The Future of Work: How can business support an inclusive transition?

(James Raynor) #81

Increased leisure time for their citizens is just one example. The aim is to reduce the need for employment because the fourth revolution allows that to happen without dramatically affecting GDP. Nixon tried to implement UBI on exactly that premise. Rutger Bregman has spoken extensively about this

(Kathryn Rowan) #82

Couldn’t agree more! This is extremely important.
Last week in Davos, in partnership with 19 other companies, we launched a Global Alliance for Youth aiming to impact 6 million young people by 2022. We will focus on providing youth with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to work in the 21st century through learning experiences with important focus areas, such as digital and the soft skills you just mentioned that are critical to business and personal success.

(Giles Sibbald) #83

Living longer, working longer…the intergenerational co-operation is going to be even more crucial as our working lives shift emphasis. As older workers in some industries need re-training, understanding the value in our human capital is critical to know where to invest our time and energy

(Giles Sibbald) #84

Excellent initiative. Great example of using the company’s strengths to support others develop new market solutions

(Charles Tsai) #85

Do these 550 industry partners see a business case in being involved in P-TECH? Or are they simply trying to be a good community partner?

(Harsha Jalihal) #86

We need a new social contract of work and that cannot be accomplished by one company or one entity. It requires collective action within and in some cases across industries, and it requires public-private collaboration as well. We have to think about employability beyond our organizational boundaries because we live in an interdependent ecosystem.

Partnership with governments is also crucial. For instance, we cannot offer new/flexible employment models and the right social safety nets without changes in employment laws. We cannot build the skills of the future without changes in educational systems.

(Euan Wilmshurst) #87

They do. It is a long term commitment to systemic change. No immediate benefit. P-TECH students take 6 years to graduate. But this is changing the way education and industry works together,.It creates a sustainable talent pool for the longterm. Benefiting everyone.

(Giles Sibbald) #88

Democratic, cross-sector, pan-national public engagement is a means to hear the fears, hopes, ideas of the public. Much like our view on the SDG’s…it cannot be done by one or two organisations or sectors alone…it has to be collaborative. I’m not saying that is easy - vested interests always at play - but I believe it should be the goal

(Kathryn Rowan) #89

I am a firm believer in the concept of 1+1=3. We can always work in silos but the benefit to business and to society will always be greater if we work together. We have so much to learn from one another and there is so much societal need, that it behooves us to collaborate and join forces.

(Andy E. Williams) #90

What functionality does that “social contract” need to achieve? How will you judge which proposed “social contract” is the best one?

(Jonathan Winter) #91

Yes I’m interested too. It is inspiring and aspirational but I can’t immediately think of any examples. @hsjalihal Are you doing this (across organisations) at Unilever to create a new social contract?

(Andy E. Williams) #92

How do we remove the barriers to doing anything other than working in silos? Assessing potential opportunities for collaboration with too many parties simply creates too much information to digest or manage.

(Harsha Jalihal) #93

Not sure we have the definitive answer to that yet and it may not be a singular one. But the notion of work is changing, and we have to recognize that. I spoke to it briefly in response to another question earlier in this chat but it is manifesting in many different ways

  • We talk less about job descriptions and more about skills.
  • We talk more about experiences and less about career paths.
  • It is also an age of longevity - so people are living and therefore working longer. They need flexibility and options - the ability to work in different employment models. I call it the ability to go in and out of the traditional employee lifecycle. Employers are already thinking about this, but we need governments and academicians to also think about it to drive long term change.
  • There is also a greater “integration” of life and work, meaning that you can no longer separate personal from professional which makes it really important for employers to think about the individual as a whole - their wellbeing is as important as their productivity.

(Kitrhona Cerri) #94

Couldn’t agree more! We believe that working towards a positive, shared vision of the Future of Work can help to shape and steer partnerships in the right direction. Boiling this down to basics, we could look at what work means for an individual: we think that people, regardless of the type of work they do, aspire to four fundamental elements:
• financial security,
• physical and mental wellbeing,
• empowerment, and
• the desire to make a contribution – be that personal, professional, or to wider society.

This sounds straightforward, but in a world where 700M people are in extreme poverty, 20 million in forced labor, over 80% of the US workforce considered stressed at work, and around 50% of workers believe their jobs to be meaningless – we have significant hurdles to overcome. It’s clear that no single organization can accomplish this alone!

(Giles Sibbald) #95

Technology also has the potential to heighten political tensions by increasing economic inequality. The returns to technology have been uneven, with automation - so far - threatening the job security of lower- skilled workers and helping boost the pay and investment returns of their highly-skilled counterparts.

(Euan Wilmshurst) #96 - a good example of business collaboration

(Giles Sibbald) #97

So I think collaborative thinking on economic impact is essential from policy makers, to corporates, to society

(Jonathan Winter) #98

Perhaps there’s also a role for new kinds of worker representation and support i.e. new forms of union, guilds etc.

(Harsha Jalihal) #99

We are trying! We have started by injecting purpose into our approach to talent management and leadership development. Having purpose makes it easier for individuals (and therefore us) to understand what they want out of life and work, what are they willing to do for it and what they expect in return.

Practically, we are thinking about different situations that could arise in an individual’s life at Unilever that might warrant a different “contract”. For instance, someone approaching retirement who is ok with lesser pay and fewer hours of work but wants to protect retirement benefits. How can we construct something for that individual?

(Kathryn Rowan) #100

In our experience over the last 6 years engaging with partners in the Americas and in Europe on youth employment, we have been able to achieve real progress by focusing on shared goals and aligning on our objectives from the get go. This part is critically important. We create the framework within which everyone agrees to participate and then each compay is free to engage as they see fit. Naturally, some will be more involved than others, but the end result is a positive way forward for society and the companies.