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The Future of Jobs: The Dual Challenges of Globalization and Robotization

Over the last two decades, the globalization of production and labor markets has made jobs and working conditions increasingly more precarious around the world. Against this backdrop we are now at the dawn of a technological revolution with potentially systemic impact on production, jobs, and livelihoods. This conference brings together leading authorities from around the world to analyze the consequences of globalization and robotization for the jobs of the future and discuss how social contracts may have to change so that people in the Global North and South can have a decent living even if they don’t have a job.

All conference events will take place in Gamble Auditorium, Art Building and are free and open to the public.

If you plan to attend and would like to request disability accommodations, please contact Jenny Medina (

Friday, Febr 19, 2016

8 pm Keynote Address: 

Rise of the Robots. Technology and the Future of Work.

Martin Ford, entrepreneur and author.

Saturday, Febr 20, 2016

8:30 – 10: 15 am: The Digital Revolution and Jobs: Is This Time Different?

Moderator: Eva Paus, Professor of Economics, Carol Hoffmann Collins Director, McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, Mount Holyoke College


Understanding Autonomous Robots
Manuela Veloso, Herbert A. Simon Professor in Computer Science and Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University

Expanding Job Opportunities through Global Green Growth
Robert Pollin, Co-director, Political Economy Research Institute; Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts  

New Technologies and Social Transformation for the Creation of New Jobs
Irmgard Nuebler, Senior Economist, Coordinator, Technology and Jobs Program, Research Department, International Labour Organisation

10:45 am – 12:30 pm: Implications and Responses in Developed Countries

Moderator: Vinnie Ferraro, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College


Taskers in the Precariat. Confronting an Emerging Dystopia.
Guy Standing, Professor in Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.  

Automated but Compensated?  Technological Change and Redistribution in Advanced Democracies. 
David Rueda, Professor of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University  

Creating Decent Jobs. Making Care Count.
Mignon Duffy, Associate Professor and Chair, Sociology Department, Associate Director, Center for Women and Work, University of Massachusetts Lowell.

2:00 – 3:45 pm: Implications and Responses in Developing Countries

Moderator:  Shahrukh Khan, Visiting Professor of Economics, Mount Holyoke College


Universal Social Policy. Wild Dream or Urgent Necessity?
Juliana Martinez Franzoni, Associate Professor, Institute of Social Research, University of Costa Rica   

Globalization. Africa’s Opportunity to Create More and Better Jobs.
Vandana Chandra, Senior Economist, World Bank, Washington, D.C.  

From Catching Up to Forging Ahead in Advanced Manufacturing - Reflections on China's "Future of Jobs".
Dieter Ernst, Senior Fellow, East-West Center, Hawaii

Conference-Related Course

The future of Jobs

The Future of Jobs (Coll-115)

Through Analysis and hands-on activities, we study the impact of globalization and robotization on the future of jobs in the Global North and South.