Decent Work and Economic Growth

Session 1
Jun 13 '18 10:55am–Jun 13 '18, 12:37pm GMT


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Stacy Rowland
Jun 13 '18, 12:33pm · Report
Thank you everyone for your great contributions.
Dipika Rathod
Capital Employed Consulting ltd
Jun 13 '18, 12:32pm · Report
Changes in monopoly employers behaviour and abuse,of labour market and power in setting wages and promoting fair pay, min pay living wage. Wage stagnation must be address, as disposable,income leads people to poverty line and lack of mobility in workforce means long,period of unemployment
Stijn Broecke
Special Guest
Jun 13 '18, 12:33pm · Report
Excellent points! Summarises some of the key challenges lying ahead.
Eric Whan
Jun 13 '18, 12:32pm · Report
Thank you everyone for an excellent discussion. We loved hearing your ideas and excellent examples. We are now wrapping up our Forum. We will be repeating this session this afternoon (3:00 PM EDT) with the same questions so that people in other time zones can share ideas. Feel free to join again!

After that, we will review everyone’s contributions from today and summarize these in a report that we will send to you when ready.

We’ll also send out a short feedback survey to everyone – we hope you will share your feedback about the Forum with us!

Thank you so much to 3M for co-hosting, to our panelists, and to all of you for joining us. This completes our Forum. Until next time!
Jun 13 '18, 12:32pm · Report
In the future more companies will pursue a wider purpose than financial return, and more employees will find purposeful fulfilment through their work...I pray so anyway!
Gayle Chong
Jun 13 '18, 12:33pm · Report
I hope so too
Gayle Chong
Jun 13 '18, 12:30pm · Report
Great thoughts everyone! I loved this discussion!
Dipika Rathod
Capital Employed Consulting ltd
Jun 13 '18, 12:30pm · Report
In the USA for example the ratification of the equal rights amendment is critical, in the UK legal protection through legislation and how iplemented, respecting human rights and women's rights are human rights is key, no negotiation on this
Nancy Worth
Special Guest
University of Waterloo
Jun 13 '18, 12:29pm · Report
Ideally decent work is also meaningful work--I think this is more worker-centred than 'productive'.
Holly Duckworth
Special Guest
Kaiser Aluminum
Jun 13 '18, 12:29pm · Report
I think that SDG8 has an extremely limited perspective. For me, the future isn't about "economic growth" or "productive employment". These concepts only perpetuate debt (kicking a burden to our children and grandchildren) to achieve growth and employees beholden to organizations in which they have limited voice.

I would rather see a sustainable future with prosperous communities and fulfilling effort expended in service to the community.

Let's think past economic growth and productive employment. Let's teach our children to seek joy in daily service to neighbors.
Nancy Worth
Special Guest
University of Waterloo
Jun 13 '18, 12:30pm · Report
And think more broadly than gender regarding equality of opportunity
Gayle Chong
Jun 13 '18, 12:32pm · Report
Yes, I totally agree!

Summary of Discussion

Q8: Changes needed in the labour market

  • Need for collaboration between stakeholders
  • Access to decent education
  • More focus and investment in vocational skills and digital skills in emerging economies especially
  • Living wage
  • Strengthening worker voice + protections
  • Shift from thinking of jobs to tasks
  • Worker-centric, meaningful work = decent work
  • Challenging the concept of economic growth

Policy/regulatory needs:

  • Flexible regulatory systems
  • Strong equality and human rights legislation

Final poll result

Looks like most of us agree that we need to provide youth with accurate information about pay, lifestyle and future job availability for skilled trades workers

Q7: Equal access to work + preparation for change

Ideas to move to more equality:

  • diversity in leadership
  • equal pay policies
  • ensuring basic skills in STEM and IT skills
  • early investnment incubators/ accelerators as job creators to invest in talent
  • building close-knit communities to see outcomes and value of work
  • businesses should take more responsibility to integrate people, inc in supply chain

Q6: Vocational skills

Vocational skills highly valued across the world from India to the US

  • Need for more investment and policies focussed on VET and lifelong learning
  • Should we be distinguishing between types of skills?
  • Barriers currently preventing women from attaining vocational skills
  • Examples of SkillsUSA and Worldskills - promoting careers opps that don't require a degree

Q5: Role of dif stakeholders

Need for close collaboration and longer term partnership between "world of work" and "world of education", as well as policy-makers. NGOs can also play a role in partnerships

Latest poll result

Clearly points to risks facing manufacturing workforce around the world

Q4: Jobs of tomorrow

Difficult to predict. WEF: 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist 

  • combining skills likely to increase in importance
  • digital capabilities increasingly important
  • more sustainability, circular jobs and SDG jobs
  • but consumerism still high so consumer goods + agri still important
  • partnership skills may become an important career path
  • mentoring more important
  • but despite the change a comment that the nature of coming toether to work will always be part of the human condition

Q3: Skills gap - how to help workers thrive

Key theme so far is partnership and collaboration between educators, employers and policy-makers

  • Collaboration with Gov to identify emerging skills gaps 
  • Education system must prepare students with future-relevant skills
  • Requires collaboration with employers
  • Apprenticeships can be win-win
  • Training and education on the job
  • Blending the school to work transition 
  • Companies should also look into  supply chains and invest in capacity building among suppliers
  • Universities using more "authentic assessment" strategies - real life scenarios and assignments

Poll questions so far

Both sets of results point to the importance of reducing inequality and ensuring access to education 

Q2. Rapid business change + implications for employers/employees

TECH: IoT, Industry 4.0, automation, data and analytics > reshaping how work is done and replacing jobs with automation

  • Creates need for upskilling and reskilling and lifelong learning
  • Transformation of HR processes required - to focus on employability
  • Need to ensure resiliency of workers
  • Hyper-specialization -  uncertain impacts


  • Redefining products/services to lessen negative impacts
  • Again, needs upskilling and/or reallocation of workforce


  • Gig economy will continue to change things
  • Definition of a "good job" will shift
  • Are essential freelancers employees? = blurring of firm boundaries

Q1. Factors inhibiting decent work/growth

Ideas mentioned so far:

  • persistent unemployment (inc youth)
  • weak/unstable growth, low productivity 
  • high levels of informality, changing format of jobs (knowledge economy creating waves, sharing economy etc.)
  • poverty, health and human rights challenges
  • demographic changes – aging population
  • tech evolutions
  • working conditions (safety, precariousness, instability, low income, etc);
  • low quality education systems, lack of education investment
  • corruption, poor governance by public sector

Meet our Special Guests

Maureen Tholen
Sustainability Director
Stefan Crets
Executive Director
CSR Europe
Alvaro González
Lead Economist, Jobs Group
World Bank Group
Matthias Thorns
Director Stakeholder Engage…
International Organization …
Joshua Lachs
Chief Development & Cli…
Net Impact
Mark Williams
Manager, Global Impact Sour…
Nancy Worth
Assistant Professor
University of Waterloo
Stijn Broecke
Senior Economist (Future of…
Holly Duckworth
Chief Learning Officer
Kaiser Aluminum
Paula Pelaez
Program Manager, Business C…
United Nations Development …

Session Moderator

Eric Whan
Director, GlobeScan


Holly Duckworth
I think that SDG8 has an extremely limited perspective. Fo…
Holly Duckworth
I think that globalization can work against the appreciatio…
Maureen Tholen
The programs that SkillsUSA and Worldskills run in many cou…
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