Youth Thinking Ahead 2021 launches a new youth-led initiative driving critical discussions and fresh perspectives on international affairs and development. The brainchild of student organizations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, “Youth Thinking Ahead” brings the global voice of young people to the open, multi-stakeholder forum created by the Thinking Ahead on Societal Change (TASC) Platform.
BRINGING THE GLOBAL VOICE OF YOUTH INTO INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSIONS
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. Many young people, the digital natives of this world, see this as an obvious natural progression.
At the same time, young people today are experiencing socio-economic and environmental precarity and uncertainty unlike the generation which precedes them. The youth, and young adults in particular have borne a significant share of the burden imposed by Covid-19 restrictions. Their education, professional development, livelihoods and holistic wellbeing have all but been put on hold across geographies during the pandemic and remain even more uncertain as the global economy slowly reopens into a ‘new normal’.
But there can be no ‘new normal’ for the future of work unless it is shaped by those it affects the most in 2021, 2030 and beyond.
This interactive event will bring young leaders together with established experts and practitioners from across sectors and geographies to explore the unprecedented changes to work as we know it, and their implications for young people today and in the future.
Over two days, we will explore the future of work through a series of youth-centric intergenerational dialogues on the following four themes:
Technology reshaping the future of work
In the Covid-19 era, new technologies have allowed us to work remotely and provide workers with more autonomy. However, these new forms of work are also a synonym of more working hours, blurred lines between work and personal life and higher levels of stress. On the other hand, robots and AI are increasingly replacing workers and not only in the industrial sector. How is technology impacting and going to impact the future of work?
Environmental sustainability and decent work
Climate change is now challenging employment in the short and long term. The need for a sustainable society will undoubtedly create new jobs but also destroy jobs with fewer opportunities for a transition towards sustainability. At the same time, the path towards sustainability implies less consumption and thus less production. How can we achieve sustainability without compromising employment? Is growth still relevant for a sustainable future of work and the world? How can we combine the need for sustainability with decent work?
Law at the forefront of economic and social changes
As young people, internships and early career opportunities are key for professional development, yet exploitative systems remain. Wage inequalities within and between countries have a strong effect on social cohesion and the prosperity of our societies. How can law tackle the issue of digitalization of work and provide a framework protecting employees? In the #MeToo era where discrimination and harassment are increasingly exposed, how can the law ensure a safe and inclusive work environment and also reach gender equality?
Rethinking the notion of work
In this digitalised age, is it time to question the very notion of work and what it means for the youth? Can we redefine work in the light of concepts such as social utility, happiness or productivity? What is the role of universal basic income, digital work, the crisis of meaning of our work? What insights can we draw from the other themes that will be discussed at Youth Thinking Ahead 21?