FUTURE OF WORK CONFERENCE 2021

Synergy of Deliberation & Action

Virtual Event | 10 September 2021

 

300+

Attendees

50+

Companies

30+

independent experts

20+

worker organisations

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

The Future of Work Conference 2021 gathered together policymakers, companies, unions, academics and independent experts to spark discussions around future policy directions at national and European level on the topic of advancing the quality of work and working conditions for workers in diverse forms of employment. Social protection was at the forefront as one of the most important policy responses to the current crisis, yet it is only a short-term solution and the need for a more sustainable response is pressing.

The day started with exclusive roundtable sessions, designed to discuss the points of view of all stakeholders in the future of work debate. Representatives from policy institutions, companies, unions, academics, and more exchanged their points of view to better understand each other’s positions.

Christina Behrend, Head of the Social Policy Unit of ILO, highlighted that the social contract can be reinvigorated and social protection gaps closed by implementing high road strategy – investments in universal social protection systems.

Our expert panel discussion, featuring Francesca Bria (Italian National Innovation Fund), Ana Carla Pereira (European Commission), and Stefano Scarpetta (OECD) addressed some of the major concerns about the future of work – the provision of dignity and rights to workers in the era of algorithmic management, securing work-related benefits to new generations of workers, and labour market institutions that are fit for the twenty-first century.

Juliet Schor, economist and sociologist at Boston College, brought forward the American perspective and experience. According to research of package delivery in the US, findings of Juliet and her team suggest that employment status is compatible with on-demand platform labour and scheduling flexibility. Profit and market size of platform companies remain open questions as many gig workers in the US earn less than a minimum wage.

It was great to hear inputs from such a diverse set of stakeholders, reminding us of the many faces behind the future of work debate. The Conference discussions shed light on potential policy roadmaps for a future of work that is inclusive, sustainable, and resilient. One that works in the public interest and for all stakeholders.

HIGHLIGHTS

Keynote: Christina Behrendt

out-of-box solution pitches

Expert Panel discussion

Keynote: Juliet Schor

CALL FOR BLOG ARTICLES

Is the Synergy of Deliberation and Action Possible?

Discussions and research on diverse (non-standard) forms of work receive great attention and reach new aspects that require immediate action to secure sustainable and decent work in the near future.

Anticipating the Word Day for Decent Work, marked on October 7, our team is inviting all interested parties to contribute to the ongoing debate by exploring new approaches and solutions to the disruptions in the world of work. Either you come from a think tank, union, company, or academia, your voice will be valuable input for all the actors with a stake in the debate.

We are accepting blog articles produced by an individual or a team (2,000 – 3,000 words) by 23:59 CET on September 24. The blog articles should address some of the topics related to access to social protection, workers’ representation, algorithmic management, and skills development of the diverse workforce in the context of the future of work debates, and provide policy pointers that will lead to improvements of workers’ livelihoods.

Submit

    Speakers

    Juliet Schor

    Juliet Schor

    Economist and Sociologist,
    Boston College

    Ana Carla Pereira

    Ana Carla Pereira

    Cabinet Expert of
    Commissioner Nicolas Schmit,
    European Commission

    Stefano Scarpetta

    Stefano Scarpetta

    Director for Employment,
    Labour and Social Affairs,
    OECD

    Christina Behrendt

    Christina Behrendt

    Head of the Social Policy Unit,
    ILO

    Francesca Bria

    Francesca Bria

    President,
    Italian National Innovation Fund

    Menno Bart

    Menno Bart

    Public Affairs Manager,
    The Adecco Group

    Joanne Kubba

    Joanne Kubba

    Senior Director EMEA Policy,
    Uber

    Max Uebe

    Max Uebe

    Head of "Future of Work,
    Youth Employment" Unit,
    European Commission

    Stefan Kröpfl

    Stefan Kröpfl

    Global Head of Life Business Insights & Governance,
    Zurich Insurance

    Barbara Gerstenberger

    Barbara Gerstenberger

    Head of "Working Life" Unit, Eurofound

    Frederik Fahning

    Frederik Fahning

    Co-Founder,
    Zenjob

    Anastasia Fetsi

    Anastasia Fetsi

    Lead Expert in Human Capital Development,
    European Training Foundation

    Oliver Roethig

    Oliver Roethig

    Regional Secretary,
    UNI Europa

    Melissa Heikkilä

    Melissa Heikkilä

    AI Correspondent,
    POLITICO Europe

    Paul Peake

    Paul Peake

    General Counsel for Food,
    Grocery and Etail portfolio,
    Prosus

    Sarah de Heusch

    Sarah de Heusch

    Institutional Affairs Officer and
    Chair of Ethical Committee,
    Smart Cooperative

