Press release: The Future of Work in the Global South – UNU-WIDER and ESCAP conference

Starting Wednesday, UNU-WIDER and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are jointly hosting a three-day conference in Bangkok on productive job creation in the face of economic transformation in the global south.

With just eleven years left to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, creating better jobs for everyone — especially those currently marginalized in economies — needs to be at the forefront of economics research and policymaking.

The conference will debut new and innovative research with the goal of sparking debates and driving policy change. It will feature analysis by distinguished scholars and economics experts — including Kunal Sen, Deepak Nayyar, Seema Jayachandran, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Naila Kabeer, Benno Ndulu, and Richard Baldwin.

UNU-WIDER has a long history of research tackling the most pressing issues affecting the world’s poorest people. Today, one of those key concerns is the future of work amid global technological change — the World Bank estimates that two-thirds of all jobs in developing countries are at risk of automation.

In order to solve this conundrum, panelists at this week’s conference will discuss how forward-thinking policies can help navigate the economic and technological transformations in developing countries.

‘I believe the challenge of development is ultimately a question of transformation — in this case, technological advances need to be met with innovative policy solutions. Technology can either take jobs away from the world’s poorest people or it can create opportunities for growing economies. Now more than ever is the time for researchers and policymakers to work together to address both the challenges and opportunities offered by the rapid advances in technology,’ said Kunal Sen, UNU-WIDER’s director and panelist.

By bringing together at least 200 economics experts from over 50 different countries, this conference provides a unique platform to discuss policy solutions to productive job creation for all, particularly those marginalized in the global south.

What: UNU-WIDER and ESCAP Development Conference

When: 11–13 September 2019

Where: United Nations Conference Centre, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, Thailand

Media highlights

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

9:00–10:30 Plenary 1 | Opening and welcome: Kunal Sen and Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Keynote 1 | Dismantling barriers to women's employment in developing countries by Seema Jayachandran

Thursday, 12 September 2019

15:40–17:00 Policy Event: Changing technologies and the jobs of tomorrow

Panelists: Damian Grimshaw, Benno Ndulu, Truman Packard, Marty Chen and Kunal Sen 

Friday, 13 September 2019

9:00–10:30 Plenary 2 | Keynote 2 | The Globotics Transformation and Development by Richard Baldwin

To learn more about the development conference, and see the full programme, click here.

For media inquiries, please contact:

UNU-WIDER in Helsinki, Anne Tomi,

UNU-WIDER in Helsinki, Annett Victorero +358961599327