Labour and production

Asian workers on their way home. Photo: / Sirisak_baokaew


Work secures living standards, shapes identities, and often determines social status. In many countries, access to social stability is tied to the labour market. Organized industrially, modern production methods externalize social and ecological costs. This is questionable, not least from the perspective of sustainability. Meanwhile, new opportunities are emerging, for example from digitalization, artificial intelligence, and sociopolitical change – including greater education among women. Used wisely and in combination with social innovations, these developments bear potential to boost transformations towards more sustainable societies.

CDE carries out analyses of part-time work, new forms of work, and other social innovations in Switzerland. It examines rural labour markets in non-wage economies as well as global value chains. In this way, it promotes concrete initiatives that seek to shift the function of employment on behalf of new models of wealth and sustainable societies.