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Digitalisation and industrial revolution - a chance to reduce inequality and poverty?

EESC hosts panel at the Deutsche Welle Global Forum

In many places in the world inequality and poverty are on the rise, and their causes are manifold, as are the theories about their causes.

Previously, it seemed that it was mainly the jobless who were at risk of becoming poor, but it is the so called "in-work poverty" or "working poor" that seems to be on the rise making more people live on the verge of poverty despite having jobs.

Globally, inequality and poverty also have led to migration, fostering, inequality and tensions in the host countries.

Europe has reacted to these challenges by proclaiming the European pillar of social rights, a set of key principles aiming at a more social Europe.  Its main purpose is to fight against inequality and poverty. The fight against inequalities is also linked to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The panel will debate if the fight against poverty can lead to a victory at a time when the 4th industrial revolution has just started with unpredictable impact on our economies, our labour markets, our societies, our lives? Will the digital era help to improve the living standards of poor people or rather the opposite? 

Although the exact consequences of the new revolution are still unknown, much will depend on how policy leaders will manage the new threats and opportunities worldwide. 

Panelists will discuss what governments and civil society can do in order to support workers, entrepreneurs and companies to make the digital era a sustainable success for all people while also preserving the environment.