‘Labour is not a commodity’ Today: The Value of Work and its Rules between Innovation and Tradition


Dates and times: 

November 28, 2019 - 09:00 to November 30, 2019 - 17:00


Centro Congressi Giovanni XXIII
106 Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII
24122 Bergamo BG


We are pleased to announce the X edition of ADAPT’s International Conference on the changing world of work. The event, which will take place in Bergamo (Italy) from 28 to 30 November 2019, has been organised in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and CIELO Laboral Network, and with the support of the World Employment Confederation (WEC).

Envisioning future developments in the world of work as early as 2009, ADAPT was among the first to inaugurate a series of international conferences to investigate the great transformation of work, drawing on Karl Polany’s insights and examining the emergence of today’s labour market.

Since then, ADAPT has committed to increasing an awareness that the fundamental principles of labour law have been challenged by major changes not only in technology and the economy, but also in demography and the environment. Hence the need to safeguard people who are in employment and to regulate economic and productive processes, in order to strike a balance between social justice and business competitiveness.

Therefore, it seemed sensible to connect ADAPT’s tenth conference with the ILO centenary, with this year’s event focusing on the principle that ‘labour is not a commodity’. This fundamental concept can be found in labour legislation across the globe, both in developed and developing nations, and is often referred to in public events. Yet there are millions of people who are still waiting to benefit from it in their everyday life.

We believe that, besides investigating the theoretical foundations of this principle, the international academic community should also undertake to put forward practical proposals, in order to fully implement it.

It is also for this reason that, as it does annually, the ADAPT School has committed to making the conference free and open to anyone, so speakers and participants are not required to pay registration fees. Our open access policy makes our research accessible to all, especially to early career scholars and to those who might not have enough resources to carry out their academic work. Our conference should thus be seen as an opportunity to share and expand one’s knowledge. This is only possible thanks to our sponsors, namely WEC, Ascom Bergamo, Ubi Banca, Brembo and all our partners. They enable us to organise events having global reach, in which anyone can participate to exchange ideas, thus providing their contribution to ‘building the future of work together’, which is also ADAPT’s motto.

Consequently, the ILO and ADAPT’s International School of Higher Education in Labour and Industrial Relations invite professors, researchers, graduate students, professionals and all those who have an interest in the conference topics, from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, to present their contributions on the following issues. They will help to examine from an international and comparative perspective, the practical implication that the principle ‘labour is not a commodity’ has had, or will have, on their work.

Abstracts should be submitted by 13 September 2019. Further information about the conference themes can be found at this link. To facilitate participation of early career researchers, three allowances, worth €200 each, have been made available to cover the costs of travel.

Abstract submission: Sep 13, 2019
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