Progressives need to promote the positive implications of the digital transformation but also have a critical assessment

The conference “Future of Work in the Digital Era” was hosted by Progressive Alliance and the party Georgian Dream, on 7 – 8 September 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

We are living in a time of deep transformation: the working environment is changing everywhere and therefore societies are changing as well. Digitisation has raised hopes and fuelled fears at the same time. Because robots do not sleep, they never get sick – and they do not pay taxes. However, life and actions of a community are being financed through human work. This is only one example of the challenges we are facing in times of digitisation. The meeting in Georgia was a kick-off of a series of discussions about how we will be able to shape these huge upheavals caused by the digital revolution in a social and fair way worldwide. These debates shall contribute to a comprehensive positioning of the Progressive Alliance which we would like to present next year.

Our politics, economies and societies are fundamentally changing. This is not science fiction, it is happening before our eyes. We, progressives, need to promote the positive implications of the digital transformation, but also have a critical assessment of the risks involved. Many of the changes are driven by a small set of big companies.

These are some points of what a progressive agenda for the digital transformation:

  • Strong democratic law to ensure data protection to respect freedom and personal development
  • Data should not be used for commercial and marketing purposes without out consent, and this consumer right to be ensured and protected. Strong competition policy is needed in this regard.
  • We need to ensure that we are also not influenced or manipulated as citizens. We need policies that protect our democracies and ensure clear democratic control.
  • Digital platforms are not just service providers but also employers. We need to guarantee equal working rights and social protection standards for digital platform workers.
  • We need to ensure that the new jobs that are created are good. An active innovation policy focused on people’s needs is necessary here.
  • Equal access to proper digital education is also needed to close the digital divide and ensure that new social inequalities are not created.
  • We need to break the taboo and work towards a democratic governance of the internet!

More information and programme here