The Next 50: Business School

Envisioning a future of Business

Embracing the future of work

Embark on a journey into the future of work with Lee Newman, Dean at IE Business School, as part of The Next Fifty initiative. Discover the evolving landscape of the workplace, transitioning from traditional hierarchies to agile project-based structures. Gain profound insights into how IE University envisions the future of business education, intricately woven into the fabric of changing work dynamics. Uncover the role of skills documentation, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence in shaping the professional terrain of tomorrow. Explore the significance of well-being, the seamless integration of work and life, and the pursuit of meaning and purpose in the era of automation. The future of work is a dynamic tapestry, and IE Business School stands at its forefront, blending innovation and insight to shape a transformative tomorrow.


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The Next Fifty: Embracing the Future of Work with Lee Newman

The Next 50 final exhibition

In the Next 50 years we will see major disruption in the work landscape that has existed since the industrial revolution. We will cease to be defined by our titles and narrowly defined job roles. Instead, a globally recognized taxonomy of skills stored in digital ledgers will become a currency that defines our professional value. This competency-based currency will lead to the emergence of a truly project-based economy with bots matching people and projects in a merit-based marketplace of work.  

Spatial computing technologies will lead to a new and fulfilling “work-life fusion”.  In this new world, we will engage in “projective work”, carrying out our project-based collaboratively in rich digital environments while being physically present in hubs where we choose to spend our time based on social and professional affinities – the guild of the future. We envision a new world of work guided by 6 transformative drivers, that can be grouped like this:

The Nature of Work​More information below
The Location of Work​More information below
The Way We Work​More information below
The Nature of Work​More information below

The Project Economy​


Competencies as Currency​

Abstract image from a project for The Next 50 IE Business School.

1 - The Project Economy​

Projects rather than job titles and reporting relationships make up a new “economy of work”.

The world of work has evolved into a network of trans-corporate and trans-national projects called WorkNet.  Bots with regulated algorithms assign you to projects, matching project needs with the skills of available professionals.  At any given time, you have a portfolio of these projects and work in different roles that leverage your experience and competencies.  Projects have leaders and include mostly autonomous professionals as well as professionals who have term-based agreements with one or more companies.  You use professional development credits to get assigned to projects above your current skill level, allowing you to gain experience and build your skills. 

The Location of Work​More information below
The Way We Work​More information below
IE Business School The Next 50 - TAKE-AWAY BY THE DEAN Lee Newman


Immerse yourself in the vibrant snapshots of the school space! Click through to relive the highlights and experience the essence of the future of business.

The Next 50: The exhibition