Work For All or Mass Unemployment Revisited: Christopher Freeman Annual Lecture

Prof. Luc Soete, UNU-MERIT

Professor Soete will revisit SPRU work from the early 80’s conducted in the framework of the Technology and Employment (TEMPO) project, which focused on the impact of (radical) technological change on employment. The influence of this work, initiated by Chris Freeman, was in retrospect particularly significant. It led IBM – the world’s leading computer firm of the day – to devote attention to the employment implications of computer technology; it caused OECD to consider the role and impact of technological change on productivity and job creation in its “Job Study”, and obliged the European Commission to pay attention to the employment impact, skills demands and social dimension of new information technology. Most of this work was written up in articles and policy reports, now and then summarized in books. Professor Soete will focus on the special relevance of Freeman’s work for the current on-going debate on the job implications of robotics and artificial intelligence, using amongst others the popular booklet: “Work for All or Mass Unemployment: Computerised Technical Change in the 21st Century” published in 1994 by Frances Pinter.

Venue: Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK

Date: 04 May 2017

Time: 18:30 - 20:00