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re:publica 2020 | 07 May 2020 Berlin

Session with Björn Böhning and Jutta Allmendinger

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Lessons from the crisis

Working society after corona

For many people, the corona crisis has abruptly changed their everyday working-life and has consequently changed their views of their employment: the term work from home is suddenly on everyone's lips, and work is now - even more so than before - divided into either remote-capable or not-remote-capable, dangerous or safe, self-employed or employed, essential or non-essential. The dynamics within the working society, wrought on by the corona crisis, provide State Secretary Björn Böhning of the BMAS and WZB President Prof. Jutta Allmendinger an excellent occasion to discuss the lessons for a "working society after Corona."

Even before the crisis, there was a very controversial discussion about introducing more work-place and time flexibility and the resulting consequences for teams, leadership and self-organization. As a result of the current situation, many people now find themselves without warning working from home and - whether self-employed, employee, or manager - have gotten used to new forms of work and cooperation very quickly. The situation begs the question: is remote-capability the answer to all matters of working organization, even beyond the crisis? And does everyone benefit equally from this new reality, or is there a new inequality?

For how self-determined and "empowered" are we really - and does this apply to everybody?  Even before the current situation, the question of education and further education in the course of the digital transformation was intensely discussed. The crisis spotlights where inequality is increasing and where politics is called upon to prevent a split within society. Lastly, it is currently possible to experience how the various areas of action of politics, health and business are directly linked. We are all part of an (economic) system built on trust and recognition. The crisis forces us to find quick solutions, such as emergency aid, and solidarity purchases, but what lessons do politicians need to learn, from the experiences of the self-employed, or freelancers, for example, for the time that follows the crisis?

For State Secretary Björn Böhning of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and WZB President Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, the dynamics within the working society wrought on by the corona crisis are a good reason to discuss the "working society after Corona."

Our host

Freelance moderator and systemic business coach

She moderates conferences, panel discussions, strategy talks and workshops, but also festive events and citizens' conferences, combining her scientific expertise with her experience as a former executive in consulting. How do we want to work and live in the future? This question is a common theme in her discussions with personalities from politics, business and society.

Our guests

  • State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

    Björn Böhning, graduate political scientist, has been a civil servant State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) since March 2018, where he is responsible for the policy areas of labor law, occupational health and safety, international employment and social policy, digitization and the world of work, and for the BMAS think tank Digital Labor Society. Böhning was previously head of the Senate Chancellery of the state of Berlin, a member of the SPD party executive committee, federal Juso chairman and is a member of the D64 Center for Digital Progress.

  • Social Science Research Center Berlin


    Jutta Allmendinger is a sociologist and has been President of the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) since 2007. She is also a Professor of Sociology of Education and Labour Market Research at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including a fellowship at Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles in 2017. Jutta Allmendinger is a member of the editorial board of the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT.