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Work and Welfare in the Digital Age: what we know and what more we need to know

In the framework of Gipuzkoa Workplace Innovation and Beyond4.0 project, Sinnergiak Social Innovation and the Government of Gipuzkoa have organized the Summer School “Work and Welfare in the Digital Age: what we know and what more we need to know” that took place on June 3-5 in Donostia-San Sebastian.

In a three-day event the programme has combined scientific sessions, dialogues with policy-makers, but also practical sessions such as visits to companies, and the presentation of posters by Ph.D. students. A determining aspect has been on the participation of Technequality and Plus colleagues, both sister-projects of the H2020 Programme. The identification of shared interests but also of differences and diversity of approaches has been very positive in our meetings and joint workshops and roundtables.

Throughout the three days, we were able to go out and visit companies. The practical aspect, knowing the challenges and opportunities that organizations face has been very enriching. In a similar way, policy sessions on the design and development of public policies have been also interesting. Through a dialogue, the Government of Gipuzkoa, which also hosted the event, explained the importance of aspects such as learning, innovation and the participation of workers.

In the following video you can find an overview of the Summer School.


Video 1: Overview


The Summer School, in addition to serve as a forum for the generation of a new research agenda, has also contributed to other purposes. For those of us who are part of Beyond4.0, the Summer School has served to integrate knowledge and share advances we have made. The course has also served to combine two generations of research and researchers. Beyond4.0 has a commitment to young researchers from the European Research Area. Students and young researchers have been able to work with new empirical evidence about Industry4.0, but also to learn how to best use of quantitative and qualitative analysis methodologies. However, probably the most relevant aspect has been related to the development of new concepts and ideas about the impact on work and well-being in the digital age.


Video 2: Methodology


But, what’s so special about Summer School? Throughout the three days we have been able to speak with professors and students who have come from different parts of Europe. Monique Ramioul (head of research) and Ezra Dessers (research manager) at HIVA institute of KU Leuven have told us their experience. HIVA carries out scientific policy-oriented research. Together with a group of researchers with different research topics related to digital transformation they explained the type of approach they are developing at Paradigms 4.0, a project that investigates the impact of key enabling technologies. The interactive nature of the event has been another great ingredient. And the participative character and attitude of student is something that needs to be remarked.


Video 3: Students


Another aspect to highlight has been the public side, in particular the design and development of territorial and regional policies. The role of the regions is a central aspect in Beyond4.0. Gipuzkoa, cradle of the cooperative movement, is a pioneer in the promotion of the social economy and policies for the promotion of participation and learning. Joseba Amondarain, head of the service of promotion of knowledge (Department of Economic Promotion, Government of Gipuzkoa) explains, from his experience, the impressions on reality 4.0 and public action. There is often a discussion about the distance between research and policy making. Evidence based policy is another key areas of interest for Beyond4.0. The next video captures some of the key messages and lesson from Gipuzkoa. In particular is aspect related to lifelong learning and workplace innovation.


Video 4: Policy


We are looking for our next Summer School. It will be held in 2021. In a two years period, we will have more to insight, share and transform.


Learn more about Gipuzkoa Workplace Innovation and Beyon4.0.