Anne Siri Koksrud Bekkelund

Project lead, Norwegian Board of Technology (NBT), Norway


The corona virus crisis had huge impacts on the working life of billions of people around the world. Many have seamlessly transitioned to working more from home. Others have seen their jobs disappear altogether. But some — and perhaps increasingly more, as economic activity picks up again — are seeing their jobs being replaced by software or robots. The increase in automation of work was already underway before the pandemic hit, driven by recent technological developments, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence. In her speech, Bekkelund will present both longer and shorter term trends regarding work, and discuss the two hundred and fifty years old question: Are the machines about to take all our jobs?

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A look at challenges associated with the changing nature of work and what this may mean for enabling sustainable work

Andrew Thatcher

Professor and Chair of Industrial/Organisational Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. 

President of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa, and Chair of the International Ergonomics Association’s Human Factors for Sustainable Development Technical Committee.

The world of work is changing rapidly, creating new opportunities but also creating numerous challenges associated with the sustainability of work. These challenges are related to precarious work forms, emerging types of employment contracts (e.g. irregular hours, zero-hour contracts), work intensification, emotional work, and the increased potential for work-home interference. Exacerbating these issues is the understanding that the world of work is an interconnected system meaning that the challenges are different across the world and resolving a problem in one part of the world might create different challenges in others parts of the world. In this keynote Andrew Thatcher will address the different aspects of these challenges and how they impact on the ability of the worker to function in a sustainable manner. The role of ergonomics in addressing these problems will be considered.


Pål Molander


Pål Molander is the director at the Norwegian Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (STAMI) in Norway. He holds a PhD from the University of Oslo, where he has previously held a position as professor for 10 years. Molander is a very popular speaker in Norway and internationally, and sits on many committees, councils and committees nationally and internationally in the field of working environment. More recently, he has been an important advocate in Norway to direct attention in the work environment work towards the core of carrying out something, which is also the new agreement for an included working life in Norway (the IA agreement).