WorkScapes: Future of Work

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to Friday, September 28, 2018
India Habitat Centre

A) Concept

Driven by technological developments, but also by social, economic and cultural shifts, the world of work is evolving. Gradually moving towards an era where man and machine shall co-work by deploying technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, big data, robotics, IoT at the site of work and otherwise, the challenge of the future will be to extract the best out of this co-working relationship. Human societies have little choice but to brace themselves for the changes to come and find intelligent ways of managing and steering them.

One of the sites of massive change will be the labour market. Less complex and routine tasks are widely expected to be increasingly automated. At the same time, however, tasks which are complex, creative and demand analytical skill will rise in significance. The challenge will be to achieve an inclusive future of work in which everyone finds their place. On the one hand, this calls for massive efforts at up-skilling and re-skilling through innovative forms of training delivery and new kinds of job discovery for all section of the work force. On the other hand, it will be a matter of prime significance to ensure that those excluded from the opportunities will find support and justice.

As the labour markets change, so will the workplaces and working environments of the future. Reorganized structures of working and technological tools such as teleconferencing, remote-working etc. have the potential of empowering individuals and of unleashing creative energies. However, they may also have adverse psychological and social effects. An important challenge of the future will be to find equitable, healthy and safe ways of developing work spaces.

Shifting trends towards increasing dependency on technology and automation will have tangible and intangible effects on business, economy, society and on individuals. In order, to help us understand them, we need to reject facile generalizations, but must look at the complex realities and consider topics from migration via data-privacy and security to social equality.

With an aim to encourage an exchange of views, to deepen our understanding of the issues and to start deliberating on possible responses to the changing world of work, the DWIH symposium “WorkScapes: Future of Work” will bring together eminent Indian and German academicians, scientists, researchers, policymakers, representatives of international organisations. The event will be structured around five broad themes.

B) Date and Venue

26th-28th September 2018 | Silver Oak Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003

C) Methodology

The symposium will be spread over three days. The Inaugural session on the first day will be followed by a networking reception. Day two and day three will witness a series of thematic panels that will be followed by discussions. Participants will be invited to question the views of the experts and to contribute to finding solutions to the issues addressed during the sessions.

D) Thematic Panels

Session 1 - Artificial Intelligence Vs Intelligence Amplification/Augmentation

 Current and future technologies

 AI assisted jobs/tasks/sectors

 Human intelligence vs Artificial intelligence

 Intelligence Amplification – a third dimension

Session 2 - Reimagining Workforce

 Current and future technologies changing the face of workforce

 Robots replacing humans or both working together

 Change in the nature of jobs

 Humans acquiring new skillsets to work

 Impact on the labour market – wages, work conditions, labour unions etc.

Session 3 - Automation and Efficiency

 Automation improved processes – the efficiency factor

 Productivity and automation

 Economic impacts of automation in the future

 Social impacts of automation in the future

Session 4 - Redefining Workspaces

 The design aspect of infrastructure – restructuring offices/homes/cities

 Digital workspaces

 Vanishing boundaries between private and commercial

Session 5 - Digitalisation and Global Mobility

 Migration

 Rise of the Gig economy

 Data privacy, security and ethical use of data

Session 6: Panel for young researchers to present their work/ projects on interdisciplinary topics related to Future of Work.

Note: Each panel will have experts seeking to address the above mentioned topics following an interdisciplinary approach. The discussions in each panel will centre around, but will not be limited to the given topics and key words. Speakers are encouraged to integrate additional themes in their talk.

E) Participants

The symposium will bring together 25 - 30 experts/speakers in addition to an audience comprising 150 – 200 stakeholders from academia, government, civil society, and international organizations.

F) Language

The working language of the symposium will be English