The handbook for the digital era has not yet been written, but Europe needs a plan

The EESC discussed digitalisation and inequalities at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, held in Bonn from 11 to 13 June

The thematic focus of the 11th Global Media Forum (GMF), organised by Deutsche Welle and partnered by the EESC, was Global Inequalities. The EESC organised a panel which looked at how digitalisation and the fourth industrial revolution could reduce or increase poverty and inequalities in the global world.

The panel, convened before a packed audience, brought together EESC Member and full-time trade unionist Peter Schmidt (L in photograph); associate researcher at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Professor Ayad-Al-Ani; postdoctoral research at the Cambridge University’s Geography Department, Dr Judith Schleicher; and journalist Alexander Damiano Ricci (R in photograph), publisher of Cafebabel. Further input was provided by two front row speakers – EESC Members Brendan Burns and Baiba Miltoviča.

The panellists debated, among other things, the profound and vast changes brought about by the rise of the platform economy and its consequences for democracy and welfare around the world. Also the role of trade unions in the business world, which increasingly favours more flexible forms of employment, was challenged and the connection between poverty and natural environment was examined. More on the debate is available on the EESC website. (sma)