What is the future of work?

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May 25, 2016
The Future of Work

Welcome to another Think Tank by Adobe, where thought leaders gather to discuss how the definition of work will transform in the coming years.

What does the future of work hold? Can we view our ever-changing world clearly and move forward with confidence? How can business leaders and organizations embrace opportunities and meet the challenges ahead? These questions are both philosophical and practical, as disruptive technologies and business models are making change the new norm.


Jeremiah Owyang

Think Tank Moderator
Founder, Crowd Companies

Jeremiah's career mission is to help corporations connect with customers using web technologies. He does this by researching the way disruptive technologies are changing the customer relationship, speaking at many conferences and events, and serving as a frequent source for the media. Jeremiah founded Crowd Companies to foster engagement and growth in the collaborative economy. He was a founding partner at Altimeter Group, and his background includes key roles at Forrester Research, PodTech Network, and Hitachi Data Systems, among others. Jeremiah is a fifth-generation Chinese-American and dedicated family man.

Matt Dorey

Co-Founder & CEO

Matt serves as CEO of Factory, which is comprised of three elements: Factory Zero, a proprietary innovation platform; Factory Immersion, which helps generate and support disruptive new businesses for global brands; and, Factory Living, a network of spaces for innovators in California. Matt started computer programming at age nine and was taking university-level classes by age 13. At age 20, he raised $20 million in venture capital to fund Curve, the first and leading cloud-based practice management and digital x-ray company in the dental industry. He has founded over seven companies and serves on the nonprofit boards of Unreasonable and Lifehouse. Matt is also a third-degree black belt and two-time Canadian national Taekwondo champion.

Natalie Engels

Design Director & Senior Associate

Natalie is passionate about delivering spaces that people want to experience again and again. Named one of Silicon ValleyŐs 40 under 40 Rising Stars, she brings 19 years of experience in commercial interior design, 13 of which have been focused on the workplace in the technology sector. There, she works to guide the shift from traditional offices of the past into more well-rounded spaces for the future, enhancing the quality of the end-userŐs life. Natalie serves on the board of SV Creates. She is also member of KnightŐs Community Advisory Committee in San Jose, as well as the past president of the International Interior Design Association Northern California Chapter.

Jason Kinney


Jason is a cross-functional marketing leader with experience building and leading teams to successfully drive rapid, strategic growth. In his role as head of marketing, Jason engages new and existing customers to activate the LiquidSpace network and solve their office needs through cost-effective digital and traditional channels. Prior to his current role, Jason led product marketing, digital merchandising, customer acquisition, and data analytics at high-growth, world-class organizations including Marriott International, Travelocity, and Match.com.

Kate Kendall

CEO & Founder

Kate is a San Francisco-based, British-Australian entrepreneur and writer. She is the founder and CEO of CloudPeeps, a trusted marketplace, platform, and community that empowers freelancers and businesses to do their best work. Launched in 2015, CloudPeeps now serves over 7,000 professionals in 110 countries. She also created the Freelance Friday community, a global co-working community for independents, creatives, and entrepreneurs in 10 cities. Kate is on the board of the Australian Founder Network in Silicon Valley, and Smart Company recently ranked here as one of the most influential Australian entrepreneurs on Twitter.

Elizabeth Kim

Executive Director

As the Executive Director of Talent at IDEO Palo Alto, Elizabeth partners with other Studio leaders to ensure the company's people and business strategies are tightly aligned. Prior to joining IDEO, she spent 15 years at McKinsey & Company and played a variety of consulting and non-consulting roles. In each of these positions, her passion has always been to find ways to help people learn, grow, and achieve their full creative potential. In her personal life, she is Mom to three young children and wife to a quantum physicist.

Alan Lepofsky

VP & Principal Analyst
Constellation Research

With nearly two decades of experience in the collaboration software industry, Alan helps organizations improve how people get work done. The Future of Work is AlanŐs primary research area, with focus on the following key topics: integrating collaboration and business processes (Purposeful Collaboration), coordinating teamwork (Structured Collaboration), how artificial intelligence (AI) can help automate tasks (Assisted Collaboration), and measuring workforce culture based on Digital Proficiency instead of age.

Nabomita Mazumdar


Nabomita is a widely recognized expert in HR knowledge management, social media, building online communities, and startups. She is a partner at Cite Communities, which serves more than three million management professionals worldwide, connecting people to business solutions through live and virtual interactions. Nabomita has received numerous accolades for her work, including the 100 Women Achievers Award from IndiaŐs Ministry of Women and Child Development. She serves as an active mentor for students, budding entrepreneurs, and high-level professionals and is listed on several "top influencer" lists for her work in technology, HR, and social media.

Jon Perera

VP, Product Development
Adobe Document Cloud

Jon is a general manager and product leader in the SaaS market, with a focus on global product management, product marketing, sales, and customer success. He is known for strategic thinking, building customer-centric organizations, and fostering high-performing, inclusive teams. Outside of work, his passions include family, cuisine, gardening, and fly-fishing. He is a supporter of education and the environment.


Freedom through Automation

What advances will we make in software automation to help us work more effectively and creatively in the future? Jon Perera, Adobe's VP of Product Development, shares thoughts on where the industry is headed.

The Rise of the Gig Economy

What is the opportunity for millennials in this new flexible economy where gig jobs are becoming more commonplace? Kate Kendall, CEO & founder of Cloudpeeps, shares insights about the benefits of the independent professional.

Augmented Reality

In the future, how will augmented reality improve our view of everything that is going on around us? Alan Lepofsky, VP & Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, expounds on the exciting possibilities of how augmented reality may integrate into our daily lives.

Digital Natives & Workplace Communities

Youth today are using a variety of technologies that will eventually lead to valuable skills for our future workforce. Natalie Engels, Design Director at Gensler, discusses how games like Minecraft will ultimately give a workplace advantage because it teaches and encourages imagination and innovation.

Automation in the Workplace

Jon Perera, Adobe's VP of Product Development, highlights a gap in automation technology. Jon notes the benefits of an "Enterprise Siri" that can help create a more efficient work environment.

The Future of Work Live Broadcast

On May 25th, 2016 a group of thought leaders came together to discuss topics around the future of work. These leaders discussed how technology will change the way we work; how the workplace will evolve; and how employers will need to adjust how they hire and treat employees based on new demands from employ- ees and contract workers.

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Think Tank by Adobe

A forum for sharing revolutionary ideas. Think Tank gathers luminaries working at the cutting edge of technology, communication, and creativity in a variety of disciplines. By putting experts in a face-to-face setting, we facilitate stimulating, in-depth discussions about topics that present challenges and opportunities for industries and consumers.

Beyond connecting influencers in a given field, Think Tank seeks to bring the world in on the conversation. Discussions will be broadcast and shared online, opening the dialogue and growing a community of thought leaders.