Representing workers and employers
In the last century work became not only a means of material fulfilment, but also a fundamental tool for personal development and community participation. The connection between work and society will always remain. Transformations in the world of work are disrupting this connection, with uncertain outcomes.
On one hand, social identities built on stable work relationships risk replacement by those that leave individuals isolated, insecure and alienated. In some countries, whole generations of adults are getting older without having experienced formal employment, with all the psychological and social tensions that disjunction entails. On the other hand, the pace and dynamics of economic change offer workers and businesses unprecedented choice and rewards, at least for those individuals with the skills and opportunities to take advantage of this change.
How will societies manage these contrasting possibilities and their impact in a world of individuals whose differences in gender, age, education, migration status, financial resources and many other characteristics pose enormous challenges? Will these opportunities lead to increased inequality, segregation and polarization? Will they bring together or pull apart developed, emerging and developing economies?