Editors comments Our Common Futures of Sustainable Work - Concluding Reflections

  • Kenneth Abrahamsson Luleå university of technology


These concluding remarks are divided into two sections and comprise both an overview of European policies on decent and sustainable work and a bird’s eye's view of the development of Swedish working life research in a European context. The concept of sustainable work has over the years encountered difficulties of being included in the Social Sustainability family. The launching of SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth with its focus on inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all has given sustainable work a new and stronger position as a vision for good work. The launching of the consultation of European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017 highlights the importance of future of work and welfare systems in Europe. The role of the social dialogue for sustainable and greener jobs are crucial in a future perspective.  Sustainable welfare, social protection and social equality are prerequisites for decent and sustainable work. Working life research in Sweden has over the years interacted in various manners with the European policy and research communities. The Swedish National Institute for Working Life, abolished in 2006/07 created several European encounters, early in the new millennium, and the idea of sustainable work did have Swedish roots. Horizon Europe, current research on the Nordic labour market model and various European platforms and networks opens new windows for the social dialogue on the future European workplace. This policy discussion is urgently needed in times of Covid-19, digitalisation, and the Green Deal and pave the way for new European research programmes.