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Why has the Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society been established?

The Work 4.0 Dialogue Process has shown that the digital transformation requires networks and collaborations that do not currently exist. This is where the Policy Lab comes into play.

The Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society as the Federal Ministry’s very own Experimentierraum arose from the Work 4.0 Dialogue Process held by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Up to the end of 2016, experts and the general public were both asked to re-imagine the concept of work and develop recommendations for the design of a digital world of work. The explicit aim of the dialogue process was to discuss the social conditions and ground rules necessary for good working practices in a digital labour market. The main focus was always placed on the question of how technological progress can also be turned into social progress.

The results can be found in the White Paper Work 4.0. However, the white paper also highlights the limitations of existing structures. Many of the challenges identified require new networks and collaborations to be developed in which institutions, players and political echelons network with one another. However, there has been too little interaction between these groups or they have worked on different levels up to now. These challenges also require a willingness to think together in new ways and develop new social compromises.

Negotiate, develop, network

This is where the Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society comes into play. As an academically oriented, interdisciplinary organisational unit within the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, its task is to bring together expert analyses of trends and developments in strategically targeted forecasts for all processes relevant to labour and social policy and thus develop an overall picture of the situation. its self-image is such that It  brings internal and external perspectives together and networks with academia, those involved at a praxislevel and social partners.

Acting for a socially responsible digital labour market

The development of possible future scenarios acts as the basis for shaping current policies. What sort of society do we want to live in by 2040? What scenario not only appears realistic but also desirable? And what specific decisions are sensible and necessary to set the right course today? The Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society will use fundamental and long-term analyses to work together with its partners to develop solutions for specific, practical issues that we are facing today.

The Federal Ministry’s very own Experimentierraum

The Policy Lab works in a matrix structure as opposed to the classical administrative, hierarchic silo structure with chronological processes. The matrix structure allows for complex topics perspectives and working methods to intersect. In order to grasp the topics more deeply and various perspectives taken into account the topics are more fleshed out using agile methods such as design-thinking, working out loud in a participative and co-creation process.