7b. The Future of Employment and Good Work

Track Chairs

  • Gustavo Nicolas Paez Salamanca. Social Affairs Officer, UN-ESCWA
  • Pauline Deutz. School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, UK
  • Zafir Khan Mohamed Makhbul. Graduate School of Business, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Goals and Objectives of the Track

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the rhetoric surrounding them indicate that development agencies and national governments are acquiring an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the complexities involved in achieving sustainable development; however, their ability to overcome complexities is less certain. Following on from the calls for green jobs arising from the Rio+20 summit, the SDGs see job creation as a route to poverty reduction; however, significantly, they also acknowledge that economic growth has often failed to produce shared prosperity.

Adding to the previous issues, several attempts to supress the covid-19 pandemic have lead to regional job loss, and economic uncertainty. Employment has for many drastically changed in nature, with heavy reliance on communications technology, and the mass disruption or collapse of certain industries and roles.  Finally, during this process, levels of informality have increased, covering both jobs with low salaries and well-paid jobs. How persistent and/or desirable these changes are is open to question.  Meanwhile, persistent and underlying issues of structural and institutional racism and exclusion are being uncovered, raising timely questions about diversity and inclusion in the workforce. In this time of upheaval and transition, it is more important than ever to consider the future of employment.

What skills are needed, and how will they be acquired? Where will jobs be located, and who will they employ? How will existing employment be affected (both formal and informal)? From where will the necessary investment come from to create employment opportunities?  Alternatively, what is the future of employment in a degrowth scenario? To explore these topics, contributions are invited which examine issues such as these from both inter- or single-disciplinary perspectives. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of shifting employment patterns and individuals’ experience of them in both the Global North and South are invited.

Potential themes and topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Good work as a dimension of wellbeing
  • Accessing the skills for the future
  • Challenges of flexible employment
  • Job security and mobility
  • Relationship between the formal and informal economy
  • Gender implications of economic shifts
  • Diversity and inclusion in employment
  • Distribution and types of employment in a green economy
  • Social safety nets and universal basic income strategies
  • Re-skilling and skilled worker immigration
  • Funding mechanisms and job creation policy
  • Relationship between employment and degrowth

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to one of the areas pointed out above), within 300 and 500 words (including everything):

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structures (e.g. intro/method/findings or results/ discussion/conclusions)
  2. does not need to, but can include references
  3. shall provide in a final section
    a. to which SDG(s) and SDG-target(s) their proposed abstract especially relate to (e.g. “SDG+Target: 14.1.”).
    b. a brief indication how the proposed contribution relates to the topic of the Conference “Half-way through Agenda 2030Assessing the 5Ps of SDG(people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership)