Video: Do companies have a social responsibility to employ people?

29 March 2017

Automation is coming, and it’s going to make a massive impact.

Never mind the debate over whether companies are socially responsible when they close factories near to us (wherever that happens to be) and moves them overseas – estimates say that anything from a third to a half of existing jobs will soon be lost to automation.

We’ve seen technological revolutions before, and they disrupted the jobs markets creating winners and losers – but ultimately they provided new jobs to replace the old.

And even though we generally hate change, and people preferred the old, very quickly the new stopped being new and just became ‘business as usual’.

But are we in for a real seismic shift if the coming revolution sweeps away whole categories of jobs and simply doesn’t create new ones on anything like the same scale?

Are we due to see a much more intense debate around whether companies have a social responsibility not just to create wealth in the most efficient way possible, but to do so with the expectation of creating a certain number of jobs – even if it means less profit?

It seems like a very long way away from where we are today. But the context in which we discuss this is about to be transformed, and sudden shifts of mood are inevitable.

Watch the video and let me know what you think in the comments below.