The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work.

Held on Friday, June 21


  • Richard Baldwin (Graduate Institute, Geneva)

  • Anand Vyas (Wipro)

  • Anna Thomas (Institute for the Future of Work)

  • Robert Wright (Financial Times)



We may now stand on the edge of a new era that will bring change to our world on a par with the Industrial Revolution. Automation, AI and robotics are changing our lives – but digital disruption goes much further than we realise, so says Professor Richard Baldwin.

Richard is one of the world’s leading globalization experts. In his latest book The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work (of which copies will be available), he argues that “the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm our capacity to adapt”. He says that when technology enables people from around the world to be a virtual presence in any office, “globotics” will disrupt the lives of millions of skilled workers much faster than automation, industrialization and globalization disrupted lives in previous centuries.

This is certainly timely. At the end of April, the OECD published its Employment Outlook 2019: The Future of Work, a report on rich nations’ need to prepare for the age of automation; it argues that “technological change is driving creative destruction”. So, what measures can we take in response to these seismic economic and social changes? How can we protect prosperity?

Hence, this roundtable. In addition to Richard Baldwin - professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and founder of, who served as a senior staff economist for Bush 1’s Council of Economic Advisors - we have:

  • Robert Wright, public policy correspondent at the FT, who spent four years as industry correspondent in the US, and moonlights in the blogosphere as Invisible Visible Man;

  • Anna Thomas, co-founder and director of the Institute for the Future of Work, who was previously senior policy advisor to the deputy leader of the Labour Party and head of policy for the (independent) Future of Work Commission; and

  • Anand Vyas, head of securities and capital markets sales for UK and European markets at Wipro, whose speciality is automation and AI in the financial services sector.

The issues around automation, AI, robotics, and our futures warrant that kind of attention. If you (or a colleague) would like to join us, please let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre 0207 621 1056. Fortunately, there will be coffee, tea, pastries, fruit, etc.

Best wishes,

Andrew Hilton