THE FUTURE OF WORK with Thimon De Jong

Does the idea of a driverless car make you nervous? Thimon De Jong, a futurist, specialising in human behaviour, takes us back in time when automatic elevators made people just as apprehensive.

Initially, elevators had an operator who would stop the car at the right level and open and close doors manually.

It wasn’t ideal because of the high cost of labour and human errors that often led to serious accidents. So when the first automatic elevator was invented in 1900, its creators were convinced that it would catch on like the proverbial sliced bread.

And yet, it took more than 50 years before the automated elevator was widely used by the public.

Why? Tune in to find out!

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Thimon and I had a truly interesting conversation about the trends that, in his view, will shape the future of work.

When I asked him what is one thing that you can do tomorrow to cultivate a culture that brings your vision to life, Thimon said: “Hold mini future sessions with your team. First, set a relevant topic and ask people to research it for an hour. Then, discuss what you’ve learned and what this means for your business. Done regularly, it’ll help you create a culture that is future-ready.

Episode highlights

  • The reasons why it took 50 years to successfully introduce the automatic elevator (and what we can learn from this about organisational change)
  • The four key trends that shape the future of work
  • Emotional AI and its applications in the workplace
  • Women and their role in the future of work and shaping workplace cultures
  • Millennials as the “bridge generation”
  • Gen Z and how to avoid mistakes when introducing them to the workplace
  • Emotions and the role they play in embracing technological and societal developments

More about Thimon De Jong

Thimon de Jong runs WHETSTON / strategic foresight, a think tank specialised in future human behaviour, societal change & business strategy. He is an experienced keynote presenter and leadership trainer and worked for clients like Morgan Stanley, Vodafone, and IKEA.

Thimon also lectures at the social psychology department of Utrecht University where he teaches master students how academic research can be practically applied to improve business strategy. He has a master’s degree in Cultural Studies with a minor in International Business Studies. He is a former insights & strategy director at TrendsActive, researcher at FreedomLab Future Studies and editor-in-chief of RELOAD Magazine.

Still curious about Thimon? Find him on: Twitter, LinkedIn or check out his website:

Resources mentioned in this episode



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