Augmented Workforce Initiative



Bringing together industry executives, thought leaders, policy makers, and labor unions to understand and harness the potential of human-centric operations on future shop floors, technology-mediated workforce empowerment, augmentation, and digital workforce transformation.



The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the roles of humans, 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.


Workforce augmentation includes concepts such as human-centric operations, workforce empowerment, technology-mediated learning, human-technology integration, and operator assistance systems. Technologies that interact with workers to augment their cognitive and physical capabilities include augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), exoskeletons, wearable and smart devices, co-bots, or knowledge platforms.


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

Engagement Opportunities


Steering Committee. Select C-executives and leaders from academia and civil society reflect upon the initiative’s progress and align on the strategic agenda on a bi-annual basis.


Experiential Workshops. As part of the annual journey, community members get to see first-hand and in a live experience how human-technology integration is realized in production facilities. Leaders can hear directly from the users in how far augmentation technologies enhanced their work.


Use Case Repository. To understand the a) value-added, b) integration challenges, c) success factors, and d) applicability range of augmentation, the community builds a comprehensive, pre-competitive repository of high-impact use cases. Community members can contribute to the database, and gain new insights.


Publications. To create a new narrative on the opportunities and challenges on the role of technology to augment and empower the workforce, industry pioneers and thought leaders engage into a variety of working sessions, resulting in a set of publications (upcoming white paper expected publication: January 2022).



To learn more, please contact

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum projects may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

About Us
Partners & Members
Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2022 World Economic Forum

Join the Forum

Learn more