    Ferdinand Schmutzer

    Ferdinand Schmutzer

    Owner of FS-Consult &
    Platform Worker,
    Roamler

    Out-of-Box Solution Pitches

    Agenda

    null

    10:00 – 11:00 CET Think Like a… Roundtables

    Think like a Policy Maker – Max Uebe, Head of “Future of Work, Youth Employment” Unit, European Commission

    How to deliver on the Commission President’s call to improve working conditions in platform work?

    Think like an Insurer – Stefan Kröpfl, Global Head of Life Business Insights & Governance, Zurich Insurance

    What are the main drivers for gaps in income protection (e.g., disability, critical illness) and pension savings in new forms of employment? What are the key concerns and the needs of workers in relation to these gaps? Who could / should address this issue? What could / should insurance companies do about it?

    Think like a Research Organisation – Barbara Gerstenberger, Head of “Working Life” Unit, Eurofound

    If we want to capitalise on the opportunities inherent in platform work, which actors should we rely on for policy action to minimise the risks and ensure a desirable future of platform work? Is their main task to clarify and enforce existing regulation or do we need new, platform-specific rules? Do current labour market actors have the capacity to organise and represent platform workers and identify and defend their interests?

    Think like an EU Agency – Anastasia Fetsi, Lead Expert in Human Capital Development, European Training Foundation

    How can we ensure platform workers develop skills and make them visible?

    Think like a Union – Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary, UNI Europa

    Constructive social dialogue in the platform economy: the path to avoid a race-to-the-bottom?

    Think like a Start-Up – Frederik Fahning, Co-Founder, ZenJob

    How can European Startups role-model modern forms of work/employment?

    Think like a Temporary Agency – Menno Bart, Public Affairs Manager, The Adecco Group

    Discussing employment status: is the agency work model part of the solution?

    Think like a Platform – Joanne Kubba, Senior Director EMEA Policy, Uber

    How can platforms maximize job creation, flexibility and protection?

    Think like an Investor – Paul Peake, General Counsel for Food, Grocery, and Etail Portfolio, Prosus

    How can investors facilitate new and sustainable models of work and how can investors work with companies, in their portfolio, to achieve growth whilst empowering new categories of workers?

    Think like a Platform Worker – Ferdinand Schmutzer, Worker, Roamler

    Rethinking the applications designs and wages: How can the good quality of work be achieved in the platform economy?

    14:00-14:05 Welcoming Remarks

    Jovana Karanović, Founder, Reshaping Work

    14:05-14:50 Keynote Address

    Christina Behrendt, Head of the Social Policy Unit, ILO

    14:50 – 15:00 Pitches: Out-of-Box Solutions

    During this part of the program, four organisations – specifically selected by the Reshaping Work team on the grounds of originality and potential impact their idea could have on the society at large – will pitch their out-of-box solution via a video pitch. 

    15:00 – 15:45   Panel Discussion: Improving work and working conditions in the EU 

    Ana Carla Pereira, Cabinet Expert for Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, European Commission

    Stefano Scarpetta, Director of the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 

    Francesca Bria, President, Italian National Innovation Fund

    Moderator: Melissa Heikkilä, Europe’s AI Correspondent, POLITICO

    15:45 – 16:00 Reshaping Booster: Coffee & Tea Break

    16:00 – 16:45 Keynote Address

    Juliet Schor, Economist and Sociologist, Boston College

    Gig workers and employment classification – unraveling the controversy

    16:45 – 17.00 Closing Remarks 

    2021 conference partners

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