The event was organized by the World Bank in partnership with the Polytechnica University of Bucharest and Aspen Institute Romania.

Technology is a potent driver of productivity and economic growth and is also reshaping Europe’s labor landscape. A World Bank report launched in Brussels late last year, “The Future of Work: Implications for Equity and Growth in Europe“, delves into the transformation that technology is causing within European firms, changing their tasks and the skills they require, and widening the gap between highly educated and less-educated workers.

  Among the key findings of the report:

  • Large and more productive firms adopt more technology, increasing their market size and productivity. This creates a positive link between technology and market concentration.
  • Technology enhances productivity and increases the demand for university graduates, intensifying wage gaps between highly educated and other workers.
  • Vocational education and training (VET) graduates are more likely to find employment than their peers with a general secondary education degree. However, this advantage fades away within five to seven years of entering the workforce.

The event explored answers to the following questions:

  • How can governments promote technological benefits without amplifying societal divides?
  • What are the most effective strategies to promote technology adoption among small businesses and avoid market concentration?
  • What kind of reforms are necessary to ensure that education equips students and ongoing learners with the skills required in a dynamic and technology-driven job market characterized by continuous change?



10:00 – 10:15 Opening remarks

  • Mr. Mihnea-Cosmin Costoiu, Rector, POLITEHNICA București National University of Science and Technology
  • Mrs. Anna Akhalkatsi, Country Manager for Romania, The World Bank
  • Mr. Vlad Nicolae, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Romania

10:15 – 10:35 Keynote Presentation of The Future of Work: Implications for Equity and Growth in Romania and Europe

  • Mr. Rafael de Hoyos, Lead Economist and Program Leader in Human Development, EU Member States, World Bank
  • Mr. Ivan Torre, Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Europe and Central Asia, World Bank

10:35 – 11:25 Panel discussion

  • Mr. Bogdan Cristescu, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education
  • Mrs. Adelina Dabu, Head of Public Affairs, CONCORDIA Employers’ Confederation
  • Mr. Mihai Matei, President, Employers’ Association of the Software and Services Industry in Romania (ANIS)
  • Mr. George Tuta, MP, President of the Special Committee on Automation and Future of Work, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania
  • Mrs. Irina Pencea, General Manager, eMAG

11:25 – 11:45 Q&A

11:45 – 12:15 Networking

Event Moderator:

  • Mrs. Roxana Voicu Dorobantu, Associate Professor at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE); Coordinator of the Education, Skills,  and Future of Work Program of the Aspen Institute in Romania