On November 18-19, Beijing time, the Ditchley Foundation held a closed-door international conference entitled “Making the future work for all workers,” a hybrid event combining both in-person and virtual formats. Among the invited panelists were Mr. ZHANG Lirong, Secretary General of China Forum, and Mr. GAO Jian, China Forum Expert and Director of the Center for British Studies at Shanghai International Studies University. The conference also convened more than 80 participants from the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for discussions on the impact of economic globalization, technological advancement, international competition, and changes in social structures on the roles of governments, businesses, unions, civil society, individuals, and education in addressing employment concerns.
In the plenary session, Mr. Zhang Lirong shared his views on the reasons for the hollowing out of industrial activities in developed countries. In the panel discussion on government policies, he elaborated on a series of active employment policies and measures implemented in China.
Mr. Gao Jian touched on the emerging features and trends of the future of work and higher education in the US and Europe as they face fresh challenges to their labor markets due to economic globalization and digitalization. He pointed out that the fundamental challenge lies in the socio-economic value of work and the intrinsic motivation for work, and that education should never be defined only by its value for employment.