FLAME University

RESEARCH

UNCOVER QUESTIONS, DISCOVER ANSWERS

21st - 23rd March, 2024


Introduction

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

Tentative Conference Agenda

A tentative conference agenda that is subject to change is listed below. Please note, "Special Sessions" listed one after another may run in parallel, hence the overlap in their timings.

DAY 1 | 21ST MARCH 2024
Time Subject Participant(s)
10:30 AM - 11 AM Conference inauguration Dr. Dishan Kamdar - Vice Chancellor, FLAME University
Prof. Santosh Kudtarkar - Dean, FLAME School of Liberal Education
Fiona Dragstra - General Director, WageIndicator Foundation
Paulien Osse - Co-founder, WageIndicator Foundation
11 AM - 11:30 AM Keynote address: Setting the stage for the SDGs Prof. Rob van Tulder - Prof. Emeritus, Rotterdam School of Business, Erasmus University
11:30 AM - 12 PM Keynote address: Macroeconomic relevance of Living Wage awareness Prof. Martin Kahanec - Professor, Central European University
1 PM to 1:45 PM Special session: Implementing Living Wages in complex cases Gregor Loetsch - Head of Compensation and Benefits, SOS Children's Village International
1 PM to 1:45 PM Special session: How stakeholders use Living Wage data to enable change Prof. Ines Meyer - Prof. of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town
Participants to be finalised
2:45 PM to 3:45 PM Panel discussion: Best practices in Living Wage implementation Moderator: Prof Rupa Korde - Assistant Prof. FLAME University
Panelist: Peterson and Control Union
Panelist: Gregor Loetsch - Head of Compensation and Benefits at SOS Children's Village International
Panelist details to be finalised
4 PM - 5 PM Panel discussion: Smart Reporting for the 'S' in ESG regulations Panelist: Paulien Osse - Lead, Living Wages at WageIndicator Foundation
Panelist: Paula Letorey - Partner at PWC UK
Panelist details to be finalised
5 PM to 5:15 PM Launch: Living Wage Monitor Prof. Martin Kahanec - Professor, Central European University
DAY 2 | 22ND MARCH 2024
Time Subject Participant(s)
9:15 AM - 10 AM Special session: A masterclass on the SDGs Prof. Rob van Tulder - Prof. Emeritus, Rotterdam School of Business, Erasmus University
10 AM - 10:45 AM Special session: Emerging perspectives for the future of work in the gig and platform economy Prof. Jeemol Unni - Prof. of Economics, Ahmedabad University
Dr. Uma Rani - Senior Economist, International Labour Organisation (ILO)
11 AM to 11:45 AM Keynote address: The gig economy and the SDGs Dr. Uma Rani - Senior Economist, International Labour Organisation (ILO)
11:45 AM -12:30 PM Keynote address: topic to be finalised Prof. Ernesto Noronho, Prof or Organisational Behavior, IIM Ahmedabad
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM Paper Presentations: Paving the way for a fairer gig economy Dr. Marta Kahancova - Associate Prof. of Public Policy, Comenius University
Martijn Arets - Independent researcher on the Global Gig Economy
Presenter details to be finalised
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM Special session: Trends in the gig economy Valeria Tonella - Independent researcher
Srishti Das - Independent researcher
Ananya Prabhughate - Independent researcher
2:15 PM - 3 PM Paper presentation: Inequalities in the gig economy Presenters to be finalised
2:15 PM - 3 PM Special session: topic to be finalised Aditi Surie, Senior Consultant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements
4 PM - 6 PM Associated Event: Live Streamed seminar on the global redistribution of platform work Panelists to be finalised
6 PM - 6:15 PM Launch: The Living Tariff Tool for India Prof. Martin Kahanec - Professor, Central European University
Nadia Pralitasari - Labour Law Expert at Gajimu.com
Shailja Tripathi - Indian Minimum Wage and Labour Expert at IIM Ahmedabad
DAY 3 | 23RD MARCH 2024
Time Subject Participant(s)
9:30 AM - 10 AM Keynote address: Gender equality and decent work for sustainable development Chidi King - Branch Chief of Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, International Labour Organisation (ILO)
10 AM - 10:45 AM Panel Discussion: Women's rights as worker's rights Panelists to be finalised
10 AM - 10:45 AM Special session: Enabling decent work in India's garment industry Deepika Rao - Executive Director, Cividep India
11 AM to 11:30 AM   Keynote address: topic to be finalised Prof. Biju Varkkey - Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, IIM Ahmedabad
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM Special session: Evolving Labour Rights and Minimum Wages Dr. Ifitkhar Ahmed - Founder, Center for Labour Research and Labour Law Expert, WageIndicator Foundation
Prof. Kea Tijdens - Co-founder, WageIndicator Foundation
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM Paper Presentations: Using the SDGs for a just transition Presenter details to be finalised
1:15 PM - 1:45 PM Keynote address: The future of jobs and a just transition Prof. Pradip Swarnakar - Principal Investigator at the Just Transition Research Centre
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM Panel discussion: Regulating for decent work and the just transition Presenters to be finalised
4 PM - 4:30 PM Closing ceremony Dr. Dishan Kamdar - Vice Chancellor, FLAME University
Prof. Santosh Kudtarkar - Dean, FLAME School of Liberal Education
Fiona Dragstra - General Director, WageIndicator Foundation

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.


Participate in the Conference

Though the conference is no longer accepting submissions to present, you are welcome to join us and attend all days of the conference. All attendees will need to organise their own accommodation in Pune and travel to FLAME University. The fees for attending are:

  • Online registration till 15th March: INR 2,000 (for Indian applicants) or EUR 40 (for international applicants)
  • ⁠⁠On-the-spot registration (21st March only): INR 2,500 (for Indian applicants) or EUR 45 (for international applicants)

You may register through this google form.


 

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