Our work of the future will most likely be shaped by automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. Nonetheless, certain factors will be still determined by us humans. In this episode, we will take a closer look at three different topics to explore our relation to work – now and in the future. For our first segment, we welcomed Ellen Madsen, student at Aarhus University, who told us about her experience as the volunteer coordinator at last year’s food festival. After that, we explore “flexicurity,” Denmark’s approach to employment and unemployment, which is often discussed as a model for European labor markets. Finally, Lisa explores mindfulness in work with Patrick Buggy.

Jingle credit: Xiao Liang with music by Simon Mathewson.

One of the core activities in Danish society is volunteering. The tradition dates back to the 19th century, where people started collaborating during the evolvement of the Danish Folkehøjskole. Since then, a lot has changed in Denmark – but volunteering is still ingrained in society. Official statistics say, that 35% of the Danish society do voluntary work, that means that 1.9 millionen Danes volunteer at least at some point of the year. Often, events are collaborations between public institutions and association – like last year’s food festival. During the first three days of September, around 900 volunteers helped out at the festival, selling food or washing dishes. All of them needed to be coordinated – which was done by Ellen Emilie Madsen, a 25-year old political science student who chatted with us about her experience on this episode.

Working hard for the money, as Donna Summer’s well known song says, is something we all have experienced at some point, which means that high levels of stress have likely occurred at work as well. Lisa talks with Patrick Buggy, a mindfulness writer and coach, about his company Mindful Ambition, which is tackling this issue head on.

One aspect which will continue to follow us in the future of work is the risk of unemployment. In Denmark, the approach to hiring and firing is coined as the Danish Model, or “flexicurity,” which has already found recognition by the European Commission in 2007. Our reporter Xiyu Chen takes a closer look at what it means.

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