The Future of Work is a huge topic.  How will we attract and retain the worker of the future? How can we leverage the latest technology to augment the worker of the future? What will the workplaces of the future be like?  It’s the subject of conferences, white papers, speculation, pontificating, and hand-wringing. Yet with all the talk, most of us have a hard time picturing the future in a way that brings the all high-flying ideas down to earth.  We’re not wired to imagine what the world might be like in ten or twenty years time… maybe such a long term view wasn’t helpful for us back when we were cavemen…

That’s why we’ve chosen to literally paint a picture of what the future will be like.

In my work in Cisco’s Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL), I’ve found science fiction prototypes to be a useful tool. In this case, it’s a story based on extensive research of trends, technologies, economics, and cultural change. These prototypes make it easier to visualize the future in a concrete way so that we can more easily identify areas that are ripe for innovation.  Who will be the workers of the future, and how will their needs and expectations change? What will be the role of robotics, AI, and virtual reality? What risks will we need to navigate?

That is what this comic book blog series is about.  It’s a way to imagine the future so we can then create the future we want.

My team are currently designing a cohort of corporations who will come together to design the future of work—a Future of Work Living Lab – where we will design and jointly invest in innovation we feel will create this Future. But first… let’s meet Gail our Superhero and come to understand some of the challenges that face us in the Future of Work.

I hope you’ll stay tuned and join the conversation.


Superheroes Wanted: Envisioning the Future of Work

The Workspace of the Future:

  • Workforce freed to be more remote and distributed


  • HR support practices consider the entirety of workers’ lives


 The Evolving worker: 

  • Companies work in partnership with trade associations, universities and community colleges to specifically train the workforce they need


 Technology and the augmented worker:

  • Humans work side by side with robots as “co-bots”


  • VR, AR and new display technology allows separated workers new forms of collaboration


 Security Issues:

  • Criminals employ AI to surveil and coerce employees to act against their own company


Comic Series

Superheroes Wanted: Envisioning the Future of Work 


Kate O'Keeffe

Senior Director

Customer and Partner Innovation