About the 2018 Forum

What was the issue?

Megatrends related to digitalisation, automation and the development of the ‘gig’ economy are reshaping the way people live and work. A significant proportion of jobs will change or disappear altogether but the new world of work also creates unprecedented opportunities for both people and places to transform society and promote inclusive growth.

By 2019, it is estimated that 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. The pace of technological change requires that we rethink local and regional development policies. Some communities are going to be harder hit than others and must look for new ways of creating quality jobs.

Who attended?

The Forum gathered over 250 participants from the local, national and international level, including mayors, employers, social innovators, entrepreneurs, as well as national government leaders to discuss how the megatrends are impacting jobs, workplaces, and local economic development opportunities.

Participants aimed to address the following key questions:

  • How can national and local leaders better prepare people and places for the new world of work?
  • What new jobs and opportunities will entrepreneurs and social innovators bring to the table?

OECD Observer Roundtable on local firms and automation

Roughly 14% of jobs in OECD countries are highly automatable, while another 32% will be transformed by automation. By 2019, it is estimated that 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. How can local firms and their workers adapt to this? How can policy help? On the occasion of the Forum, we asked our panel:

How have local firms and their workers been adapting to automation? How can policy help?

Lamia Kamal-Chaoui - Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

José António Vieira da Silva - Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal

Paola Pisano - Deputy Mayor for Innovation, City of Torino, Italy

Nicolas Hazard - Founder and president of INCO

Iris Arbel - Innovation Management Expert, Technion and Bar-Ilan universities, Israel

Sally Sinclair - CEO, National Employment Services Association (NESA), Australia

Sunil Johal

 - Policy Director, Mowat Centre, University of Toronto

Success stories

Silly Yak Foods

Gävleborg County



Turku Vocational Institute

Korea Labor Institute