On Monday, March 5th, the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project hosted the Danish Minister of Employment, Troels Lund Poulsen, and top Danish labor union representatives for a small closed group discussion about labor disruption in the digital era.
The Danish government is currently working on a year long project on the future of work. The question of how technology can change the labour market is prominent in the political and policy discussions. The Danish government has set up a "disruption" council to handle these issues and specify policies to meet the challenges.
The Danish government has had a strong tradition of working with labor unions and businesses to face new economic challenges. During this session, the Minister and Labor Leader each spoke about labor disruption in the Danish context, and discussed Denmark's efforts to effectively implement technologies and embrace the future in a way that is inclusive of everyone.
The acceptance of new technologies and the ways in which they are implemented varies greatly from country to country. APARC faculty and members of the audience offered similar as well as differing viewpoints from Silicon Valley and from Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan.
Several major themes to emerge from this conversation were: labor replacement vs. labor augmentation, structuring and implementing lifelong learning, and implementing new social welfare systems for a future with vastly different employment structures.