Dedicated to the future of work, the last panel of the XXVI UNIAPAC World Congress gathered entrepreneurs and representatives of social organizations, in a reflection centered in the many and worrying challenges that the rapid transformations of the globalized and digitalized world bring to the entrepreneurial market, which faces presently an enormous change in its paradigm. Enterprises have to reinvent themselves, in group and “based on the values of dignity and solidarity”
BY GABRIELA COSTA
The third and last day of the UNIAPAC World Congress was dedicated to the future of work. In a panel that gathered enterprises and civil society organizations, reflection centered on the many and worrying challenges that the rapid transformations of the globalized and digitalized world address to the entrepreneurial market, which faces presently an enormous change of paradigm that will imply “to work to(re)learn in order to work”.
Defending that the “new contexts of work should be a determinant factor for social justice”, in which “a decent work” has to have “decent salaries”, the moderator of this fifth panel, monsignor Robert Vitillo, excepted the example given by many speakers present in the congress, who testify it is possible to cooperate in initiatives of social support through “very interesting experiences” through organizations of defense of dignified work.
In the current political and social context, the general secretary of the International Catholic Commission for Migration, who has acted for almost 70 years in favour of the migrants and refugees, refuses the word crisis –democratic, ecological or of exodus – ,saying that “we are in truth facing a migratory opportunity of gathering talents”, in favour of everybody. This way, this north-American organism has been studying the path of the migrant workers under the supervision of monsignor Vitillo, trying to give an answer to “their fears and their aspirations”.
Social development should be hand in hand with the economic growth and, for all that, one has to go back to anthropology and build an holistic view – Msgr. Robert Vitillo
Fazer a transição com optimismo
Quoting the encyclic “Laudato Si”, in which Pope Francisco criticizes consumerism and appeals to the global unification of actions to fight against environmental degradation and climatic changes, the Counselor for Social and Religious Affairs of the International Organization of Work (ILO) in France, Pierre Martigot-Lagarde considers that, because of the current crisis the world lives, “it is urging to question right away, recognizing that there isn’t just one crisis”.
First, “it is necessary a return to times in which people used to live in rural areas” in order to face the today ecological crisis: “it doesn’t mean a return to the past”, but, facing the transformations that emerge in Europe, “to make a transition that hasn’t to be negative”, but, on the contrary, should be faced with optimism.
Second, one should question whether we have to equate the technological growth only in function of the economic growth. As Pierre Martinot-Lagarde inquires, “aren’t there other ways to face social development?” Surely yes, for example, changing the ONGs environment and creating more connections to the entrepreneurial world, he affirms. “The social development should be hand in hand with the economic growth”, and, for all that, one should “go back to anthropology and build an holistic view”. For such a vision the organizations that work for social peace and justice represent a big contribution, which is the case of ILO in France.
In parallel, “we have to look at the new forms of social innovation and entrepreneurship”, according to Ford’s theory, as well as to the progresses in health and education that have happened since the industrial revolution in the XIX century, “improving expectations” of progress, and also at the urban environment of the families. All these factors should be connected, but without reducing all into one single (technological) reality, so believes the demographer.
We don’t have to consider the technological growth merely in function of the economic growth – Pierre Martinot-Lagarde
In this context the change in progress “has the magnitude of all, in the past”, and “shouldn’t scare us”, alerts the Counselor for Social and Religious Affairs of ILO in France. But it should preferably be addressed as a whole, and, returning to the Social Doctrine of the Church as defended by Pope Paulo VI: something that “has to be with everybody’s insight”. It is necessary to “leave from the local level “and, essentially, “we shouldn’t be afraid”, he stresses.
This insight direction has to do with “the processes that make us happy or not”, with the “feelings” and with the linking of visions that allow “the building of a future, without forgetting the past”. Future is uncertain, but there are many options to “find new forms of solidarity” (together with ONGs) and of “individual comprehension” that alter, for example, the reality “of the inexistence of employment”. For, the same way migrants and rural workers reinvent their lives day after day, enterprises should impose “criteria that are applied as a whole”, reinventing themselves “based on the values of dignity and solidarity”, as the Vatican defends in his document “Il Lavoro et Dignitate”, recalled by the moderator, Robert Vitillo.
