Topic 5



The challenges relating to technological shocks, climate shocks and other transformative factors have exposed the flaws of the paradigm based on continuous growth. The COVID19 pandemic has further exposed the cracks in the global economy and the need to regulate the future to avoid a breakdown of the labour market. Workers are constantly going through different transformations; wealth has not been adequately distributed and the assumption that younger generations would be better off than older ones no longer holds true. We must therefore uphold the concept of intergenerational equity, which is at the basis of sustainable development, and prepare, protect, and transform our economies and societies while assuming the presence of shocks as a normal factor. 

Pathways out of this crisis must go beyond recovery and emphasise the role of resilience, strengthening our capacity to undergo transitions and move forward. This implies building a strong connection between recovery, resilience and the SDGs, and considering issues such as the future of jobs and skills, especially in the green economy. 

Current trends in the world of work have been impacted by a rise in teleworking and a possible change in the working culture of companies as we move out of the crisis. This could have consequences not only for skilled workers but also for lower-skilled jobs. With the rise of teleworking, the demand for certain services (such as cleaning, security, and food services) could decrease, affecting jobs in the service sector. We must therefore envisage a sustainable transformation of economies and the workplace, emphasising the value of decent work and solidarity and of commitment to workers. Specific measures must consider a reduction of working time, and focus on guaranteeing the security of workers through the different transitions. 

The idea of a Universal Labour Guarantee came into being as a way of protecting people regardless of their position in the labour market. It aims to increase the capacity of societies so that they are more resilient to shocks, while putting people at the centre. 

A Universal Labour Guarantee is a set of basic rights and protections that includes fundamental workers’ rights, an adequate minimum wage, maximum limits on working hours, and health and safety at work. Although the Universal Labour Guarantee was conceived prior to the COVID-19 crisis, it is now more relevant than ever. Fundamental rights at work and an adequate living wage are extremely pertinent now that the crisis has hit so strongly. Limits on working hours are very important now that there is no longer a clear separation between work and private life, and occupational health and safety is fundamental to avoid the spread of the virus. 

The Universal Labour Guarantee must be strongly linked to social protection and the fight for a Global Social Protection Fund. These two elements, tied to the transformative agenda for women and Just Transitions for climate and technology as well as the intergenerational debate, form the call for a New Social Contract.

Trade unions must work for recovery and social resilience. A Universal Labour Guarantee will set the agenda on fundamental workers’ rights, an adequate minimum wage, maximum limits on working hours, and health and safety at work. All these factors are 10 needed to establish social protection systems that fit in with our transformative economies and societies. It includes a full-fledged policy and a legislative framework for digital work. A Global Social Protection Fund, strongly tied to the transformative agenda for equality and Just Transitions for technology and the environment as well as for an intergenerational balance, is a priority.



Enrico Giovannini

University or Rome 3. Asvis

Professor and Director of Asvis

Italian economist and statistician, member of the Club of Rome, full professor of economic statistics at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Visiting Fellow at the European Political Strategies Centre (EPSC) of the European Commisson and Senior Fellow of the LUISS School of European Political Economy, for more than ten years I promoted the “Beyond GDP” world movement, pushing statistical agencies and governments to embrace the “equitable and sustainable well-being” framework.
During my career I dealt with several statistical, economic and economic policy issues, and developed an extensive international experience, working with international organisations and NGOs. I am board member and chair of several international and Italian institutions, as well as author of more than ninety articles and four books on statistical and economic topics.
Since March 2016 I am the Director of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (


Florian Ranft

Head of Programme Economic and Social Transformation


Florian Ranft is Head of Programme Economic and Social Transformation and focuses on inclusive growth and the future of work. In previous capacities, he was Head of Policy and International at Policy Network, and a former Senior Research Analyst at the Centre for Progressive Policy, both think tanks based in London. Previously, he was a researcher and lecturer in political sociology and international relations at the Universities of Frankfurt and Greifswald.


Sharan Burrow

International Trade Union Confederation

 General Secretary

Sharan Burrow was elected General Secretary of the ITUC at its Second World Congress in Vancouver, June 2010. Prior to this, she held the position of ITUC President since its Founding Congress in Vienna (November 2006) and the position of ICFTU President since its 18th World Congress in Miyazaki (November 2004). She is the first woman to have held any of these positions.

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