Event page: https://www.etui.org/events/blueprint-equality
A great paradox of our times is that while there is a general consensus that growing inequalities are threatening social, economic and human development, there appears to be little collective reflection on what actions should be taken in order to redress this state of affairs. Inequality is not an accident of history but the product of a series of ideologically embedded, yet ultimately political, choices about the way our economies and societies generate and allocate resources and opportunities.
The 2022 ETUI-ETUC joint conference will seek to trigger such a process of reflection and debate. It will aim at moving the discourse surrounding inequality beyond the important task of mapping out, measuring, and ascertaining the many facets and precise nature of this multidimensional and complex problem, and embarking onto the more normative quest of imagining and defining a more equal society. Confirmed speakers include Thomas Piketty (Professor at EHESS and at the Paris School of Economics Co-director, World Inequality Lab & World Inequality Database), Kate Raworth (creator of the ‘doughnut of social and planetary boundaries’, and co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab), Ivailo Kalfin (Executive Director, Eurofound), Sandra Fredman
(Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA, Oxford University), Nabil Ahmed (Head of Executive Strategy and Communications, Oxfam International), Isabelle Ferreras (Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences and at the School of Economics, UCLouvain) and Luca Visentini (General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation).
The programme is being updated regularly, please check the conference website.
Participation will be possible both – onsite and online. Register here.
Interpretation in different languages will be available for the plenary sessions and some of the panels (information will follow).
« Panel 13: Democratizing firms to redress power inequality »:
Perhaps more than ever after Covid-19 and in the context of larger democratic crisis, redistributing political power and reinforcing political democracy means ensuring that workers have a decisive voice in decisions affecting the strategies and orientation of their work organisation. This panel will address the potential of democratizing firms, especially their procedures of decision-making, to redress power inequality in the workplace and in society at large. The panel will explore what are the conditions required for its success and how can this be implemented in practice.
The goal is twofold: firstly, situating the democratization of firms as a core priority in the agenda towards social and political equality. Secondly, encouraging the debate on workplace democratization beyond the more traditional frames of the trade union agenda. In that vein, the panel will make special reference to worker buyouts and cooperatives models in Europe, and to a novel proposal for governing firms: economic bicameralism. The role and opportunities for trade unions in revitalizing and developing such new practices and institutions to implement democracy at work will be central in the discussion.
« Plenary E: A Blueprint for an equal society »:
Equality is a widely advocated social ideal. But what is equality? And what action is required if present-day societies are to root out their inequalities? Following on from the previous sessions, this plenary will debate in greater detail how the discourse surrounding inequality must now move beyond the important task of mapping out, measuring, and ascertaining the many facets and precise nature of this multidimensional and complex problem, and embark onto the more normative quest of imagining and defining a more equal society. What is the definition of an equal society? How does that relate to the question of democracy, and what is the role of workers in it? Which institutions ought to be reformed and which ones should be created to foster a move towards a more equal society?
Sessions were recorded, you can watch them here.
Image credits: European Trade Union Institute, image of the event webpage,