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Monday 15 January 13:53

The 2022 Gothenburg International Research Workshop on Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All

News: Sep 08, 2022


Covering a wide range of topics within the UN Sustainable Development Goal about Economic growth and decent work, the second international workshop of the SDG-8 project at University of Gothenburg took place 25–26 August. Global Sustainable Futures acted as co-organiser of the workshop and did also arrange a digital “side-event” for participants from low- and middle-income countries.

Two major objectives of the project as such are to accelerate the implementation of academic results by developing research-to-policy activities and to integrate research-based SDG-8 knowledge into higher education. The project forms part of a global initiative by the International Association of Universities covering all 17 SDG.

Experiences and policies from Vietnam, Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries regarding inclusive and sustainable growth in low- and middle-income countries were discussed by several speakers in the first morning session. Pham Khanh Nam from the University of Hanoi and EfD in Vietnam talked about the importance of the nexus of institutions and entrepreneurs to secure a sustainable growth.

Impact of circular economy

The SDG 8 not only promotes economic growth but also work conditions, not least for people in vulnerable situations. Target 8.8 is about protecting labour rights and the promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants.

In Europe, the potential work conditions of future jobs in a circular economy are discussed within the Green Deal framework of the European Union. Annick Starren at the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work talked about the circular economy as a driving force but an awareness for changing work conditions must be kept. The expected impact will bring significant policy and regulatory issues, Annick Starren pointed out.

Illegal mining an increasing issue

The artisanal mining for gold in South Africa, particularly in the Gauteng province, has over the past few years turned into a situation characterized by illegal mining, violence against residents and an increasing criminality. Unlike other African countries, South Africa never formalized artisanal mining, which might explain the present situation to some extent.

Daniel Masekameni, PhD at Witwatersrand University in South Africa, added to the knowledge and hopefully to a more sustainable and decent work in a presentation of his work called “Accommodating informal/vulnerable worker populations in SDG 8: a case study of artisanal gold miners”.

Making relationships

The side-event organized by Global Sustainable Futures was an informal conversation with some of the conference delegates participating online, hosted by GSF:s Magdalena Eriksson and Olof Drakenberg. The discussions mostly covered the research interests of participants and their interest in potential future collaborative work with Swedish partners at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Some contacts were made, some ideas to follow up on and an interesting discussion seemed to be the shared feedback for organising the event.


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