- April 20, 2021
On April 20, 2020 Aspen Germany and its event partners, Microsoft and the State Representation of Hamburg in Berlin, hosted the final event of its workshop series on “Overcoming the Conundrums of the Great Decoupling.” This transatlantic discussion focused on the specific policies that governments should consider in light of increased AI automation and the growing demand for technical skills. The discussion featured Raumesh Akbari, State Senator, Tennessee General Assembly; Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta; former Commissioner on the California Governor’s Future of Work Commission; Anna Kopp, IT Director Germany and Regional Office Lead Munich HQ, Microsoft; Anja Piel Member of the Executive Board, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and was moderated by Shelly Steward, Director of the Future of Work Initiative at The Aspen Institute. Among the questions discussed were: Are new forms of taxation (e.g., robot taxes) and regulation necessary to redesign the social safety net to capture and equitably distribute tech’s productivity gains across society? Are schemes like universal basic income (UBI) helpful potential off-sets? Are other systems of labor market resilience helpful (midlife voucher systems; incentives for self-employment and creative and community-centered endeavors)? Has Covid-19 expedited these processes of change in a productive manner? This final event and discussion built on the previous three sessions, in which we explored lessons from past industrial revolutions, rethinking the social contract, and automation & the education cycle.