People as the future of manufacturing

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the roles of people, technology, and work in industry. While the level of automation on shop floors increases, it is not always effective or feasible to assign the entire execution of production to autonomous systems. Where total automation is ineffective, new forms of augmentation can empower the workforce whilst increasing overall business productivity. An estimated 87% of manufacturing companies have accelerated their digitalization over the past year. However, only a few are leveraging technology to ensure they are prepared for the future of advanced manufacturing.

There is a need for understanding and harnessing the new paradigm of workforce augmentation in the production ecosystem among industry pioneers, thought leaders, policy makers, and trade unions.

How can companies and governments scale the use of technologies to augment, empower and upskill the factory workforce?

To address these challenges, the World Economic Forum has launched the Augmented Workforce Initiative in collaboration with University of Cambridge. The initiative is a trustful, pre-competitive community where industry executives, thought leaders, and pioneers can share experiences on a peer-to-peer level, exchange knowledge on high-impact use case, and unlock cross-organizational collaborations.

Objective: Identify specific strategies, use cases and frameworks to help increase the use of augmentation technologies that will ensure that workers are better prepared for the future of work in manufacturing, and are able to work with – instead of being disrupted by – advanced manufacturing solutions.


Please find below some useful links and information:

Additional resources for engaging in the Augmented Workforce Initiative:

  • Find out more about the Augmented Workforce Initiative and the community's current activities here,

  • Submit your high-impact use case on workforce augmentation via this survey,

  • Contribute to the community's Augmented Learning Assessment Tool here.

Interested in shaping a people-centric future of manufacturing? - Please contact:

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