Future at work

The Future of Work Summit

Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN and the EU Delegation to the UN
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Auditorium Ivan Pictet, Maison de la paix, Geneva

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The world of labour is at a critical juncture. Technology is profoundly transforming the way we work and the skills we need. A changing economic landscape generates hopes and fears. Inequality, gender differences in employment, including pay gap between men and women and division between paid and unpaid work, persist or even increase. What is required from governments, companies, international organisations and the representatives from workers and employers alike to address these challenges? Which answers can be developed?
In the context of the International Labour Organization Centenary and the 2030 Agenda, this summit will reflect on the urgent need to rethink collaboration and tools for a more inclusive, productive and sustainable future of work.

A series of interactive workshops will bring together stakeholders to reflect on four crucial aspects of a transformed world of work: the need for new skills and lifelong learning, the impact of new forms of work, the future of social dialogue and international governance of work.

A high-level panel will reflect on the key outcomes from the workshops and look at the governance of work in the 21st century.


Download the programme for these workshops




Welcome remarks by organisers

Concurrent INTERACTIVE workshops


A – Skills, re-skilling, lifelong learning

What kind of arrangements, approaches and investments do we need (and by whom) for lifelong learning to be a reality for all and to adapt to the needs of working life?

Keynote speaker: Manuela Geleng, Director for Skills at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

Facilitator: Isabelle Chappuis, Executive Director of the Future Skills Lab, University of Lausanne


B – New forms of work and protection

How can stakeholders minimise the negative and optimise the positive impact of technological advances for a real human-centred and inclusive approach?

Keynote speaker: Kitrhona Cerri, Director, Social Impact, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Facilitator: Azita Berar-Awad, Senior Research Fellow, the Graduate Institute, Geneva and and Former Director of the Employment Policy Department, ILO


Coffee Break



C – Social dialogue for a digital society

What are the new challenges and opportunities to safeguard decent work through social dialogue?

Keynote speaker: Youcef Ghellab, Head of the Social Dialogue and Tripartism Unit, ILO

Facilitator: Jean-Michel Bonvin, Professor, University of Geneva


D – International governance of work

How can multilateral institutions further strengthen their joint work on a sustainable future of work – what does this look like in principle and in practice?

Keynote Speaker: Velibor Jakovleski, Head of Research, Global Governance Centre, the Graduate Institute, Geneva

Facilitator: Fiona Ward, Director for ILO, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland


Coffee Break


High-level panel


  • Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics, the Graduate Institute, Geneva

  • Jean-Jacques Elmiger, Ambassador, President of the 108th Centenary International Labour Conference, Switzerland

  • Tarja Halonen, Former President of Finland

  • Dr Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland

  • Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organisation

Moderated by

  • Imogen Foulkes, BBC

This summit is organised in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva and the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva.

The event will be followed by a reception.