What does the future hold? The third and final Barcelona Challengers Conference, to be held at Mazda Space on 23 September, will take an in-depth look at this issue in relation to how we earn our livelihoods. The theme is: “Times of change – how innovations and technology influence the future of work.”
Special guests include Jody Williams, a political activist who was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her efforts to have land mines banned. She is currently campaigning to ban lethal autonomous weapons systems as well, having co-founded the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in 2013. Williams will offer her thoughts about the work of tomorrow in a keynote interview.
Also attending is Guy Standing, an economist who is the former director of the International Labour Organization’s Socio-Economic Security Programme and a guaranteed basic income proponent. He will speak about the global transformation of work and labour in the age of an emerging new class he calls the “precariat”. Federico Pistono, meanwhile, brings his perspective during a talk called “The Star Trek economy: Rediscussing the social contract, basic income, and ways to fix capitalism.” The social entrepreneur and futurist, who specialises among other things in the impact of technology on society, is the author of Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK. Alex Bandar, finally, will talk about the “maker movement”. He is founder and CEO of the Columbus Idea Foundry, a community workshop (“makerspace”) in the U.S. where anyone can go to inexpensively make or create things (or learn how to), from prototype products to works of art.
Organised by Mazda and the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, the Barcelona Challengers Conferences give young people a unique opportunity to meet Nobel Peace laureates and others whose challenger spirit is making a big difference in the world. At the first conference in May, Mazda Space hosted another laureate, Lord David Trimble, who held an enlightening talk about conflict resolution and peace negotiations. The second event in June featured female leaders from eight countries discussing women’s leadership in the 21st century. They included two winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize: Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist, and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee. During a networking lounge, the attending students also learned about the career paths of top women managers from Mazda and the challenges they faced.
The conferences were conceived as a platform to discuss ways of achieving a brighter future. In doing so, they also celebrate the challenger spirit Mazda promotes and admires in others. Located in the heart of Barcelona, Mazda Space has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since opening last September as the carmaker’s European cultural and event hub.