ADI Policy Forum – The Future of Work and Basic Income Options for Australia

17 August 2017
6.00 pm to 8.00 pm

Deakin University Downtown
‘Tower 2’ Collins Square

Event details

There is currently deep anxiety globally about the future of work, or more accurately paid employment. While in Australia the current unemployment rate as measured by the ABS is less than 6 per cent, there are concerns expressed that such official measures understate the true extent of unemployment, underemployment and disengagement from the labour market. There are regular reports on how a new technological revolution based on artificial intelligence and automation is and will continue to see the disappearance of jobs in manufacturing and service industries; and associated concerns about casualisation, growing inter-generational wealth inequalities and the entrenchment of poverty.

At such a time, big ideas such as the potential value of innovative new institutions like basic income are essential. But in Australia there seems to be a path dependent commitment to mutual obligation and increasingly punitive welfare provision based on a false logic that education and training will make all the unemployed able to participate in paid employment even in situations where it does not exist.

This timely ADI Policy Forum brings together four experts who are seriously concerned about the likely decline of paid employment in the future and appropriate policy responses to this situation. The Forum is being convened in conjunction with a workshop sponsored by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia that is looking at unconditional basic income as progressive social policy; and considering concrete ways that such policy might be implemented in Australia despite governmental scepticism.

About the Alfred Deakin Institute Policy Forums

The Alfred Deakin Institute Policy Forums aim to provide a high profile platform by which the Institute brings together policy makers, researchers and community members for informed debate on important emerging policy issues. They aim to foster informed debate, engage the public and provide research-led input to policy formation at national, State and regional levels.

Meet the panel

Associate Professor Karl Widerquist
Associate Professor Karl Widerquist, Georgetown University, Qatar

Associate Professor Karl Widerquist is an American political philosopher and economist. Internationally renowned as an advocate of basic income he is visiting Australia as a guest of the University of Melbourne. He holds two doctorates and has published seven books.

Professor Eva Cox
Professor Eva Cox (AO) University of Technology Sydney

Professor Eva Cox AO is an Adjunct Professor at The Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney. Eva is a writer, feminist, sociologist, social commentator and activist.

Dr Tim Dunlop
Dr Tim Dunlop, writer, academic and author

Dr Tim Dunlop is a writer, academic and author whose most recent book is Why the Future is Workless (NewSouth Publishing, 2016). He has a PhD in political philosophy, and has written and broadcast extensively on US and Australian politics, the media and the future of work.

Dr Frances Flanagan
Dr Frances Flanagan, United Voice

Dr Frances Flanagan is the research director at United Voice, an Australian union with over 100,000 members who work in a range of service occupations including aged and disability care, cleaning, early childhood education and care, security and hospitality.

About the convenor

Professor Jon Altman

Professor Jon Altman is a Research Professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University and an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University’s School of Regulation and Global Governance.  He is a commentator and activist on issues related to the appropriate economic development and policy for Indigenous Australia.

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Key information

Date and time

Thursday August 17
6.00pm - 8.00pm


Deakin Downtown
‘Tower 2’ Collins Square
727 Collins Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3008
Ph: +61 3 9918 9120