ILO centenary initiative

The Future of Work we want: A Global Dialogue

6-7 April 2017 - ILO Headquarters

Around the world, in economies at all stages of development, profound changes in the nature of work are underway. Numerous and diverse drivers account for these: demographic shifts, climate change, technological innovation, shifting contours of poverty and prosperity, growing inequality, economic stagnation and the changing character of production and employment.  The transformations we witness now challenge us to imagine the future of work over the long term in order to steer this evolution in the direction of social justice.  Rising widespread anxiety about whether the future will produce greater polarization within and between countries brings urgency to this task.

Recognizing the pressing need to begin marshalling global expertise to make the future of work the one we want, the ILO launched the Future of Work Centenary Initiative in 2013. Under the Initiative, this Symposium presents an important step to gain greater understanding of the changes we are witnessing and to develop effective policy responses that can shape the future of work.  The Symposium will be structured around the Initiative’s four “centenary conversations” -- work and society, decent jobs for all, the organization of work and production, and the governance of work – and will gather international thinkers and actors who are at the forefront of debates on each topic. A special session will discuss the perspectives for and views of young people – including representatives of the social partners – in the future of work they will experience. 


  1. Opening session

    6 April

    • Registration - 8:00
    • Welcome and Opening remarks by ILO Director-General - 9:00
    • Keynote Speaker recommendation - 9:15
    • Panel interaction with audience & e-audience - 10:00

  2. Session 1

    Work and society

    6 April - 11:00

    How the transformations in the world of work are affecting how individuals interact and how will societies manage these changes.

  3. Session 2

    Decent jobs for all

    6 April - 14:30

    How the interplay of technological innovations, structural transformation, economic development and social change are expected to shape the future of work, particularly in relation to the longstanding policy commitment to full and decent employment.

  4. Special session

    How youth of today see the future of work and how they will contribute to ensuring the future we want

    7 April - 9:00

    What are the challenges and opportunities young people are facing as they make the transition into the world of work. What do they see as the path forward to achieve sustainable inclusive growth for future generations?

  5. Session 3

    The organization of work and production

    7 April - 11:00

    What are the new forms of the employment relationship and whether and to what extent that relationship will continue to be the locus for many of the protections now afforded to workers.

  6. Session 4

    The governance of work

    7 April - 14:30

    Focus on initiatives that revitalise existing norms and institutions and/or create new forms of regulation that may help to meet present and future governance challenges.