UNIV 2019 “Getting Down to Business: The Transformative Power of Work” (Download PDF)
Work-life balance: Work and rest, balance between work and personal life, social and family life, avoiding burnout, workaholism. Having one job versus many in one’s lifetime. Does work define who I am?
Man or machine: Keeping work human even when it is highly automated, manual versus intellectual work, importance of working with one’s hands, human limitations versus work perfection, transhumanism.
Anthropology and work ethics: Maturing through life and work, developing virtues through one’s work, self-fulfillment in work, enjoying one’s work, following one’s passion versus choosing a job that is more practical, developing a specialized and practical talent, working for economic sustainment or for personal goals, working as an integrated human being (with reason, will, and affectivity). The importance of thinking before doing in work: having a reason behind what you are doing, the ability to concentrate intensely when working. Loyalty towards one’s company/employer, ethical decision-making at work.
Work and culture: View of work and human fulfillment in different cultures, work and empowerment, a culture where the attitude towards work is “getting it done.” Globalization and its impact on the world of work. New work spaces in the 21st century, entrepreneurship and startup companies, self-employment, working from home (telecommuting), full-time versus part-time work, flexible or rigid work schedules, early age of retirement. What awaits me after I retire from a lifetime of work? The concept of “work culture” or “office culture”.
Work relationships: Multidisciplinary teamwork, challenges of teamwork, human ecology and inclusion, intergenerational relationships at the workplace, good work leadership, the role of family relations and dynamics in family business, networking.
Professional development: Continual formation in one’s profession, keeping up-to-date with new advances.
Work and gender: The incorporation of more women into the workforce, gender-specific contributions to the world of work, gender equality at work and career advancement.
Unemployment: Consequences of unemployment especially in youth and the newly graduated, student work practices and training internships: uses and abuses, collaboration between companies and universities. The effect of technology on available jobs.
Transcendent dimension of work: Sanctification of work, work as service, work that constructs society and the world, finding greater meaning in one’s work, work and spirituality, work and meditation.
Types of work: Prestige and social value, geographical diversity. Are careers in theatre, poetry, painting and the work of the home considered professional work just like other jobs?
The evolution of work: Society’s vision of work throughout history. The Protestant Reformation and the role of work.
Work and human creativity: Work that promotes innovation and individuality; the technical versus artistic aspects.
Methods of communication: What and how do I communicate when we are bombarded with an excess of information? What are my criteria to integrate or share information?
Personal privacy: Issues around the publication of personal information on the internet, the safety of our personal data, big data management, social networks, and cyber attacks.
Personal Reflection: What is the influence of everything I read and share? Deeper reflections about events and people on the news; how to form one’s personal opinion about events and information published on the internet, the role of communicators in educating the public.
Journalism: The challenges that journalists face in the digital era, the ethical norms of journalism, “fake news”, superficial or sensational news that attracts public attention, the influence of consumers on media content, the influence of journalists on other professionals due to their role in the public sphere.
Cinema: How do films present the world of work? Has the so-called “seventh art” influenced any social or cultural change in the way men approach professional work? Can artistic works — cinema, poetry, painting, etc. — contribute to offer a vision of the purpose and power of work?
Working for a healthy economy: Economic crises in the past decades, the role of unions, work strikes. Rethinking the role of competition in the economy, what does an inclusive economy look like?
Social responsibility and sustainability: Working for for-profit versus non-profit organizations. Working in civil service; employment and poverty; skills-training programs in economically developing environments; organizing work to help the growth of a developing country; employing immigrants and foreigners; volunteering. The United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with work as the axis.
Politics: the work of government, the role of good leadership in society, the common good as the end of the polis, social security systems and unemployment.
Visions of work: capitalism versus Marxism, free market, globalization of work: how to work in a world without borders? Efficient workmanship, productivity, innovation, knowledge sharing, global village, balancing structural and personal elements in the workplace.
Labor laws: work as a fundamental right and as a constitutional duty, work conditions and terms, work safety, sufficient training, minimum wage.
Work and health: intense work and healthy living, public health issues, aging populations.
Medicine: machines replacing the human touch in health management, patient privacy and respect, electronic records and ownership, self-diagnosis on the internet, medical hyperspecialization.
Service: transportation, communication, energy, resource and time management, social networks.
Artificial intelligence: new tools and technologies that facilitate the organization of work, robots and the future of work: the fourth industrial revolution, work performed by machines: 3D printers, drones, etc.
New trends in agriculture/environment: green revolution, climate change, waste management, sustainable development, water, food and clothing security, emissions, efficiency, evolution, mechanization and automation.
Importance of education: the most important profession in the world: the inspiring teacher. The task of educating, beyond teaching. To help each one reach their potential, promoting strengths instead of improving weaknesses, the transformative power of education for the development of a country, challenges of inclusive education, analysis of success cases in education.
Transforming education: adapting to new methodologies and pedagogical changes, the transmission of content to life skills training, does technology help or distract students when studying or in class? University and work: are universities adapting to the labor market? What should the university contribute to the labor market? Educating professional ethics.