Pause Fest and the future of work

by Indi Tansey, Feb 07, 2018

Melbourne is buzzing with news and plenty of tweets from Pause Fest 2018 (to be fair, most of them are from Codebots), which is one of Australia's premier technology and startup conferences.
For everyone who is attending Pause, or monitoring social media for hourly (or minutely) updates, the value of events like Pause is clear: technology and technology startups are the future of work. To create a future-ready economy, we need technology. We also need entrepreneurs hustling and governments supporting the businesses that are building new or modernising old technologies.

To understand why, let's quickly go over the future of work.

Future of work

Back in 2006, the world's 10 largest companies were primarily in the energy and financial sectors. By 2016, technology and telecoms accounted for 6 of the top 10 companies. We are living in a virtually new world. And more change is coming.

Investors are obsessed with technology startups (and for good reason). Silicon Valley (and China) are producing unicorns (startups valued over $1 billion) like crazy. (TechCrunch reports there were 224 unicorns as of April, 2017.) Plus startups are less constrained by bureaucracy. By and large, startups are more nimble than their competitors. They can adapt (and create) change faster.

AirBnB and Uber are less than 10 years old, and they are the world's largest hotel and taxi companies. They are also technology companies. Disruptive technology companies.

This is the future of work. More technology and disruption. One study suggests 50% of work can be automated. Another argues "only 5%" of occupations can be automated. Long story short, change is coming.

This change is also cultural, with Startup Muster's 2017 paper reporting Australian founders are increasingly young, women and foreign-born. Founders are also increasingly coming from designer or developer backgrounds.

#Pause2018 is something Australia needs more of: celebration of and support for the people and organisations who understand the future of work is technology, diversity and disruption.

So, what's Pause?

Pause is an annual three-day festival in Melbourne focusing on sharing cutting-edge tech, creativity and business practices. Among those speaking this year are established heavyweights (such as Airbnb, IBM and Netflix) and startups trying to make their way in the world (we count ourselves in this bracket).

How does Pause help?

In 2014, Zero Latency demoed their free-roam VR, in 2016 Adriana Gascoigne's 2016 appearance inspired the launch of Girls in Tech in Melbourne, and in 2017 Dropbox released Paper. 

Pause raises Australia's international profile and provides a platform for game-changing technologies and business practices.

When you understand the future of work revolves around technology, diversity and disruption, your appreciation for events promoting these values only increases.