The world of work is undergoing disruptive changes due to current technological advancement. People are laced with fear and foreboding due to forecasts of the number of jobs that could be lost to automation as employers choose to replace people with robots. The combined impact of these challenges will require fundamental transformations at an individual, organisational, and community level to adapt systems of work, innovation, learning, and social protection to the new context. Cooperatives have the opportunity to create an alternative social and economic model that entails a robust entrepreneurial sustainability element and resilience such that technological advances will bring new, more productive, sustainable, and fulfilling ways to work.
Cooperatives play an essential role in bringing income-generation opportunities to society in the developing and emerging economies, especially to marginalized groups such as women, youth, and people living with disabilities. They support and strengthen the economic activities of self-employed producers and entrepreneurs in the informal economy through various forms of shared services. They provide them a formal framework through which their economic activities can be recognised as real businesses, and members can negotiate with public authorities to introduce appropriate social security and protection schemes.
Therefore, this working group’s first objective is to focus its efforts on better understanding the specific contribution of cooperatives to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and its evolution.
The second objective is to develop indicators that are not present in SDG 8, and that is more in line with the specific contributions of cooperatives to the future of work.
Other activities will include:
- Alternatives to the disruption of digital platforms through alternative models
- Combat informal work
- Democratising the workplace through participatory governance