The political shocks of 2016 have laid bare growing popular discontent with the economics of globalization and the difficulties of accessing opportunity in a globalized marketplace. Public disaffection with the economic status quo is rising, driven by stagnating productivity in developed economies and a perceived disconnect between economic growth and wages. Increasingly strained international labour markets and localized skills mismatching, coupled with the fear of further unemployment brought about by technology- induced automation and offshoring, have increased mistrust of policy-makers and a rise in protectionist and isolationist policy sentiments; it is increasingly apparent that current approaches to productivity, employment and the world of work are in need of reassessment. Furthermore, the continued growth of digitization has increased opportunities for the independent worker, enabled by new real-time labour market platforms, bringing with it new socio-economic and regulatory challenges.
This second annual Chatham House conference will examine the drivers transforming the world of work, and identify appropriate government and industry responses to increase productivity, exploring labour market dynamics, scrutinizing technology- led transformations and education policy, and mapping the rise of the independent worker. Sessions will explore questions including:
- What are the most substantial labour market strains across different economies? What are the most significant trends in employment, productivity and wages?
- Which technological developments will continue to affect employment across different sectors? Which jobs are likely to be automated, and which are likely to be offshored?
- How can governments and industry ensure skills provision to match worker supply to demand? What strategies are required to enhance human capital alongside productivity?
- What frameworks are required to take advantage of real-time labour market platforms? How can regulators enable access and flexibility whilst providing security in the ‘gig -economy’?