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Work & Society 2040

Where will we be in five, ten, or even twenty years? The future appears more open than ever before. In order to address potential paths of development early on, the Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society is, within the framework of a new focus area, turning its attention to what work and society might be like in the digital context in the year 2040.

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Work & Society 2040

Coronavirus, climate change, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or quantum computing, biotechnology, neurotechnology, the rise of platforms, Brexit, the New Silk Road – no one can say with certainty where all these many changes will lead and what the responses of society and the working world will be like. That makes it even more important to look at possible development paths in a systematic manner.

Using methods of strategic foresight, the Policy Lab is exploring the developments and factors that could shape work and society in the digital context in 2040. It is beginning a process that will allow it and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) to identify immediate or long-term policymaking needs on the basis of various possible future scenarios. As always, the Policy Lab will take a participatory approach to this project: in order to form an impression that is as broad as possible, the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders from the areas of science, politics, and society will be included in various ways. With this as the basis, scientific methods can be applied so as to address the topic comprehensively and establish various plausible futures. These future scenarios will help BMAS and all those involved to recognise relevant developments at an early stage and thereby enable the future of work and society to be shaped with foresight.