Steering the AI Transition: The Case for More Employee Ownership

New employee-ownership models might save us from AI-induced mass inequality


  • Patrick Tammer Harvard Kennedy School of Government Author


Employee Ownership Trusts, AI Job Losses, AI Replacing Human Workers


As artificial intelligence (AI) continues its rapid advancement, its impact on employment and economic equity emerges as a critical area of concern. This commentary explores how new models of employee ownership could potentially mitigate the adverse effects of AI-induced job displacement and wage deflation. Current discourse on AI often focuses on existential risks, yet the immediate challenge is the technology's capacity to automate complex, knowledge-based tasks that were once considered secure. Drawing from personal experiences as an AI advisor and a review of current business practices, I argue that the deflating effect of AI on employment is an urgent issue that requires innovative policy responses. Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) are examined as a promising solution that enables workers to gain from AI-generated productivity increases. By analyzing data from the adoption of EOTs in the UK and their burgeoning popularity in North America, this commentary illustrates how broad-based employee ownership can serve as an effective hedge against the economic disruptions posed by AI.

Author Biography

  • Patrick Tammer, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
    • AI Investor managing 125M+ portfolio of AI investment projects
    • AI Advisor to the Canadian Government and senior business leaders
    • Steering Committee Member at the Conference Board of Canada advising policymakers through evidenced-based research on innovation policy, AI, IP and talent 4.0
    • Harvard MPA candidate and researcher focused on AI Governance + AI Policy
    • Editor at the Journal of Business and Artificial Intelligence
    • Previous experience in Management Consulting (BCG) and Multilateral Organizations (UN)
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