FLAME University



21st - 23rd March, 2024


In recent decades, decent work has increasingly been on economic and social agendas, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) explicitly linking it to economic growth in SDG 8. The International Labour Organisation built on this by framing the Decent Work Agenda around the tenets of SDG 8. Governments actively promote this too; the G20 New Delhi Leader’s Declaration in September 2023 committed to the cause of decent work for all workers.

Though global fora like the UN, the ILO and the G20 may place decent work at the centre of global agendas, the responsibility of implementing decent work across value chains ultimately lies with corporations. This may take the form of paying Living Wages, providing better working conditions, ensuring gender equality or supporting collective bargaining.

The business case for this is increasingly evident. Growing inequality has a demonstrably negative impact on economic growth, while closing the Living Wage gap could boost the global GDP by 5.4%, adding US$4.56 trillion annually, through increased productivity and spending at a cost of just $1.89 trillion. Similarly, the ILO has estimated that poor safety at work costs businesses US$2.8 trillion annually – 4% of global GDP – through lost working time, interruptions in production, treatment of occupational injuries and diseases, rehabilitation, and compensation.

There is no longer a trade-off between an economy that grows and an economy that helps people thrive. So how can we achieve this? As we stand at the halfway point between 2016 (SDG adoption) and 2030 (SDG implementation targets), it is necessary to assess how corporations can catalyse the achievement of SDG 8, and how these efforts will fit within the larger realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is all the more apt in a country like India, where notions of CSR have hitherto been narrowly restricted to mandatory philanthropic efforts.

To this end the WageIndicator Foundation and FLAME University are organising a conference that shall be a unique interface between academia and industry, aiming to advance both discourse and action on corporate responsibility.

The conference will be held at FLAME University, Pune, between 21st to 23rd March, 2024.

The conference will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, paper presentations and special sessions on the following themes:

  • The scope of corporate social responsibility
  • The centrality of Living Wages in enabling decent work and economic growth
  • The role of governments, labour law, and regulation in decent work
  • The power of collective bargaining in ensuring decent work
  • The unique challenges of enabling decent work in the gig economy

Conference Agenda

For a detailed view of the conference agenda, kindly follow this link.

Conference Agenda

Pre Conference Workshop

As part of the conference, FLAME University and WageIndicator Foundation are organising a pre-conference workshop to assist postgraduate students, PhD students, and early career scholars better understand research and academia. The workshop will be held on the 20th of March and is open to 20 attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis. We particularly welcome applications from who are new to scholarly research and/or planning to pursue a PhD.

As part of this workshop, the following sessions will be organised:

Fine-tuning research questions

  • This session will introduce attendees to one of the most fundamental aspects of research - starting with the correct research question. The session will help attendees understand how to focus their question, identify relevant gaps in literature, and design it such that it yields an appropriate answer.
  • Conducted by: Prof. Frederick Herbst (Dean, Faculty of Communication, FLAME University, India)

Working with data: From collection to visualisation:

  • This session will teach attendees how to use data in their research, which is becoming increasingly relevant as quantitative methods are used in more academic disciplines. Using the example of WageIndicator’s Collective Agreements database, the session will demonstrate how even subjective information can be coded, analysed, and visualised for research purposes.
  • Conducted by: Ms. Daniela Ceccon (Director Data, WageIndicator Foundation, Italy and Mr. Gabriele Medas (Collective Agreements Database Manager, WageIndicator Foundation, Italy)

Qualitative research methods

  • This session will familiarise attendees with the importance and application of qualitative research methods. It will provide an overview of routinely used tools for qualitative research like semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and focus group discussions.
  • Conducted by: Prof. Marta Kahancová (Associate Professor of Public Policy at Comenius University; Co-founder and Managing Director, Central European Labour Studies Institute, Slovakia)

Workshop: Developing a research paper

  • This session, particularly aimed at junior researchers partaking in the SDG Conference, will help them reflect on the extended abstracts they submit. Senior WageIndicator scholars will engage with participants in small group discussions, helping them structure their papers, identify areas needing rectification, and advise on potential publication avenues.
  • Conducted by: Prod. Rob van Tulder (Emeritus Professor of International Business- Society Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; Chair of WageIndicator Foundation Board,The Netherlands)

Conference Registration and Fees

The following conference registration fees are applicable to participants whose submissions are accepted. Successful submissions will be notified by 6th February, 2024. Registration fees must then be paid by 1st March, 2024.

Participant Type For Indian Applicants For International Applicants
Academics and Researchers INR 3,000 Euros 50
Industry professionals INR 5,000 Euros 100
Junior researchers (PhD or postgraduate students)* INR 1,500 Euros 25

*Junior researchers (PhD or postgraduate students) will need to provide proof of their enrollment in their programme.


Important Dates

Abstract submission 25th January
Response to abstract submission 6th February
Registration deadline 12th February
Extended abstract submission 12th February
Pre-conference workshop 20th March
Conference dates 21st-23rd March

Academic Advisory Committee

Prof. Rob van Tulder

Emeritus Professor of International Business- Society Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; Chair of WageIndicator Foundation Board (The Netherlands)

Prof. Kea Tijdens

Professor of Labour Studies at University of Amsterdam; Co-Founder and Scientific Director, WageIndicator Foundation (The Netherlands) 

Prof. Marta Kahancová

Associate Professor of Public Policy at Comenius University; Co-founder and Managing Director, Central European Labour Studies Institute (Slovakia)

Prof. Martin Kahanec 

Professor of Public Policy at Central European University (Austria); Co-founder and Scientific Director of Central European Labour Studies Institute (Slovakia)

Prof. Santosh Kudtarkar

Dean of the FLAME School of Liberal Education; Professor of Physics at FLAME University (India)

Prof. Aparna Shankar

Dean of the Ph.D. Programme at FLAME University; Professor of Psychology at FLAME University (India)

Prof. Janna Besamusca

Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at Utrecht University ; Member of WageIndicator Board (The Netherlands) 

Prof. Ernest Ngeh Tingum

Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Namibia


Organising Committee

Prof. Rupa Korde

Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at FLAME University; Director of Operations, WageIndicator Foundation

Fiona Dragstra

General Director, WageIndicator Foundation Paulien Osse - Co-Founder and Lead of Global Living Wage Team, WageIndicator Foundation

Paulien Osse

Co-Founder and Lead of Global Living Wage Team, WageIndicator Foundation

Prof. Hoshiar Mal

Assistant Professor of Operations and Analytics at FLAME University

Prof. Ravikiran Naik

Assistant Professor of Economics at FLAME University

Vivian Hartlief

Fundraising Lead, WageIndicator Foundation

Pooja Gill

Research Associate and Manager, Dean’s Office, FLAME University

Shantanu Kishwar

Research Assistant at WageIndicator-FLAME Research Lab

Abhishek Patil

Intern Manager, WageIndicator - FLAME Research Lab


To know more about the conference Download Brochure