IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE academic stresses the importance of socially inclusive economic ecosystems at summit

28 June 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic Paul Grainger has emphasised the importance of socially inclusive economic ecosystems and social safety nets at the international Think20 (T20) summit in Japan.

Human and robot fingers reaching to each other

The Task Force that Mr Grainger is involved with covers the future of work and education for the digital age. It focuses debates on the possible social impacts of new ways of working and how human capital can be rebuilt through education, vocational training and re-training.

Several T20 nations have ageing populations and are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) to keep their economies going, although some developing nations are concerned that the development of AI could lead to the loss of employment. 

While some T20 delegates at the summit considered AI the solution to social problems and see it as fostering a human-centred society, with an emphasis on women, youth and people with disabilities, others were concerned about potential negative effects on employment and the nature of jobs. They feared this could lead to the creation of a stratified society with unequal access to technology and dominated by remote, platform cartels and under-rewarded ‘gig’ workers.  

Through his policy brief ‘Rethinking Pathways to Employment: Technical and Vocational Training for the Digital Age’, Paul Grainger sought to respond to the challenges of digitalisation. In particular, the brief aimed to achieve maximum sustained and inclusive growth, rather than narrowly focus on the development and potential of artificial intelligence, therefore developing the possible social impact of new ways of working.

Paul Grainger hopes to continue this discussion under the Saudi Presidency in 2020.