Learn to work will change the paradigm
The future of work is “fascinating and causes controversy reactions”. It is with this conviction that Silvia Taurozzi, headmistress of IRRADIA Foundation, an Argentinian ONG that supports development opportunities regionally perspectives the reflection on the theme in debate on the last day of the UNIAPAC World Congress, taking place in Lisbon.
Globally the results of this debate are very distinct and difficult to understand, but it is undeniable that “the impact of technology and automation improved our lives”, she says. And “if our learning grows linearly” “technological innovation grows exponentially”. These days we are” at a vulnerable, complex and ambiguous point”, which entails “the necessity of (having) more world leaders to conduct this transition”, she concludes.
Referring to a recent study by Mckinsey, Silvia Taurozzi recalls that within only 15 years 30% of the workers will be replaced by automatized processes (particularly in what has to do with repetitive tasks). This data means that about 400 millions of people “will have to rethink their way of life in the future”. But “we don’t have to worry, as we are going to find new ways of work and people will have the opportunity to choose to work less and have more time”, she believes. According to the same study, there will be sufficient jobs, created by the technological market”.
So, we are facing “a great opportunity to reinvent businesses” and there are many topics that, although complex, reveal themselves as “innovator for leaderships”. Since early, leaders will have to possess “a wider vision of their business, which goes beyond the community”. Then, there is “the necessity of evaluating new strategies, talents and capacities” – on this aspect, “public or private enterprises will have to reconsider their labour forces, inside their activity area”, alerts the headmistress of IRRADIA. In this context, “to learn to work is the concept that will change the paradigm”, she stresses, giving as an example: “we can include the young women out of the world of work” in many countries, as concluded recently in a G20 meeting.
In what concerns incomes,, it is known that “salaries [in general] have been stable”, the same time the ones of the “top” leaders “grew immensely”. For Silvia Taurozzi, “only with ethics and new forms of management strategy” will be possible to reduce wage differential”. The same is valid for the inequalities in the feminine, she defends, as one knows that 57% of temporary work is still realized by women, that continue to be the main “caretakers of children and old aged”. Facing this reality, it is necessary that enterprises overcome the “difficulties of adaptation to flexible work”.
We are facing a great opportunity of reinvention of businesses and the new leaderships – Silvia Taurozzi
Today, “the structures are changing, with more and more people [working] outside the enterprises”. We relate more with others, we develop new ways of interacting with other enterprises. It is the gig economy at its exponent, with presumably “very positive” results.
Finally, according to the perspective of the ones responsible for the Argentinian organization, the countries have the responsibility to create new politics that allow the governments involvement (both at a national level and a local one) with the enterprises and the ONGs. Partnerships should be established and the “tertiarisation” should be valorized, as it is fundamental to create behaviour codes among youngsters.
Above all, and beforehand, “we have to leave our comfort zone in order to learn a lot, but being humble”, defends the headmistress of IRRADIA Foundation, concluding: “leadership doesn’t involve one person, but rather all persons”.
Training programs will have to be settled lined up with the tendencies
For Denis Duverne, the president of the Administration Council of AXA Group, the future of work may be analysed from four big dimensions: employability; collaborators’ well-being; noble purpose of the enterprise and inclusion of the enterprise in society.
About the first dimension, and considering that 40% to 50% of jobs will change within the following five to ten years”, and because they are becoming obsolete and reductant, a transformation of employment (as we know it) is expectable in a global way, and particularly in Europe, where there is less labour flexibility. It will be necessary a new “strategic plan for the workforce that doesn’t make people also reductant”, shared among the various organisms, in terms of Europe and also nationally, and advanced training programs will have to be settled lined up with the tendencies of future at work, as AXA has been already doing with its collaborators. But “that is not enough”, adds Denis Duverne.
The emergent work models dictate that collaborators “will work more and more at home (in average two days a week), without having a fixed work post in the enterprise, which implies “better entrepreneurs, able to lead based on objectives and results, contrarily to a closed supervision”. In short, the leaders have “to learn the subsidiarity concepts”. And this reality has to do with the dimension of the collaborators’ wellbeing, because the growth of subcontracting and the reduction of the number of labour contracts leads to less protection at work.
