Beyond Bulletin #7
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BEYOND4.0 Bulletin #7
Beyond4.0 Lgotype
Beyond Bulletin #7
                                                                                                                                                                     June 30, 2022
Save the date 23.03.2023. BEYOND4.0 final conference will be held in Brussels. We will talk about the future of work and technology in the times of Industry 5.0. More info coming soon.
Image Better days ahead

The Beauty of the Welfare State is in the eye
of the Beholder
Olli Kangas  
Comparisons of well-being between countries are often like beauty contests. The indicators used can be applied to show the superiority of one’s own country over all other countries or, in the spirit of naming and shaming, to try to press policymakers in one’s own country to improve systems that appear to be inferior in international comparison.
In social policy comparisons, the Nordic thinking has started from the first, above all the traditional Swedish thinking. The special position of Sweden was already emphasized by the American journalist Marquis Childs in his book “Sweden: The Middle Way”, published in 1936. In his book, Childs describes Swedish social democracy as a middle way between American-style capitalism and the Soviet type of communism. The book served as an inspiration for many welfare state researchers to explore this Nordic fairy tale wonderland.

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Workplace Innovation – Mapping the Development in Different Scientific Disciplines
Peter Oeij & Steven Dhondt
Workplace Innovation (WPI) is a concept that appears in several scientific disciplines. The definitions are quite different, but what all the definitions have in common is that WPI is a driver for the ‘advancement of work’ and contributes to a ‘good jobs strategy’. Or put simply: better jobs. Recently, we ploughed through all publications we could find on workplace innovation: more than 170! Not only scientific journal articles but also grey literature and several websites. In this blog we share our observations about four social scientific disciplines with ‘work’ as a central theme, namely sociology and organisation research, safety science and organisation research, economic strategy and human resources research, and psychology and behavioural research. Whether we see convergence in topics and interests between those streams is a question we had in mind.

Image Better days ahead

New Open-access Paper by Chiara Natalie Focacci and Carlota Perez
The Importance of Education and Training Policies in Supporting Technological Revolutions: A Comparative and Historical Analysis of UK, US, Germany, and Sweden (1830–1970)

Major technological innovations are not sufficient to enable socio-economic progress without governments creating the institutional framework – in particular via education, welfare and training programs - required for the absorption of the new technical possibilities these innovations create. To support this claim, we provide a comparative historical view of how four different countries tackled the challenge of adapting to three successive technological revolutions, with varying degrees of success. We look at the relationship between the welfare, education and training policies implemented by the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Sweden and their socio-economic results. The historical period studied spans from 1830 to 1970. This, according to the neo-Schumpeterian view we follow, covers the second, third and fourth technological revolutions, namely, the Age of Iron, Coal, and Railways, the Age of Steel and Heavy Engineering, and the Age of the Automobile and Mass Production; the current Age of Information and Telecommunications being the fifth.

Workplace Innovation In The Digital Age Screenshot

Six Principles for Ensuring a Human-centric Future of Work
in the Digital Age
Chris Warhurst
The initial wave of debate on the introduction to workplaces of digital technology – usually AI with advanced automation – was techno-centric. It emphasized and promoted the capabilities of this technology. It wasn’t just that this technology was important, even representing a new 4th Industrial Revolution, it was that this technology would determine the future of work. Indeed, in some accounts there would be no future for humans in work. Instead, the clever robots would do all of the work, pushing humans out of work. The result would be mass unemployment, with possible social and political unrest.
These debates seemed oblivious to past technological revolutions and how, following its introduction – microchips for example - the numbers of people in work had risen not reduced.

Workplace Innovation In The Digital Age Screenshot

Skills Intelligence in the Steel Sector
Michael Kohlgrüber, Mathias Cuypers and Adrian Götting
The paper on skill intelligence in the steel sector was presented as (interim) results from BEYOND4.0 and the ESSA-project (European Steel Skills Agenda) at the IMS-Workshop in Tel Aviv.

To implement Intelligent Production Systems, two innovation approaches are to be combined: on the one hand, technological innovations produce intelligent solutions which harvest the potential of digital technologies and huge volumes of available data. On the other hand, social innovation processes are needed which introduce the skills perspective into innovative production systems. Skills Intelligence is a helpful concept that provides a good information base for informed decisions on skill needs and skill development. The article shows that this target can be achieved best through innovative tools which are  developed based on an effective integration of different stakeholders and perspectives.
Workplace Innovation In The Digital Age Screenshot

Results of BЕYOND4.0 Were Presented at Hannover Messe 2022

Project coordinator Prof. Stephen Dhont was invited to participate in a discussion and to present results of BEYOND4.0 project аt LOOKING BEYOND 4.0 - INDUSTRY AS A DRIVER OF A HUMAN-CENTERED, SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT SOCIETY event held within Hannover Messe 2022.
During the discussion, findings from the analyses of the two ecosystems that the project explored: the Incumbent IT ecosystem and the emerging BPO business ecosystem, in several European countries, were presented. The main takeaway of the presentation was that we need more robots and technology to improve productivity levels, but to get to use these technologies better, we need to listen more to the employees. The management and the engineers need to change their practices and attitudes.

A Cocktail Of Reads

New Article: Firm Strategies and Managerial Choices to Improve Employee Innovation Adoption in the Logistics Industry - Oeij, P.R.A, Hulsegge, G., Preenen, P.T.Y., Somers, G., Vos, M

New Book: The Digital Transformation and the Future of Labour (in Bulgarian) - Vassil Kirov

New Publication: Humanizing work in the digital age: Lessons from socio-technical systems and quality of working life initiatives - David Guest, Angela Knox, Chris Warhurst

Organisation, technological change and skills use over time: a longitudinal study on linked employee surveys - Steven Dhondt, Michiel Bal and Karolus O. Kraan

Regional entrepreneurial ecosystems: Technological transformation, digitalisation and the longer term—The automotive and ICT sectors in the UK and Bulgaria - Chiara N Focacci, Vassil Kirov

Socio-Economic Performance of European Welfare States in Technology-Induced Employment Scenarios - Ville-Veikko Pulkka, Miska Simanainen

Reimagining the Platform Economy - Mariana Mazzucato, Rainer Kattel, Tim O'Reilly, Josh Entsminger

Public Wealth Funds: Supporting Economic Recovery And Sustainable Growth 
Dr. Josh Ryan-Collins

New Ways of Organizing: Alternatives to Bureaucracy - Herman Kuipers, Pierre van Amelsvoort, Eric-Hans Kramer

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives - Linnet Taylor, Aaron Martin, Gargi Sharma, Shazade Jameson

How Digitalisation Must Be Harnessed To Save Jobs - Esther Lynch

AI Job Displacement Index

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BEYOND4.0 supports an inclusive European future via examining the impact of Industry4.0 and the Digital disruption on the future of jobs, business models and welfare.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 822296.