Session theme 6: Regional and global transformation

This topic session theme looks beyond Europe, examining a variety of issues from a global perspective, such as the importance of the human dimension and the application of ergonomics in the work processes of today and the future. Global, European and regional networking structures will also be discussed, with a focus on their different characteristics and how they interact.

The future of work can only be thought of in the context of a globally networked economy; products are sold worldwide, components are delivered from every corner of the globe, companies operate as powerful global players, and SMEs grow to become world leaders in niche markets. Now more than ever before, digitalization is bringing people together all around the world: language barriers are disappearing, geographical distances are becoming irrelevant, and new forms of international collaboration are emerging and promoting the exchange of knowledge.

It is becoming increasingly important to respond regionally to global changes. As society grows more mobile, regional labour markets have to compete with global ones, particularly when it comes to recruiting skilled workers, which is why this topic session theme primarily addresses how regional and global changes influence each other.

There will be a particular focus on the challenges for regional networking and, more specifically, on the question of how to create favourable conditions for innovation through collaboration at a regional level. In addition, how can local players also be strengthened by the development of effective and viable networks targeted to their needs?

At the same time, there is an increased awareness of the need for greater sustainability, and that processes and products will have to be adapted in an effort to establish a (global) circular economy. Global differences in working conditions will also be an important topic of discussion in this context.