UNDP launches ‘Future of Work Lab’ for resilient economy of South-South Network Countries

The Future of Work Lab has been launched on July 2nd 2020 on an online platform to help individuals, businesses and the governments to navigate future of work and define future workplaces through being facilitated South-South cooperation.

Deputy Resident Representative UNDP Bangladesh, Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van delivered the welcome remarks at the session and the lab was inaugurated by Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director & Assistant Administrator of the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Bureau, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja. The inaugural event was jointly organized by Aspire to Innovate (a2i) and UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub in collaboration with UNDP Bangladesh.

The ‘Future of Work Lab’ will work on a future action agenda to facilitate successful exchange of initiatives based on partnership between southern states around the world and to facilitate South-South cooperation. The lab will implement future work types, workforce manpower and workplace research through research and create solutions as needed. The emphasis will be on building a working manpower and training the youth to become proficient in digital technology, as well as building skills for data-driven policy-making.

After the inauguration, a detailed presentation on the mission, values, framework and management model of Future of Work Lab was provided. Christine Wellington-Moore, SDG Integration Lead,-UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, and Mr. Asad-Uz-Zaman, Lead, Future of Work and South- South Cooperation-Aspire to Innovate (a2i), delivered the presentation on Future of Work Lab.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam and UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee were present at the panel discussion conducted by A2I Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury.

Ms. Kanni Wignaraja said that in the current situation, the nature, scope and type of work has changed a lot and it is necessary to quickly identify various future jobs for livelihood. New job sectors need to be created to bring environmentally balanced and sustainable work to the fore, as well as use learning, testing and monitoring techniques through integrated intelligence tools and reduce gender inequality.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, “Although COVID-19 has affected our pace of development, the country is moving fast towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” “We are always ready to exchange our good initiatives with the partner countries and will continue to do so with enthusiasm to exchange all cooperation with each other,” he added.

Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, promised that UNDP would play an effective role in advancing the activities of the Future of Work Lab. He said, “We want to create an ecosystem where all partners, big and small, have an equal opportunity to increase skilled manpower. We would like to assist in the transformation of Bangladesh and member countries future workplace by protecting marginalized women and youth. We will encourage the public-private sector to work closely together to create future jobs. ”

The open discussion was attended by Mr. Denis Nkala, Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator of the United Nations Office for South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan, Ms. Akiko Fujii, Resident Representative of UNDP Maldives and local and foreign media.

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