In Geneva, Graduate Institute Hosts ILO Chief, Experts’ Discussion on Future of Work

221 views | Akanimo Sampson | December 4, 2020

Director-General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, will be discussing the future of work at an event this Friday organised by a new open forum platform hosted by the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is an institution of research and higher education dedicated to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues.

Through its core activities, the Institute aims to promote international cooperation and make a contribution to the progress of developing societies. More broadly, it endeavours to develop creative thinking on the major challenges of our time, foster global responsibility and advance respect for diversity.

It is a cosmopolitan community located in the heart of Geneva, an international city and a centre of global governance. By intensely engaging with international organisations, NGO’s, governments and multinational companies, it participates in global discussions and prepare future policy-makers to lead tomorrow’s world.

At the event, the Thinking Ahead on Society Change (TASC) Platform will be bringing together policymakers, business and labour, researchers and civil society to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the future against the background of rapid transformations in the world of work and the devastation to economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It invites leaders, experts and practitioners from across the global community to combine forces by debating solutions.

TASC Platform is, however, an open forum where policymakers, businesses, researchers, and civil society can come together to tackle some of the biggest universal challenges of the future.

An Open Forum

The climate crisis, new technology, and growing inequality are universally felt, but not universally responded to. By providing a place for people to share perspectives, connect visions and develop new solutions, we can bring the unknowns of the future into focus and act on them today.

A Multi-stakeholder Community

It believes joined-up and action-oriented thinking is key to the future we want. Strategically located in International Geneva, home to the world’s largest concentration of international organisations and diplomatic missions, it brings together a diverse, multi-stakeholder community at the heart of global efforts to drive positive societal change.

Independent and Solution-oriented

As an independent body supported by the government of Switzerland and embedded in the Center for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, it leverages the latest thinking in the academic world and embraces a culture of openness, critical thinking, and global cooperation.

However, in a joint letter to potential platform participants, Guy Ryder, State Secretary and head of Switzerland’s Directorate of Political Affairs, Krystyna Marty Lang, and Director of the Graduate Institute, Marie-Laure Salles, urged stakeholders to get involved in the platform.

“Your input is crucial to capture lessons from a year of crisis, gain foresight from data, insights and experiences, and seek scalable solutions across sectors and industries as well as nationally and across geographies to achieve the future we want.”

“With collective thinking and action, we can bring our shared future back in line with our commitment to the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work and the Sustainable Development Goals ”, the invitation letter says.

The virtual Future of Work summit is taking place this December 4. The discussions will focus on three areas of change: Working on the frontline; working online and working in radical uncertainty.

The Future of Work is facing massive, simultaneous, and interconnected disruptions, made more acute by the impacts of COVID-19. Work has moved online at an incredible pace, demonstrating our capacity for technology and behaviour change at speed and scale.

At the same time, the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on essential and vulnerable workers has exposed systemic weakness, the limits of technology, and the unique importance of our humanity.

Thinking Ahead from Crisis to Change

In this context, the second Future of Work Summit will encourage the international community to think ahead from crisis to change. This interactive, virtual event will bring together leaders, experts and practitioners from across sectors, in Geneva and beyond, to explore the unprecedented changes to work as we know it over the course of 2020 and their implications for the future.

The Summit will feature an opening dialogue with: Director of the Graduate Institute, Marie Laure Salles; ILO big boss, Guy Ryder; and Head, Labour Affairs Directorate, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland, Boris Zürcher.

As a launch event for the new TASC Platform, the Summit will be framed around three areas of change that have been accelerated and amplified by COVID-19:

Working on the Frontline – many roles where workers are required to be physically present are undervalued and precarious, yet essential for a well-functioning society and economy. How should we value a more human future?

Working Online – the shift to remote and platform work has happened faster and at a larger scale than we expected. What can we expect from a more virtual future?

Working in Radical Uncertainty – governments and business have taken extraordinary measures to protect jobs and incomes as estimates of working hour losses continue to rise. How can we build resilience for a more uncertain future?

Multi-stakeholder panel discussions on each of these three areas of change will be facilitated by the TASC Platform Co-chairs: Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics, the Graduate Institute, Geneva, and Cedric Dupont, Professor of International Relations/Political Science and President of Executive Education, the Graduate Institute, Geneva

Discussions will be followed by breakout sessions hosted by members of the TASC Community from academia, business, civil-society and government.

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