Around the world, in economies at all stages of development, profound changes in the nature of work are underway. Numerous and diverse drivers account for these: demographic shifts, climate change, technological innovation, shifting contours of poverty and prosperity, growing inequality, economic stagnation and the changing character of production and employment. The transformations we witness now challenge us to imagine the future of work over the long term in order to steer this evolution in the direction of social justice. Rising widespread anxiety about whether the future will produce greater polarization within and between countries brings urgency to this task.
Recognizing the pressing need to begin marshalling global expertise to make the future of work the one we want, the ILO launched the Future of Work Centenary Initiative in 2013. Under the Initiative, this Symposium presents an important step to gain greater understanding of the changes we are witnessing and to develop effective policy responses that can shape the future of work. The Symposium will be structured around the Initiative’s four “centenary conversations” -- work and society, decent jobs for all, the organization of work and production, and the governance of work – and will gather international thinkers and actors who are at the forefront of debates on each topic. A special session will discuss the perspectives for and views of young people – including representatives of the social partners – in the future of work they will experience.