture Cisc1970/Flickr.