Policy Lab on the Future of Work in Sri Lanka: 7 September 2018, Colombo

In partnership with the ILO, we hosted a policy lab in Colombo to deliberate future technology and work trajectories in Sri Lanka

We convened a multi- stakeholder Technology Foresight Group (TFG), with representatives from government, industry, unions, academia and civil society, to collectively evaluate the political, social, and value-based contestations underlying the framing of problems and solutions around technology and the future of work in Sri Lanka.

The workshop aimed to develop propositions about the likely impact of emerging technologies on Lankan labor markets over the next 5-10 years, specifically concerned with three areas of inquiry - automation & displacement; employment conditions & labor market inequities. In so far as the adoption of 4IR tech will be shaped by Sri Lanka’s particular socioeconomic and political context, it follows that technology trajectories are not a neutral force.

  • How will technology trajectories and their impact on jobs in Sri Lanka vary from those identified globally, for industrialised economies, given Sri Lanka’s economic and social context?
  • Which sectors and job types will experience the most labor disruptions and where will new jobs be created?
  • How will employment relationships be recast in a digital economy? How do we ensure labor welfare social protection in a rapidly changing world of work ?
  • Which social groups are likely to be the most impacted? How will the quality of work change and how might this recast existing social relations and hierarchies?