Economic Development

Reimagining Power in the Workplace with Roy Bahat and Liba Rubenstein

April 27, 2023  • Aspen Global Leadership Network

Massive transformation is underway in the way we work and our relationship to work. Many people felt this shift when we left our offices to indefinitely work from home in 2020. The change continues, with exponential technology and AI reshaping how we define work altogether. 

The United States is also experiencing an economic downturn, with labor shortage being one of the biggest drivers, particularly in low-wage industries where jobs lack basic benefits and livable pay.

At the same time, there has been an undeniable resurgence of the organized labor movement in the US. This coalition looks different from past waves in both its composition and approach. This provides an opportunity to re-think some key questions:

What does it mean to be a worker? What does it mean to be a leader? And could our relationships to the organizations in which we work and lead advance a more just society?

To explore these questions, we’re in conversation with Roy Bahat and Liba Rubenstein from Bloomberg Beta – an early-stage venture firm backed by Bloomberg that invests in companies broadly focused on the future of work. They also lead the Aspen Institute’s Business Round Table on Organized Labor, an initiative from the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program and MIT that brings together business leaders across industries to learn from labor experts and explore what a thriving workplace with more, and better, organized labor might look like.

Roy and Liba invite us to rethink how ideas of power and our relationship to work and the workplace could help inform better decision-making and ultimately create prosperity for everyone.


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About Our Guests

Roy Bahat is a venture capitalist at Bloomberg Beta and teaches at UC Berkeley. He also chairs the Aspen Institute’s Business Roundtable on Organized Labor and was a commissioner on the California Governor’s Future of Work Commission.

Liba Wenig Rubenstein is a fellow at the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program where she organizes “labor-open” business leaders to explore ways their workers can have a more meaningful seat at the table. She was previously head of social impact at 21st Century Fox and Tumblr.


Explore the space between our greatest challenges and a better future on LIMINAL: Leadership in the Process of Becoming. Dar Vanderbeck, Vice President of the Aspen Global Leadership Network is your host and guide to inquiry with thinkers and doers daring to lead through the big, systemic transitions we need for true transformation. This season, we’ll talk anti-racism, climate change, the future of work, and more. Join us as we explore leadership in the process of becoming.

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