Debate|Who shapes the future of work, people or technology?

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the UN and the Decade of Action on the SDGs. The UN in China has initiated a series of activities to celebrate this year. The ILO Beijing office has joined this campaign by organizing a debate on “Who shapes the future of work, people or technology?” and developed a dialogue on the future of work with the Chinese youth.


To celebrate the 75 years' anniversary of the United Nations and the Decade of Action on the SDGs, UN in China has initiated a series of themed event in 2020 to involve youth in the dialogue. As part of this campaign, the ILO Beijing Office, together with UNDP China, invites the Chinese youth to engage in a debate on “Who shapes the future of work, people or technology?”

The world of work is undergoing a profound transformation. Technological changes are creating new paths to prosperity but are also disrupting existing work arrangements. The impact of new technologies on the world of work is probably the topic that has generated most heated debates over recent years. How many jobs can technology create in the future? Will robots take our jobs? What do I do when my occupation no longer exists in 5 years time due to technical advances? These are some of the questions expressing both fears and hopes in front of rapid changes.

Date and time

10.00-11.00am, Saturday, 18 July 2020


Online debate


Claire Courteille-Mulder, Director of the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia

Devanand Ramiah, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in China 

Wang Yonggang, Executive Director of AI Institute, Sinovation Ventures

Xi Rui, renowned young debater


Applicants shall choose one position (People shapes the future of work V.S Technology shapes the future of work), present their arguments within 800 words and submit them via "Tencent Youth Go" mini programme on WeChat before 12.00pm 28 June 2020.


The ILO  will select 6 debaters to participate in the online Final Debate show and interact with ILO representatives and other prominent guests. In addition, we will select no more than 20 young persons from the applicants to observe the dialogue.


The one selected “Best Debater” will have the opportunity to join the Youth Festival organized by UN in China on 12 August, International Youth Day. Other debaters  will receive a certificate of "Outstanding Debater", rewarded  by UN in China, ILO and UNDP. Their insights and arguments may also be included in future initiatives and projects by the United Nations! The debaters are also offered a tour of UN office in China when it is possible.