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.


The learning circle consists of a group of 20 people with a variety of experience and expertise. Together, over 6 months we are taking 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.

Keep an eye on this page for all updates on this journey, including all our thoughts, ideas and learnings as well as ways you can get involved or contribute.



Why we are 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.
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Beyond (un)employment – Session 4

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Beyond (un)employment – Session 3

Beyond (Un)employment Session 3 Pictures in Data For our third Beyond (un)employment learning session on Wednesday 24th May, the focus was on building up pictures using data, discovering and getting to grips with some of what the statistics are telling…

Hosting Team

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Daniel Blyden

Daniel is interested in crafting, orchestrating and capturing experiences that edify people and enable them to express themse…

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Louise Byng

Byng is a creative communicator with a penchant for learning-through-making. Since graduating from Arts University Bournemout…

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Dan Zastawny

Dan works on designing and delivering entrepreneurial coaching and support programmes across Europe. His background is in inc…

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Immy Kaur

Immy is passionate about new models of organising, bringing diverse, passionate and talented people together, creating unlike…

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