The world is being transformed in ways that will profoundly challenge human society. Trade unions facing these new realities can play an important part in shaping this future. With this in mind a major conference organised by the ETUC and ETUI will bring together globally-renowned experts to debate some of the most pressing issues confronting workers, unions and governments.
The conference will address several megatrends impacting working life. First, the free movement of capital, services and people is altering the allocation of jobs throughout the European internal market. Second, climate change and the energy transition are making many occupations obsolete, while at the same time creating new ‘green’ jobs in emerging sectors and industries. Third, the demographic transition is changing the structure of the labour force and challenging social security systems. Finally, the digitalisation of the economy is set to disrupt the processes of production, employment and work conditions on an unprecedented scale.
So far, these transitions have been studied and reflected on independently from one another. As a result, conclusions about what the future holds, and the ensuing policy recommendations, vary according to the particular transition in question. What is now needed is for the different projections to be put together and analysed in tandem in order to fully understand the multiple and complex consequences for the world of work. Will all these changes create one new world of work, or many? How can trade unions engage with these developments and what strategies are there to cope with them? What should a new industrial policy look like in the sectors severely affected – such as energy, transport and construction? What skills will be needed and how can trade unions participate to ensure that workers are offered the required training and education?
These are some of the questions the 3rd ETUC/ETUI conference on the future of work will deal with. The overall format – plenaries and smaller panels – has proven very successful and will remain the same. However, added emphasis will be put on enriching the debate and provoking discussion through innovative sessions and greater opportunities for interaction.
If you are interested in attending the conference please send an email to [email protected]
Follow the conference via social media at #etuWOW18.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

11:00-13:00 Plenary A: Global transitions and world(s) of work

Panel 1 – Inclusive growth: a new, successful agenda for collective bargaining?
Panel 2 – Working conditions in an ageing society
Panel 3 – Company mobility fueled by digitalization and Europeanisation: how can we shore up workers’ rights?
Panel 4 – Employment forecasts and the digital, green and demographic transitions
Panel 5 – The impact of the digital transformation on job quality

16:00-16:30 Keynote speech by Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, European Commission

Plenary B: When the rich and powerful pretend they do not need us.

Thursday 28 June 2018


Plenary C: Labour market composition and demographic change: can migrants and new technologies offset population ageing?
Plenary D: Climate change and the transition to a green economy: what does it mean for jobs?


Panel 6 – The role of worker’s participation in addressing the digitalisation-driven Europeanisation strategies of MNCs
Panel 7 – The link between job quality and innovation: virtuous or vicious circles?
Panel 8 – Working time reduction as a trade union strategy for a changing world of work
Panel 9 – Social protection beyond the basic income
Panel 10 – Industrial policy for the green and digital economies


Plenary E: Digitalisation and the new economy: disrupting production networks while tackling climate change?
Plenary F: Globalisation and Europeanisation: European solutions for global problems?


Panel 11 – Psychosocial risks: shifting the perspective towards positive values
Panel 12 – The impact of automation on working conditions, health and safety
Panel 13 – Jobs in a clean, future automobile industry
Panel 14 – Youth engagement and the future of work
Panel 15 – Interactive panel: Using visuals to foresee and learn about change

17:15-17:45 Keynote speech by Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

Plenary G: A New Economic Approach: what are the shortcomings of the current economic model, and how to fix them?

Friday 29 June 2018


Panel 16 – How to integrate the transition challenges in the national trade union research agenda?
Panel 17 – The rise of China as a technology superpower – what does this mean for European jobs?
Panel 18 – The four transitions: what skills do we need, and how do we provide them?
Panel 19 – The future of work: perspectives from the ILO
Panel 20 – Interactive panel: Discussing scenarios for 2030


Young trade-unionists’ discussion on managing transitions
Visual Harvesting


Plenary H: Social Dialogue: how can we create a common agenda for Social Europe?

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