Beyond (un)employment

Beyond (un)employment is a collaborative learning circle where we will collectively build intelligence and real-time, evidence-based perspectives on the future of (un)employment in our city.

You will join a cohort of people with a variety of experience and expertise to participate in a series of facilitated learning sessions over 6 months. Together we will do a deep dive exploration of the landscape for (un)employment in Birmingham, both now and in the future.

We will cover themes such as how we define unemployment, universal basic income, the implications of leaving the European Union on the local economy and more. This will culminate in the co-creation of some strategic approaches, and possible solution packages appropriate for Birmingham through a series of talks and hack days.

Programme starts Wednesday 19th April 2017

Why we're hosting this

Rewriting the Manual

Everywhere you look in the media, there appears to be a crisis looming. Whether it’s Brexit, social care, housing or robots, it’s not difficult to find someone ready and willing to talk about all the things we need to be worried about in our future. The only constant in all of this is the changing nature of the global and local economy. And that’s a good thing; change can bring hope, as well as fear. Nowhere is this shift in narrative more important than our conversations on employment. Principles and assumptions which have been held dear and undisputed for generations, ingrained strategies and economic policies can be torn up, reimagined and improved with the benefit of new technology, new thinking and new ways of organising.

The relationship between employer and employee has remained largely unchanged since the great movement from the farms into the factories. There have been incremental improvements in pay, conditions and expectations, and yet the elusive wealth creators are still seen as the best route to job creation. This no longer holds true in many sectors; the tech unicorns we pursue employee far fewer people than other large companies and as automation becomes more and more prevalent this trend is only set to get worse.

Critical Questions

With this context in mind a whole host of questions become critical. What is the future of mass employment in an economy which values and rewards financial capital much more than human capital? Will the role employment plays in creating a stable society need to change? As we enter an age of product creation by robots, are we entering an age beyond (un)employment?

In response to these questions and more, Impact Hub Birmingham is working as part of global project alongside Robert Bosch Stiftung (Foundation) and four other Impact Hubs to undertake a six month learning and doing programme. We will work with a group of actively engaged citizens with a broad range of backgrounds and skill sets, and we would love for you to be part of this group to help us discover a hopeful, dynamic picture of a city which goes beyond click bait headlines and scaremongering to collectively build a better future.

Finding Answers

We don’t believe complex interdependent system challenges can be solved with silver bullet solutions. We also don't believe any one person can have the answers. With this in mind, we are building a programme that will help us to grow, learn and build together; a space where we value collective intelligence, deep learning and shared experience as the starting point to grow bold ambitious ideas for the future.
Artboard 11

Who It's For

The programme aims to involve people with a variety of expertise. You might be a social entrepreneur, a decision maker for intermediaries or within local government, an academic, a student, or you've experienced being unemployed and want to do something about it. You will need to either have a level of understanding of the economic factors at play or an ability to learn and grasp principles quite rapidly.

Over and above this, you are:
  • Curious, inquisitive and passionate about issues of (un)employment in Birmingham.

  • Ready to challenge your own assumptions and to form or affirm new convictions based on evidence.

  • Ready to experience different ways of learning and doing by immersing yourself in an experiential learning environment with an open mind

  • Generous with your knowledge and willing to contribute as much as you get out

The commitment

This programme is free of charge for all selected participants. You will need to be able to attend the 11 sessions taking place over 6 months, as well as do some additional research and reading in between sessions. We will encourage you to contribute learnings, thoughts and ideas to a dedicated online learning and sharing space for the duration of the programme. Also note that:
  • A Mission Birmingham membership for Impact Hub Birmingham is available (for the duration of the programme)

  • Food will be provided

  • Stipends are available for travel and/or childcare if needed

  • International travel opportunity (for nominated member to visit learning circles in partner hubs)



Learning Session 1 + Film screening (I, Daniel Blake): Wednesday 19th April 2017, 4 - 8.30pm

Learning Session 2: Wednesday 3rd May, 3 - 6pm

Learning Session 3: Wednesday 24th May, 5 - 8pm

Learning Session 4: Wednesday 7th June, 3 - 6pm

Learning Session 5: Friday 23rd June, 5 - 8pm

Learning Session 6: Wednesday 5th July, 3 - 6pm

Pre Hack Meetup: Thursday 14th September, 6 - 9pm

Pecha Kucha Style Event: Thursday 28th September, 6 - 9pm

Hack Days: Friday 27th October & Friday 3rd November, 10am - 4pm

Dinner, Show & Tell: Thursday 9th November, 7 - 9.30pm

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