European Week of Regions and Cities
7-10 OCTOBER 2019 Brussels

#EURegionsWeek UNIVERSITY: The regional socio-economic impact of the 4th industrial revolution

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The so-called 4th industrial revolution is expected to lead societies and economies to adapt and to undertake pervasive, if not disruptive, transformations. The present session aims at stimulating policy reflections on the territorial dimension of such processes by discussing:

  • territorial evidence on the advancement of technological transformations in European regions
  • the territorial mechanisms favouring the emergence and diffusion of the new technologies
  • the territorial impact on economic performance and the society of the present technological transformation.

The so-called 4th industrial revolution is expected to lead societies and economies to adapt and to undertake pervasive, if not disruptive, transformations. These transformations, however, raise imperative alarms about the substitution effect of the new technologies with respect to labour and the risks of the so-called technological unemployment because of "functions – and tasks within functions – at risk of automation" (OECD, 2018).

The pervasiveness of such effects, therefore, requires a deep understanding of the mechanisms enabling to take advantage of the opportunities opened by the new technologies (i.e. the maximisation of the economic benefits in terms of productivity and growth,) while minimising the social costs that may arise in terms of restructuring of the labour market, possible unemployment growth and widening social and spatial inequalities.

The present session aims at stimulating reflections on the territorial dimension of such processes, which has only recently received some attention (OECD, 2018), and will gather contributions presenting and discussing:

  • territorial evidence on the advancement of the penetration of technological transformations in European regions,
  • the territorial mechanisms favouring the emergence of the new technologies in specific places,
  • the territorial assets favouring the creation and diffusion of these technologies, and
  • the territorial impact on economic performance and the society of the present technological transformation.


These reflections will help framing the policy debate about the potential impact of the current technological revolution on jobs and productivity.

The session will be enriched by the interaction with the audience following a question and answer format.

Reference: OECD (2018) Job creation and local economic development: Preparing for the future of work, OECD Publishing, Paris

Workshop
A greener Europe
Regional Studies Association European Foundation


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