Episode Archive

SCP E136 The Future of Work: Digital Footprints, Data Literacy and Informed Citizens, with Andrew Grill

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a brilliant conversation with Technologist, Engineer, Futurist and host of the Practical Futurist Podcast, Andrew Grill. You might remember Andrew Grill from Episode 38, way back when we were called the Smart City Podcast. Since we’re talking about the Future of Work this month, I knew it was the perfect time to have him back on the show. In this episode, Andrew and I discuss the skills to implement now to stay ahead of the curve in the future of work space, and why we should be designing offices for the future flexible workforce. Andrew tells us why he predicts the gig economy trend is going to reach C-suite and Executive level, and the three Ps of the future of work: people, place and purpose. We also cover the importance of the personal brand and how the notion of personal brands and digital footprints have changed over Andrew’s career, plus the idea of employees renting their personal brands to employers. We discuss the need to be practising digital etiquette and also building trust digitally and in person. Andrew explains the notion of the digital agent, what privacy will look like in the future and what your data is worth. We finish our chat talking about data literacy, informed citizens and the broken business model that is interruption advertising. As always I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • A bit about how Andrew became the Practical Futurist
  • About Andrew’s podcast, The Practical Futurist
  • What Andrew considers a Smart Community
  • The skills to implement to stay ahead of the curve in the future of work space
  • Why we should be designing offices for the future flexible workforce
  • Andrew’s prediction that the gig economy trend is going to reach C-suite and Executive level
  • The 3 Ps of the future of work: People, Place and Purpose
  • Balancing the importance of in person with the ease and convenience of digital community
  • The need to be practising Digital Etiquette and building Trust Digitally, plus some things you can do to build trust
  • How important the personal brand will be in the future and how personal brands and digital footprints have changed over Andrew’s career
  • Why authenticity and third party affirmation in digital footprints and personal branding is key
  • The personal brand + employer-employee relationship, or how employees are renting their personal brands to employers
  • The different ways public and private sector, and organisations, value personal brands and individual personalities
  • The changing ways value and power in organisations is cultivated
  • Jobs that will be fully automated and jobs that will increase in the workforce in the future
  • The digital agent and the innovative power of the post it note
  • What privacy will look like in the future and what your data is worth
  • Data literacy, informed citizens and the broken business model that is interruption advertising


“While in many work situations people are striving to do the best they can and climb up the ladder and be ambitious, I think the sense of community as Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z grow up and get into managerial roles, they will have probably more of a collegiate community view of the world to try and help each other.”

“We’re going to see the rise in the next few years of the gig economy for executives. So at the moment in the gig economy we think of delivery drivers or people that are freelancers, I think we may have a breed of people who are saying, ‘I’ve got to the top of my career, I’m a C suite executive, but I only want to work three days a week for company X. I want to do a day of community service and a day basically researching, I can afford to do that.’”

“Your digital first impression is so important. If you haven’t met someone, how can you trust them? if you’re going to build trust, and someone types your name into a search engine or into LinkedIn, what are they going to see? You can have control over that. Because before we know someone, we’re going to search for them, and what we see will, to great extent, reflect positively or negatively on that digital trust.”

“A personal brand can go both ways. Either I’m so branded that I’m telling you I’m absolutely amazing. Or I let my clients and my reputation speak for itself, and I make it easy to find.”

“What I think happens when you’re an employee, you go to work, you’re actually renting your brand to an employer for the period of time that you’re there. Now, if you’re someone like me that has a well established, well thought-out, easy to find brand, that’s going to be really useful for the company you work for as well as for you. And for those that don’t and leverage and build a brand while they’re there, that’s great as well. And people say, “If Andrew has a great brand, a great LinkedIn Profile, he is going to leave.” You bet I’m going to leave at some stage. But I’m less likely to leave if you feel like my brand is helping yours and vice versa. And for the moment that we’re together as an employee and employer, you’re renting my brand. When you think about it that way, they get the benefit while I’m there. And when I’ve left, they hang up the benefit, and get the benefit from someone else.”

“Any job that can be done by robots will be done by robots…We’ve had the Industrial Revolution, we’ve had the internet revolution, we’ve had all sorts of revolutions where roles have been replaced, displaced, and we found better, faster, cheaper ways to do it with machines. And so this is nothing new. But I think going forward, the jobs that will survive are ones where you need to have a level of empathy, because I don’t think we’re yet able to program robots with empathy.”

“Privacy is about a value exchange, I’m happy to give you my data, all of it, if I get something in return, when I don’t want you to have my data and I don’t know what you’re going to do with it. That’s when I want it to be private…It’s where’s the value exchange, I want to actually negotiate with Facebook to say I’m happy with that term, I’m not happy with that term.”


Episode 38 with Andrew Grill

Simon Sinek ‘Start with WHY’

Andrew’s podcast, The Practical Futurist Podcast

The Wayback Machine archive.org

ABC’s Utopia

The Great Hack on Netflix


Connect with Andrew at Andrew.London or on Twitter @andrewgrill

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

Podcast Production by Perk Digital


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