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FinnSight forum led by Bengt Holmström seeks solutions to the transformation of work

Publication date 12.9.2017 10.38
Press release 396/2017

On Tuesday 19 September the national foresight forum FinnSight will bring together leading experts and decision-makers to Paasitorni in Helsinki to discuss ways how Finland and Finnish work will succeed also in the future. The forum is opened by Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Annika Saarikko and the keynote speaker is MIT Professor and Nobel Prize winner Bengt Holmström.

The transformation of work means a profound technological, economic and societal change that continues across generations. At the heart of this transformation are automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, creative destruction, and the evolving sharing and platform economy. The transformation will have far-reaching consequences that will challenge the whole welfare society as we know it. What may hurt the most is that the traditional link between economic growth and work may be broken, while technologies are also expected to boost economic growth.

At the FinnSight forum a number of experts in the work, livelihoods and business of the future and decision-makers will discuss potential solutions to the transformation of work. The approach to be adopted is practical, concrete and future-oriented.

In the discussions we will also hear Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Chairman of the Board of Sanoma, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director-General at the Finnish National Agency for Education, Olli Kangas, Director of Community Relations at the Social Insurance Institution of Finland Kela, Paula Laine, Director for Foresight, Insight and Strategy at the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary at the Prime Ministers’ Office, and Timo Seppälä, Professor at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy Etla and Aalto University.

The introductory speeches invite to ask how we should respond to the challenges of the transformation of work and what is the future we wish to have for Finland? How is the welfare state to be organised if growing numbers of people are excluded from working life even if the economy is growing? How does a person relate to the society if not through work? How can we make it easier for companies to launch new operations and for individuals to find new work and interests?

FinnSight contributes to the Government Report on the Future

Even if the consequences of the transformation of work may be enormous, they will not take place so quickly that we could not influence what is happening. FinnSight contributes to the preparation of the Government Report on the Future focused on the transformation of work. The report helps to prepare for the paths of change in working life and seeks solutions to these. 

The first part of the Report on the Future A shared understanding of the transformation of work was handed over to the Government in June. The first part presents various paths of change for the future of work and raises some socio-political questions arising from the transformation. The second part of the report, to be submitted to the Parliament in 2018, takes a closer look at the policy aspects of the transformation of work, decisions that are needed and alternative solutions.

FinnSight 2017 foresight forum is held in Paasitorni (Paasivuorenkatu 5 A, 00530 Helsinki) at 11.00–16.30. Parts of the event may also be followed on the internet and Twitter, ID #FinnSight . You will find more information on the speakers and programme and a link to the webcast on the event’s website (in Finnish)

The event is organised by the Prime Minister's Office, Academy of Finland, Finnish National Agency for Education, Ministry of Education and Culture, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the National Foresight Network. 

Inquiries: Jenni Lahtinen, Project Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office, [email protected], tel. +358 50 303 2743.