Thematic forum, Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:30–12:00

Technological pathways for decent work

Digital technologies are transforming the world of work. Though debates on potential job losses are far from settled, technology is impacting the organization work. For the many service jobs that can be performed anywhere, anytime, the consequences of this trend are just beginning to be felt. We live in a world where a global supply of workers connected by the internet, can be hired in real-time to perform tasks as varied as IT programming, graphic design, or school tutoring. What are the consequences of these transformations for businesses and workers in both the North and South? What does this mean for how we regulate labour markets? What policies are needed to ensure that digital work will be decent work? What should social partners be doing to shape the direction of technological developments?

Highlights from the forum

  1. Moderator

    Ms Imogen Foulkes

    Ms Imogen Foulkes is an international journalist. She began her career with Scottish television, before moving to Swiss Radio International. She has been the BBC’s Geneva and Switzerland Correspondent since 2004. Her assignments have taken her from an ICRC medical mission in Colombia to UN human rights promotion in Tunisia, to UN support for elderly refugees in Serbia, to an investigation into drug resistant TB in prisons in Central Asia.

Keynote Speakers

  1. Mr Parminder Jeet Singh

    Executive Director, IT for Change, Bangalore

    Mr Singh is the executive director of IT for Change. His areas of work are ICTs for development, Internet governance, e-governance, and the digital economy. He has been a special advisor to the UN's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and UN Global Alliance for ICTD. Mr Singh was a part of UN working groups on IGF improvements and enhanced cooperation on International Internet policy issues. And was the first elected co-coordinator of the premier global Internet governance civil society group Internet Governance Caucus. He is also a founding member of Just Net Coalition and Internet Rights and Principles Coalition. He was associated with the group that helped develop India’s draft e-commerce policy.

  2. Professor Andrés Ortega Klein

    Senior Research Fellow at Royal Elcano Institute

    Prof. Andrés Ortega Klein is Senior Research Fellow at the Elcano Royal Institute. He is an independent consultant and director of the Observatorio de las Ideas. Professor Ortega served as Director of the Department of Analysis and Studies (Policy Unit) at the Prime Minister’s Office (1994-1996 and 2008-2011), and also worked as a counsellor at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He has had an extensive career in journalism as London and Brussels correspondent and columnist and editorial writer for El País. He has a BA in Political Science (Complutense University of Madrid), and M.Sc. (Econ) in International Relations from the London School of Economics (1979). He is a member of the ECFR council and the board of trustees of the Ortega-Marañón Foundation.

Panel discussion

  1. Mr Carlos Lopes

    Commissioner of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, Honorary Professor at University of Cape Town

    Prof. Lopes is a Bissau-Guinean development economist, author and civil servant. The recipient of several honorary doctorates in addition to his PhD from the University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne, he has used his influence to help establish various non-governmental organisations and centres for social research, particularly in Africa. He has lead several UN institutions and was Political Director for Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Most recently, he was UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He is a member of several Boards and a member of the Global Commission for the Economy and Climate, chaired by former Mexican President Filipe Calderon. Previously he was vice-chair of the Commission on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

  2. Mr Eric Manzi

    CESTRAR Secretary General, Rwanda

    Mr Manzi has been the General Secretary of Workers trade unions Confederation of Rwanda since 2001. He holds an Msc in Labour Law, Toulouse University I (France). He has been an Electrotechnical engineer (DR Congo), Vice-chair of The Rwanda Labour Council, ex. Board member of Social security agency in Rwanda, member of several thematic commissions ITUC, substitute member of ILO governing body and chairman of East Africa Trade Union (EATUC).

  3. Mr Amandeep Singh Gill

    Exec. Director, UN HL panel on digital cooperation

    Mr Amandeep Singh Gill, Executive Director, Secretariat of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, is India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1992. Mr Singh Gill is currently Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems. He serves on the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. He holds a PhD degree from King’s College London on Nuclear Learning in Multilateral Forums. From 2008 to 2009, he was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Centre for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).

  4. Ms May Makki

    Research and Program Officer at the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND)

    Ms May Makki is a Research and Program Officer at the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND). Her work is mainly focused on civic space, Agenda 2030, and development cooperation, as she is also the MENA regional coordinator for CPDE. She graduated with a BA in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Fall 2017, and has been very active with civil society organizations, and the student and feminist movements in Lebanon. She has a keen interest in development issues, including the digital divide, at both the national and regional levels, and has previously worked with UNESCWA Centre for Women. May is a Lebanese national born in 1996.

  5. Mr Hongren Zhu

    Standing Vice Chairman and Director General of CEC, China

    In January 2017, Mr Hongren, Zhu was elected Director General of China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) with responsibility for Confederation’s general operations. He has served in various positions in central government including Division Chief of Economic Operations Department of State Economic and Trade Commission, Deputy Director General of Economic Operations Adjustment Bureau of National Development and Reform Commission, Director General of the Operations and Coordination Bureau, Chief Engineer and Party Leadership Group member of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.