Egalitarianism and the Future of Work

May 14, 2020 - May 16, 2020
Institute for Futures Studies

Holländargatan 13
Stockholm 11136

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  • Society for Applied Philosophy
  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
  • Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

All speakers:

University of California, San Diego
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
University of Toronto, St. George
Technical University Munich
Institute for Futures Studies
University of Essex
Harvard University
Cambridge University


Utrecht University
Stockholm University
Tilburg University

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In 1930, John Maynard Keynes famously predicted that 100 years later, we would only have to work 15 hours a week. With eleven years left until 2030, this vision may still feel far away, yet innovations in technology are rapidly changing production and consumption patterns everywhere. The changes are, in fact, so great that some say we are on the verge of “the fourth industrial revolution” (Schwab 2015) or “the second machine age” (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014). Just like after earlier technological leaps, it is beyond dispute that much work that is currently done by humans will soon be done by machines. And just like before, the positive and negative effects of such disruptive technologies will be distributed unequally among people affected by them. 

The central question of the conference is how the benefits and burdens of automation should be distributed, within and across groups and generations. This question is both urgent and relatively neglected. According to some estimates, about 47% of jobs in the United States are at a high risk of being automated within the next two decades (Frey & Osborne 2015). And lower skilled jobs are at a (much) greater risk to be automated than higher skilled jobs (Eichhorst & Portela Souza 2018—also see Cowen 2013; Hodgson 2015). 

This conference, arranged in collaboration with the Institute for Futures Studies, is an opportunity for scholars from different disciplines to discuss empirical, normative, and policy questions related to this topic. It aims to help create an interdisciplinary research network of junior and senior scholars interested in continuing research in the area, and to communicate findings and research with the wider academic community through a subsequent special issue, and the wider public through a panel debate open to the public, as well as a series of blog posts about each contribution.

Confirmed speakers:

Richard Arneson (University of California at San Diego)

Anca Gheaus (Pompeu Fabra University)

Joseph Heath (University of Toronto) 

Lisa Herzog (Groningen University)

Karim Jebari (Institute for Futures Studies)

Tom Parr (Warwick University)

Jill Rubery (University of Manchester)

Lucas Stanczyk (Harvard University)

Nicholas Vrousalis (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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April 30, 2020, 12:00am CET

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