Cumulatively, and bearing in mind the loss of the tradition of the workers remaining for several generations in the enterprises, which created social connections between them and the employers, one verifies “a decrease in the loyalty between collaborators and leaders”, both sides (and particularly from the young workers who face the market place in a totally different perspective).
On the other hand, the proliferation of technological devices, such as smartphones, portable computers and tablets, leads “the collaborators to be permanently linked to the enterprise”. AXA implements a program named “Working better together”, launched by Dennis Duverne’s initiative, in which collaborators are incited not to answer to work e-mails after the laboural time table or at weekends and there are no meetings before 9 o’clock or after 18 o’clock, among other measures of conciliation family-work, gender equality (considering that women are the ones who continue to spend more time with tasks that have to do with their children) and prevention of burnout risks (going against the “massive rise of psychiatric problems originated by the work conditions”), so explains AXA president.
It will be necessary a new strategic plan for the workforces, which doesn’t make people reductant – Denis Duverne
Defending that the cooperative responsibility is not something outside the enterprise strategy and it has to be lined up with it, contributing to the retention of human resources, Denis Duverne stresses that, in what concerns the third dimension of the future of work – the goal or noble purpose of the enterprise – , one of the AXA vocations “is to protect its people, the collaborators”. Another is “to protect its clients, helping them to have a better life”.
And, responding to the activity the group develops – insurance branch, including coverage against natural phenomena, as floods and hurricanes – the enterprise has acted in a very expressive way in what concerns climate changes. In COP 21 AXA “was one of the first enterprises to say that it would abandon coal”, assures Denis Duverne. Concerning health insurances “we stepped aside the tobacco market” and “developed tobacco control campaigns”. And the enterprise has been in the front line in what concerns the promotion of clean energies and the investigation in areas such as the prevision of floods and other natural disasters.
Finally, about the dimension of the inclusion of the enterprise in society, and through its association, AXA defends the inclusion of all its stakeholders, developing programs that encourage its collaborators to work as volunteers, in the areas of education, lodging or special needs. Equally, the enterprise encourages its leaders to do solidary team buildings. And 10% of the group annual results are intended to solidarity organizations. Because, “as leaders, we have to recognize that we generally earn good” and that is an extra factor for the commitment with the social projects, so ends Denis Duverne.
Between zero leadership and top leadership
Professor Paul Dembinski, director of L’Observatoire de la Finance Foundation, was the last speaker among the many who have participated, for three days, in the UNIAPAC World Congress organized by the Entrepreneurs and Leaders’ Christian Association. He began his intervention with a pertinent question. In front of an audience of about 450 people, professor Paul Dembinkski, director of L’Observatoire de la Finance, suggested that “concerning the future of work, one should first inquire: is it we know our present?” The question is that very often we are too worried about what will come and “we forget to look at the present”.
For the economist, “it has to be clear that the economic concept is extremely assymetrical concerning the labour relationships”. And, in order that the dimension of the meaning of this statement may be understood, Paul Dembinski gives an example: “we ignore what happens in the rural areas” in many countries. “30% to 40% of the statistic knowledge on labour forces doesn’t include these people”. And the reality is that “a large part of the work in the developing countries is of subsistence”, particularly in these agricultural areas. On the other hand, the domestic work and the move of more and more people from the formal work to parallel informal markets, due to the growing global challenges, as migrations, “aren’t in the statistics as well”, he denounces. Also the so called “shadow work”, that is, the time we spend in public transports, for example, from home to work and from work back home (particularly long in the big urban centers), is not equally accounted, although and more and more often, thanks to technologies, it allows the occupation with other tasks. So, it is necessary to know the present work, including data on all these factors in the reflections and studies about this matter, explains the teacher.
On the other hand, “to think of the future implies to think of the enterprises”, so perspectives Paul Dembinski. Afterwards, the structures are very variable and there are microenterprises with only ten workers. Rigorous concepts are missing in order to understand the differences between these and the big corporations, he says. In the multinationals “the limits go far beyond the assets”. What is important are “the chains of value and the power relationships which are not (at all) either symmetric or stable”. According to the economist, because of their “gigantic” dimension, “these enterprises are new political agents who limit and influence the world we live in, in the long term”, and that “mold our future more and more” through “technological advances”.
