Europaeum Summer School
University of Helsinki, 27 August – 1 September, 2018
FUTURE OF WORK
Reshaping the meaning of work in the future society
The time of lifelong careers in professions and fields of work requiring particular training and skills is over. Not only have professions and labour markets changed, but the very nature of work is changing, placing public finances and European welfare states under pressure. Ideas such as universal basic income are being explored and experimented. Technological change creates opportunities as well as risks in the form of platform jobs and the sharing economy.
The Europaeum Summer School 2018, hosted by the University of Helsinki, explores the changing nature of work and its effects to the life of an individual in the society. The students of the Summer School will explore the theme through four different approaches: technological opportunities and risks, equalities and inequalities formed in the future, the pressure on the welfare state and the changing education systems. What kind of ethical questions do the technological opportunities present? Who will benefit and who will lose from the fragmented nature of work? How will the welfare state be maintained with a narrowing tax base? Will the education system adapt to these changes?
Europaeum Summer School will provide a comprehensive course on the future of work and the changes that individuals in societies will face. The speakers and teachers include leading experts in the field. Summer School is targeted to advanced graduate students. The one-week Summer School is divided in four parts in four days: each day will focus on a particular topic. Speakers are invited to conduct regular classes, but workshops and a panel debate are also expected.
Prior to the Summer School, each student will choose their own approach to tackle the question of the future of work. Preparatory readings will be assigned according to chosen topics. By the end of the week each student will prepare a presentation on their chosen topic.
The Europaeum Summer School is aimed at advanced graduate students from the universities within the Europaeum network. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered.
Application deadline extended to 8th June, apply by using the form above and send your application to Johanna Metsäheimo email@example.com
References: one or two, ideally from your supervisor(s).
Future of work – reshaping the meaning of work in the future society
The fast moving technology will change the premises on how the labor market is currently organised. Along automatisation, platform jobs and part-time arrangements the very nature of work is about to transform. More and more individuals are going to combine together traditional employment, freelance, entrepreneurship and platform jobs. Work is no longer tied to a certain time or place. Platforms of collecting and sharing data are able to connect people globally, creating opportunities and risks of transnational work communities.
What will be the nature of work? Who does it, what kind of working communities the new technologies will create? Will robots and humans work together and transnationally? What will be the relationship between an individual, robots and wage work?
Self-learning machines and technology will take over a vast part of employment. Technology has until recently eaten from low-skilled and repetitive work, but it is now also taking over some high-skilled professions. It is predictable, that a large part of people with higher education degrees are soon replaced by machines. Especially male-dominated fields are more in danger for automatisation than female-dominated fields. Will the automatisation create a mass wave of unemployment? Will the future of work be a zero-sum game, where one loses their job and the other one maintains it? Will a gender imbalance affect the automatisation of the fields in danger? Will gender, ethnic background or disabilities affect to that? What kind of politics is there to be made?
Total employment vs. total automatisation in the society – what kind of perspectives does it create for public institutions?
Until recently, work has been revolved around the ideal of total employment, and the constant pursuit for economic growth. Robotisation and advanced technology might challenge that: when it is possible to automate a great deal of current employment, what is the reason to keep people working? Could other ways of meaningful activity replace paid work as the essential way of attachment to the society? What are the means to secure peoples’ livelihoods, when they do no longer have wage work? What kind of models can society create to secure the basic living expenses for individuals? Some of them have been experimented in Finland, such as the basic income. Other new systems of social security are yet to be explored.
Governments have generally been estimating the fields of high employment in the future and have been planning the funding for education according to these estimations. Most commonly the estimations have been wrong. The future of higher education will most likely provide students a certain set of “meta-skills” which they can further develop while working. The higher education will be more linked to the working life, and it is predicted that organisations and education institutions will have more cooperation with one another.
What are these “meta-skills”? Why a separate education system and work life has been the traditional way of gaining expertise? Why should it be changed? How about fields that require specific knowledge from early on, for example architecture or medicine?
Methods used at the Summer School
Arrival on Sunday
Leaving on Saturday
|Festival hall, 9-9.45 Introduction to Summer School
10-12 Class: Rethinking the future of work: What are the premises the evolving technology creates for the future work?
|9-11 Class: Women in labour market: The normalised gender inequality in work life
Evolving technology: work taking new forms, waves of unemployment?
|9-11 Class: Introduction to basic income
Alternative attachment to the society other than work: how is the welfare system maintained?
|9-11 Class: Technology & learning, introducing the concept of lifelong learning
11-13 Small discussion groups: Knowledge and skills needed at work right now, reflections to the future
|10-12 Class/discussion: Reflections, concrete visions of what will the society look like in 50 years?
Fragmented ways of working, new work communities, new partners at work: robots
15-17: Exploitation of workers in digital platforms
|Festival hall, 17-19 Panel debate: AKAVA, SAK, EK, University:
Who will win and who will lose along the automatisation of workforce?
Demos Helsinki: models for new social security
The purpose, content and method of higher education in the future
|Festival hall, 13-16
Presentations by students on their chosen topics
||19- Dinner & Socials
||19- Dinner & Socials