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Being Human: Future Perspective on the Emerging World of Work

Presented at the 2023 Virtual ACSG Conference

on 17 March 2023 from 09:00 - 10:00


Industry 5.0. Digital. Well-being. Human-centricity. Remote Work. Web 3.0


These terms all describe the parameters of the ever-changing workplace. New business operating models, hybrid workplace strategies, and a significant shift in what employees want from work, has become the norm when describing the emerging world of work. The future world of work will bring humanity to a crossroads. One direction leads to a future where we thrive and flourish and, through technology, can solve the serious challenges associated with poverty, inequality, and a lack of human dignity. The other takes us back to the “dark ages” by creating a flourishing environment for the privileged few, dehumanizing a large part of the global population, and laying the groundwork for social uprisings in the fight for survival.

As people professionals, we have a pivotal part to play in shaping the future of work and enabling the balance between human-led workplace principles, organizational performance, and sustainability as we enter the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions. Technology advances allow us to extend our reach and impact, yet this will demand a new approach to people practice design and how we implement technology for the good of all employees.

The purpose of this keynote presentation is to provide an overview of the following:

  • Exploring the trends influencing the definition of work and human/work relations,

  • The trends affecting the people profession with a specific focus on 2023 and 2024;

  • Implications for the identity, scope, and skills of the future-focused people professional; and

  • Three priorities to be prepared for this shift

This study draws on various research initiatives conducted over the past two years. The first relates to the work done as part of the SIOPSA Future Search Research Group on the Future of the Profession undertaken from 2020 to 2022. The second is based upon a global competency study conducted by The Academy to Innovate HR involving n= 5648 HR professionals in 2021 and 2022, which will be repeated in 2023. Lastly, the presentation also includes insights from a series of articles written in collaboration with other authors on the future scope, identity and skills of the future-focused people professional published in 2022 in South African Journal of Industrial Organizational Psychology and the South African Journal of Human Resource Management.


Dieter Veldsman, PhD, is an organizational psychologist with a strong focus on Strategic HR, Organizational Design and Development. He has more than 15+ years of experience within HR and has held the positions of Group Chief Human Resource Officer, People Effectiveness Executive and Principal Consultant. He has worked for various organizations across EMEA, APAC and LATAM.


He is a regular speaker at international conferences and industry panels on HR, The Future of Work, Skills and Organizational Development. He hosts a monthly podcast called HR Hot Topics that evaluates actual events and their implications on HR, as well as moderating “The HR Dialogues”, a videocast that interviews HR practitioners across the globe regarding leading practices.


He guest lectures at various institutions and has contributed numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters and mainstream publications. He holds the position of Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg. He was awarded the Chief HR Officer of the year award by the CHRO SA Society in 2021, as well as receiving recognition in the categories of HR Leadership, Strategy and Technology from various institutions. He was also awarded the Practitioner of the Year Award by the Society for Industrial Psychology South Africa for his contributions to the field in 2018. He is a One Young World Ambassador and also volunteers as part of a Think Tank focusing on Mental Wellbeing in Africa.

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