It is necessary to know the present of work better in order to perspective the future – Paul Dembinski
We should, so, “desire that at a specific moment [as quickly as possible] a new entrepreneurial model appears, a model that is truly based on businesses as a noble vocation.
Facing the effects, often disastrous, of the globalization and concentration of power, on the one hand – that affect the big enterprises – and of the own embarrassment of the microenterprises (“it is necessary not to confuse entrepreneurship with need of survival), on the other hand, “it is crucial to create new enterprises that answer to the social challenges”. As referred by the director of the L’Observatoire de la Finance, “we should be cautious facing the initiative spirit”, because this is of little use if it doesn´t result in responsible leaderships, the same way we should be cautious when we use the word “entrepreneur”, considering “the temptations management has to face”.
“Fragmentation and vulnerability” are, unfortunately, two too much present words in the Management dictionary, recalls Paul Dembinski, and it is pressing to think and talk more about “inclusion”, independently from “the ethics or morality of each leader”. Only with it can we truly face the complexity of the entrepreneurial world.
In conclusion, “vocation has to do with the right leadership”, and the truth is it is “fitted in a corset between zero management and top management”. To include in order to defrag is, so, a noble vocation, that each leader should embrace with dignity. And to share, facing all his stakeholders, that word which was the most retained one by the hundreds of catholic entrepreneurs and managers from all over the world, who participated in this XXVI UNIAPAC World Congress, in Lisbon: Inspiration.
Education is the noblest vocation
UNIAPAC instituted, in this 26th edition of its World Congress, the Prize “Business as a Noble Vocation”. The objective of this reward assigned for the first time in Lisbon is to distinguish entrepreneurial leaders who develop their businesses, not only for their own benefit, but contributing for the Common Good. It was assigned in three distinct categories: The entrepreneurial leader’s personal transformation; Construction of more human organizational cultures; and Creation of businesses orientated towards the Common Good – which were, afterwards, the three basilar stones of the debate between entrepreneurial leaders, social and academic organizations, inspired by the relevance of developing new entrepreneurial models that fight against the globalization of indifference, through reciprocity, solidarity and subsidiarity principles.
Among dozens of applications (based on business cases) submitted in the four continents, the Prize distinguished four regional finalists – Aimé Sène from Senegal (Africa), Nathan Shabot Marcos from Mexico Latin America), Ramon del Rosario Jr. from Philippines and Augustin Mujyarugamba from Italy (Europe).
The great winner of the Prize “Business as a Noble Vocation” was Ramon del Rosario Jr., for his contribution to management, education and culture in his country. The Philippian is the executive president of PHINMA Group – Philippine Investment Management, which has investments in energy, steelworks, hotels and consulting sectors, and also in education and housing areas. In a country where “dehumanized poverty continues to be millions of people’s reality”, Ramon del Rosario Jr. made of his enterprises an example of social responsibility, widening his mission of creation of jobs and just salaries payment to the development of innumerous initiatives “that impact directly in the life of the poorest”, offering them goods and services which give an answer to their most urgent needs at reduced costs, and also implementing education programs aimed to the most vulnerable families, as farmers and street sellers’children, beyond cooperating in training programs for teachers, through diverse institutional nets, in partnership with state organisms from the educational sector.
Distinguished with several prizes for his efforts as a manager (namely in the Bank and Finances areas), an educational agent and citizen of excellence, Ramon del Rosario Jr. is also the president of the National Museum in Philippines, president of PBEd – Philippine Business for Education – and a member of the Philippines Managers Association. His words, when he received the Prize assigned by UNIAPAC, “I believe the true leaders’role and even the role of all members of the human race, is to make the world better”. However, “I don’t do anything heroic but merely what is correct, and that, afterwards, I love to do.”
As he stressed during the presentation of this Prize, the UNIAPAC president, Rolando Medeiros, “if in the next UNIAPAC World Congress, [to take place In Philippines, in 2021], we have three applications for each 40 associations, in average, we will be able to produce a book with 120 business cases, that will contribute to spread the message about the essential view of UNIAPAC on the meaning of to lead businesses as a noble vocation”.
So, this prize will allow to illustrate the entrepreneurial leaders’ good practices and the ones of non- profit organizations that share their ideals of a leadership that places the human being in the center of any business strategy. It will also allow the knowledge that everybody fights everyday so that such a situation may be a reality.