Eat, sleep, work, repeat? – Automation and the future of work

We are witnessing the final chapter of the more than hundred years-long struggle between labor and capital. The rise of new technologies will forever change the way we work and redraw the markets and societies on the global scale. The political consequences will be enormous and the whole concept of democratic capitalism might fail. There will be countries rich and poor with work instead of natural resources. More than half of all jobs will be transformed and employees will have to retrain for the new era. The whole educational system has to be changed, we need to adjust social policies and social systems in all European countries. We need a new social contract for European society.

The Czech Republic currently has the lowest unemployment rate across the European union and experiences enormous economic growth. However, as the highly industrialized country with the main focus in automotive, it will be hugely affected by the automation. And it cannot escape. Therefore, the only way is the problem itself. The Czech Republic shall embrace automation and robotization in all areas of economy. It shall provide loans and support for entrepreneurs of all sizes to replace routine jobs with robots and AI. And at the same time it shall help employees to get a new qualification for better paid jobs and provide them with more than necessary support. The Czech Republic may become a sandbox for ambitious policies for the new era of automation in European economy.

On March 7, 2019, the European Liberal Forum and the Institute for Politics and Society (IPPS) organized the round table discussion in Prague. Our main speakers were Members of the European Parliament Dita Charanzová and Martina Dlabajová (both ANO / ALDE). Presentation of data analysis was presented by Jan Klesla, Associate, Institute for Politics and Society. Statements on the topic were presented by Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl (CEO, Next Generation Impact), Filip Pertold (Researcher, IDEA), Bohumil Kartous (Head of Communication, EDUin), Vladimír Dlouhý (President, Czech Chamber of Commerce) and Michal Mejstřík (Professor of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Director, EEIP). The discussion was moderated by the Executive Director of IPPS, Šárka Prát, and the participants were welcomed by the Chairman of the Board of IPPS, Jan Macháček. The challenges of automation for European economies are often underestimated. Czech Republic may become a model country for the whole Europe in finding the right answers for them. Government shall therefore embrace automation, especially in the SME sector, and apply bold policies in education and social systems.

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