24th July, 2019

What is the meaning of WORK – Roy Bahat and Bryn Freedman

Roy Bahat was worried. His company invests in new technology like AI to make businesses more efficient — but, he wondered, what was AI doing to the people whose jobs might change, go away or become less fulfilling? The question sent him on a two-year research odyssey to discover what motivates people, and why we work. In this conversation with curator Bryn Freedman, he shares what he learned, including some surprising insights that will shape the conversation about the future of our jobs.


Roy Bahat

Venture capitalist

Roy Bahat invests in the future of work, with a focus on automation, data, robotics, media, productivity tools and more.

Why you should listen?

Roy Bahat invests in the future of work as a venture capitalist, with a focus on machine intelligence. Prior to his life as a VC, Bahat founded start-ups, served as a corporate executive at News Corp. and worked in government in the office of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

As the head of Bloomberg Beta, an investment firm with 150 million dollars under management, Bahat and his team have invested in areas like automation, data, robotics, media, productivity tools and many others.

Fast Company named Bahat one of the Most Creative People in Business and noted “Bahat is a natural innovator … one of the most candid people you’ll ever meet (check out his LinkedIn profile).” He organized “Comeback Cities,” where he leads groups of venture capitalists and members of Congress on bus tours to find the untapped beds of talent and entrepreneurship in America. He also co-chaired the Shift Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology, a partnership between Bloomberg and think-tank New America to look at automation and the future of work 10 to 20 years from now.

Bahat is on the faculty at U.C. Berkeley, where he teaches about media at the Haas School of Business. He serves on the board of the Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit newsroom, and is on the steering committee of the Economic Security Project. A graduate of Harvard College, where he ran the student public service nonprofit, Bahat was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two kids.

Bryn Freedman

Editorial director and curator, TED Institute 

Bryn Freedman helps those who want to give the “talk of their lives” in a clear, passionate and authentic way.

Why you should listen?

Award-winning TV producer, investigative journalist and author, Bryn Freedman joined TED in 2014 as the editorial director and curator for the TED Institute. In her work with TED, Freedman creates and executes TED conference events for Fortune 500 companies, overseeing all editorial content as well as managing speaker coaches and determining both the topics for each talk and the overall conference theme. In addition to curating these events, she works as an executive speaker coach for professionals who want to give the “talk of their lives” in a clear, passionate and authentic way.

Freedman is also co-founder of Voices4Freedom, an international organization aimed at eradicating slavery through education and media.