Growth Summit 2023: How do we develop human capital for the new future of work?

May 1, 2023

World Economic Forum

This article is republished from the World Economic Forum   under a Creative Commons license.

  • In the next five years, almost a quarter of jobs (23%) are expected to change, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023.
  • AI and machine learning will change the shape of labour markets.
  • Macrotrends, including the green transition, ESG standards and localization of supply chains, are the leading drivers of job growth.
  • Economic challenges including high inflation, slower economic growth and supply shortages pose the greatest threat.
  • Developing human capital is one of the core themes at the World Economic Forum’s Growth Summit, taking place on 2-3 May 2023.

What percentage of workplace tasks are already automated? You might be shocked to learn that it is as high as 34%, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023. However, you might be just as shocked to learn that this is only 1% higher than it was three years ago.


Future of Jobs 2023: These are the fastest growing and fastest declining jobs

While AI and machine learning are looming large over labour markets, it seems increasingly likely that they could drive a surge in job growth and skill development that will make up for much of the job displacement and task automation driven by those same technologies.

Around 65% of employers think they will soon be adding jobs in AI and big data. This is why training workers to use AI and big data ranks third among companies’ skills-training priorities for the coming five years – putting it above computer programming and cybersecurity skills.

But amid all the talk of new skills, it’s worth noting which old-fashioned skills beat AI and big data on the list of companies’ training priorities – analytical thinking, which 48% are focusing on, and creative thinking, which 43% are looking to develop.

Other skills companies see as being critical for the years ahead include leadership, resilience, flexibility and agility, plus curiosity and lifelong learning. These are all eminently human skills, and will be key to helping employers and employees adapt to the changing nature of the workplace.

The fastest-growing jobs are…


AI and Machine Learning Specialists


Sustainability Specialists


Business Intelligence Analysts


Information Security Analysts


Fintech Engineers

Future of Jobs Report 2023

Future of Jobs Report 2023 Image: World Economic Forum

It’s not just AI changing the skills workers need

The changing skills landscape will not just be a result of AI. Investments in the green energy transition will affect 69% of companies, with more than half predicting it will lead to job creation, the Future of Jobs Report 2023points out. Meanwhile, supply chain restructuring will reshape businesses, most notably in East Asia, and economic challenges will lead to some job losses around the globe.

“Nearly half of the skills that people like you and I are using every single day in the workplace are going to have to change in the next 4 to 5 years alone. Now, what that means is we need very rapid reskilling and upskilling possibilities.””— Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

Future of Jobs Report 2023

Future of Jobs Report 2023 Image: World Economic Forum

All of this is why the businesses surveyed for the report believe that 44% of workers’ core skills will be disrupted by 2027. It is therefore critical the right strategies are put in place to empower the learning that workers and workplaces need to undertake to make themselves fit for the rapidly approaching future.

The World Economic Forum’s Growth Summit will put this requirement front and centre by focusing on what companies need to do to develop human capital. Topics up for discussion will include investing in education and supporting job creation, the impact of AI and lifelong learning.

Sessions on developing human capital at the Growth Summit

Accelerating economic equity, advancing gender equality, and acting on racial and social justice will also be at the top of the agenda. Almost seven out of ten Generation Z workers are not satisfied with their organization’s progress in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, so it is clear that companies need to take action.

The Growth Summit takes place at the Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2-3 May 2023. Here’s a round-up of some of the key sessions taking place, and other World Economic Forum resources on developing human capital.

The Growth Summit will bring together leaders from business, government, civil society, international organizations and academia to discuss the frameworks, solutions, commitments and alliances that can help build the structures the world needs to develop human capital.

These are the key sessions to watch out for:

A selection of resources on developing human capital from the World Economic Forum

These articles and reports provide useful and important information for those looking to better understand and implement plans to develop human capital.

The Future of Jobs Report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change. This is the fourth edition of the report, which was first launched in 2016. It aims to analyse how macrotrends as well as technology adoption are likely to reconfigure labour markets and shape the demand for jobs and skills in the 2023-2027 timeframe. The Future of Jobs Survey brings together the perspective of 803 companies – collectively employing more than 11.3 million workers – in 27 industry clusters and 45 economies from all world regions.

  • Skills-First Playbook 2023

Taking a “skills-first” approach to employment rather than focusing on academic qualifications is a key part of a new framework put forward by the World Economic Forum and PwC. It means that businesses can secure the skills they need while also democratizing access to jobs.

  • Job Creation Briefing 2023

Labour markets globally are impacted by a period of industry transformation driven by increased adoption of technology, the green transition and value chain restructuring and this is compounded by the current challenging global macro-economic conditions. In light of this, the World Economic Forum is launching a Global Future Council on the Future of Job Creation to explore how investments and incentives can prioritize local and global job creation. After briefly reflecting on the global state of employment, this briefing paper lays out key investment pathways to job creation in preparation for the council’s work.

The advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has led to wide-ranging opportunities from advanced technologies for business and government. In recent decades, these technologies have often failed to deliver the promised game-changing results for the benefit of society, but there is growing evidence that dynamic governments and purpose-driven businesses are willing to shape a new era of public-private cooperation. A proactive approach and greater strategic planning are now required in order to create the “markets of tomorrow” that meet key societal needs.

A growing and ageing global population looks to exacerbate existing issues with social mobility and human capital development. Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions are amplifying the need to find alternate energy sources amid the already urgent requirement to transform into a more sustainable economy. More social jobs, those in the education, healthcare and care sectors, can help address social mobility and human capital issues. Similarly, more green jobs are essential for enabling an environmental transition.

The The Good Work Framework: A new business agenda for the future of work, launched in May 2022 to help companies establish a new benchmark for job quality by providing a consistent and goal-oriented approach to the development of comprehensive people strategies and to guide measurable actions to promote good work. The toolkit now offers an overview of implementation steps, including key policy changes and global resources, and real-world case studies of Good Work Alliance members.

More women have been moving into paid work in recent decades, and increasingly into leadership positions, but there have been continued headwinds – societal expectations, employer policies, the legal environment and the availability of care infrastructure. This has continued to limit educational opportunities for women, as well as the career possibilities they can pursue. Collective, coordinated and comprehensive action will be needed to create sustained improvements and halt the risks of reversals.

The Forum’s Reskilling Revolution platform is helping workers around the world gain the skills needed to future-proof their careers, including with technologies such as AI, and it has already reached 350 million people.

This article is republished from the World Economic Forum   under a Creative Commons license.

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: