SAP sponsored event: Egalitarianism and the Future of Work [event postponed]

SAP sponsored event: Egalitarianism and the Future of Work [event postponed]

Institute for Futures Studies Stockholm, Sweden
May 14, 2020 9:00 am — May 16, 2020 5:00 pm

Contact Huub Brouwer for more information.



Please note: This event has been postponed due coronavirus outbreak. (Re-scheduled date tba)

Conference description

In 1930, John Maynard Keynes famously predicted that 100 years later, we would only have to work 15 hours a week. With eleven years left until 2030, this vision may still feel far away, yet innovations in technology are rapidly changing production and consumption patterns everywhere. The changes are, in fact, so great that some say we are on the verge of “the fourth industrial revolution” (Schwab 2015) or “the second machine age” (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014). Just like after earlier technological leaps, it is beyond dispute that much work that is currently done by humans will soon be done by machines. And just like before, the positive and negative effects of such disruptive technologies will be distributed unequally among people affected by them.

The central question of the conference is how the benefits and burdens of automation should be distributed, within and across groups and generations. This question is both urgent and relatively neglected. According to some estimates, about 47% of jobs in the United States are at a high risk of being automated within the next two decades (Frey & Osborne 2015). And lower skilled jobs are at a (much) greater risk to be automated than higher skilled jobs (Eichhorst & Portela Souza 2018—also see Cowen 2013; Hodgson 2015).

This conference, arranged in collaboration with the Institute for Futures Studies, is an opportunity for scholars from different disciplines to discuss empirical, normative, and policy questions related to this topic. It aims to help create an interdisciplinary research network of junior and senior scholars interested in continuing research in the area, and to communicate findings and research with the wider academic community through a subsequent special issue, and the wider public through a panel debate open to the public, as well as a series of blog posts about each contribution.


Confirmed speakers

Richard Arneson (University of California at San Diego)

Anca Gheaus (Pompeu Fabra University)

Joseph Heath (University of Toronto)

Lisa Herzog (Groningen University)

Karim Jebari (Institute for Futures Studies)

Tom Parr (Warwick University)

Jill Rubery (University of Manchester)

Lucas Stanczyk (Harvard University)

Nicholas Vrousalis (Erasmus University Rotterdam)


Call for papers

The aim of the conference is to bring together academics from various disciplines – politics, philosophy, economics – as well as policymakers, to discuss the future of work in relation to social justice. There is room on the program for two contributed papers by junior researchers (PhD students, postdocs, or other early career researchers). We therefore invite papers dealing with ethical, political, and methodological issues related to work, and changes in the job market as a result of automation and other technological innovations. This may involve, but is not limited to basic income, social justice, meaningful work, and taxation. We especially encourage the submission of interdisciplinary papers on these topics.

After the conference, the organizers will collect the presented papers for a journal special issue, to which all the speakers are invited to contribute.

We have secured funding for this workshop from Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the Society for Applied Philosophy. This funding allows us to fully cover the accommodation and travel costs of invited graduate and postdoctoral researchers.

In order to apply, please submit a long abstract (max. 1000 words) accompanied by a short abstract (150 words) in one file anonymized for blind refereeing.

The deadline for submission of papers is 15 December 2019. Submissions should be sent to We aim to inform contributors of our decision by mid-January. For questions about the conference, please email one of the organizers.



Markus Furendal (Stockholm University)

Huub Brouwer (Utrecht University)

Willem van der Deijl (Tilburg University)


Other funding

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)

Further info: