Egalitarianism and the Future of Work

May 6, 2021 - May 8, 2021
Institute for Futures Studies

Holländargatan 13


  • Society for Applied Philosophy
  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond


University of California, San Diego
University of Zürich
Tilburg University
Stockholm University
Central European University
University of Groningen
Institute for Futures Studies
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Melbourne
University of Groningen
University of Essex
Harvard University
London School of Economics
Cambridge University
Tilburg University


Tilburg 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 ten 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 so great, in fact, 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 lower 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 series of blog posts about each contribution.

Due to the pandemic, the conference will take place online. It is possible to attend the conference. If you are interested in doing so, please send a message to the conference organizers. 

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April 15, 2021, 8:00pm CET

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