Episode #74: Interview with Daniel Susskind

Daniel Susskind is a Lecturer in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he teaches and researches, and from where he has two degrees in economics. Previously, he worked for the British Government - in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, in the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, and as a Senior Policy Adviser at the Cabinet Office. He was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University.

Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to international professional firms and national governments. He is President of the Society for Computers and Law, IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute. His numerous books include the best-sellers, The End of Lawyers? (OUP, 2008) and Tomorrow's Lawyers (OUP, 2013), his work has been translated into more than 10 languages, and he has been invited to speak in over 40 countries.

We were honored to be able to interview Daniel Susskind about his book (co-authored with his father, Richard Susskind), The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts. 

The book is based on:

  • 8 Professions (Doctors, lawyers, accountants, auditors, architects, journalists, teachers, clergy)
  • 100 Interviews
  • 800+ sources

It lays out two futures for the professions:

  1. Technology streamlines the “print-based” industrial society
  2. Technology based internet society, with increasingly capable machines, displacing the work of professionals

They believe that gradually scenario #2 will dismantle scenario #1

How long will this take? Daniel says: "We say that we think that will happen in the 'long run' but we do not commit to timing. This is for an important reason -- the pace of change is not in our hands!

They write the professions are increasingly:

  • Unaffordable
  • Antiquated
  • Opaque
  • Underperforming

The future of the professions is too important to leave to professionals.

Folks, we can’t recommend this book highly enough. Without a doubt, it is the most important book written on the professions in decades.