Changing technologies and the jobs of tomorrow

Policy event

Changing technologies and the jobs of tomorrow

Watch the live stream recording

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) will organize a three-day conference on transforming economies in Bangkok, Thailand, on 11-13 September 2019. Day two of the Transforming economies - for better jobs conference features a policy session open to both conference participants and the public. Registration closes 4 September.  

In this policy session a panel of experts, together with an audience of policy specialists, decision makers, members from civil society and representatives from international organizations, will seek to answer the question: how can the technological transformation be harnessed to create better jobs and help achieve the SDGs?

Estimates from the World Bank suggest that two-thirds of all jobs in developing countries are at risk of automation. Meanwhile the ILO has calculated that 344 million jobs need to be created by 2030 to address unemployment. Can automation and new technologies help to create these much-needed jobs, or could it lead to greater inequality, leaving behind the most disadvantaged? One thing is certain, policies will need to be put in place to navigate changes that lie ahead.

With just eleven years remaining to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals we must work together to create policies that will support and advance the world’s poorest people. Without forward thinking policy there will be missed opportunities at best, economic displacement and increased inequality at worst. 

This event asks the big questions, acting as a platform for dynamic discussion and debate, generating knowledge and insights on one of the most pressing issues facing the most disadvantaged societies – the future of work.

This event will be live streamed here.

Sharanjit Leyl | Moderator

Sharanjit is an experienced broadcaster with more than 20 years of experience covering international business, finance and politics. She's anchored Asia Business Report and Newsday from the BBC's Singapore studio for sixteen years. Sharanjit has anchored several BBC World News programmes in London, filed reports for radio on the BBC World Service and written for BBC news online. She’s reported for domestic BBC programmes such as Breakfast, the One and Six ’clock news and regularly anchors live on location for on breaking stories in the region.

A Singaporean native, she's presented and produced documentaries on BBC World News including the hour long ‘Singapore at 50’ and ‘Secrets of Singapore’, which featured interviews from  former leaders and pioneers who helped make it one of the 20th century's economic success stories.

Benno Ndulu | Presenter 

Professor Benno J. Ndulu, who has just completed a 10 years term as Governor, Bank of Tanzania, now occupies the Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Development at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He is best known for having served as one of the pioneers for the most effective Research and Training Network in economics in Africa, the African Economic Research Consortium, where he served first as its research Director and then as its Executive Director. Having begun in academia at the University of Dar-es Salaam, he later served also in the World Bank as a Research Manager in DEC and Advisor to Vice President Africa Region. He has published widely on Growth, Governance, and Trade. He is currently co-directing the Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development anchored at Blavatnik School of Government, at the University of Oxford, where he is also a visiting Professor.

Damian Grimshaw | Presenter 

Damian Grimshaw is Director of the Research department at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva. The department produces the flagship World Employment and Social Outlook reports and conducts original research in key areas of digital work and technological change, trade and global supply chains, labour market policy, productivity and the green economy. Prior to 2018 he was Professor of Employment Studies at the University of Manchester and Director of the European Work and Employment Research Centre. His published work covers international comparisons of low-wage labour markets, industrial relations, precarious work and gender inequality. Recent publications include Making Work More Equal (2017, Manchester University Press) and Social Dialogue and Economic Performance (2017, No. 89, ILO).

Truman Packard | Presenter 

Truman G. Packard is a Lead Economist in the Social Protection and Jobs (SPJ) Global Practice of the World Bank, currently working on labor market issues in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.  Truman also leads the team producing a SPJ Practice White Paper Protecting All: Risk Sharing for a Diverse and Diversifying World of Work.  His prior assignment was to lead the World Bank team that delivered the regional report East Asia Pacific at Work: Employment, Enterprise and Wellbeing in 2014. He also served on the teams that produced Golden Growth: Restoring the Lustre of the European Economic Model and In From the Shadow: Integrating Europe’s Informal Labor, both published in 2012, and the World Development Report 2009 Reshaping Economic Geography

Marty Chen | Presenter 

Martha (Marty) Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Senior Advisor of the global research-policy-action network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Marty co-founded and led the WIEGO Network for twenty years. An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialization are employment, gender and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. In April 2011 she was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012. 

Kunal Sen | Presenter

Professor Kunal Sen has over three decades of experience in academic and applied development economics research. He is the author of eight books and the editor of five volumes on the economics and political economy of development. From 2019 he is the Director of UNU-WIDER, and he is a professor of development economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. Professor Sen is a leading international expert on the political economy of growth and development. He has performed extensive research on international finance, the political economy determinants of inclusive growth, the dynamics of poverty, social exclusion, female labour force participation, and the informal sector in developing economies. His research has focused on India, East Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.