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Will antibiotics stop working?

Matthew Lee, the Slow Journalism Company

Future History Now - 2018. These are the views of the individual, not of Zurich.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when an infection no longer responds to the drugs developed to treat it because the virus causing the infection has adapted and developed immunity. Back in March 2013, the chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, said that the danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics was a ticking time bomb that was as serious a threat to the nation as terrorism - within 20 years we could reach a stage where routine operations could turn deadly because we haven’t developed new ways to fight infection. Over the last five years, pharmaceutical companies have invested money in the development of antibiotic drugs resistant to new strains of infection. As this was not an immediately profitable venture, governments have created incentives to spur them on and work on a global basis to address a global problem.

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How will technology change our workplaces?

Matthew Lee, the Slow Journalism Company

Future History Now - 2018. These are the views of the individual, not of Zurich.

Technological innovation has been transforming our workplaces, as new developments allow us to work faster, be even better connected and engage with new groups of consumers all over the world. Even back in 2013 we were starting to see the beginnings of a new wave of innovations which took advantage of the increasing speed and reach of the internet as well as a new growth in digital capacity, and these are now allowing companies to compete and succeed in a genuinely global market.

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How will the employer-employee relationship evolve?

Matthew Lee, the Slow Journalism Company

Future History Now - 2018. These are the views of the individual, not of Zurich.

The relationship between employers and employees has become much less rigid and formalised than it used to be. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach to employee rights and duties, employers are working with their HR representatives to create tailormade work packages that get the most out of each individual employee. This means a much greater flexibility for some employees, with assessments based on results instead of box ticking. All of this has been enabled by smarter workflow monitoring systems and the use of resources around the world to mean that companies become genuinely 24/7 operations.

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What effect will shifting demographics have on our work lives?

Matthew Lee, the Slow Journalism Company

Future History Now - 2018. These are the views of the individual, not of Zurich.

Demographic shifts in Europe combined with the free movement of labour within trading blocs like the EU have led governments to compete with one another to attract the skilled workers they need to power their economies. These workers are increasingly prepared to travel and work abroad in order to find the right opportunities. Longer healthy life expectancy means that the idea of retiring at a set age seems increasingly old-fashioned, and a default retirement age no longer exists in many professions. This has led to an extended overall working life, which has given people the opportunity to be more imaginative with their careers, taking sabbaticals and time out to retrain or even switch careers along the way.

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These are the views of the individual, not of Zurich.

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