20th International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society

The Meaning of Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Meaning of Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


The 20th IESE International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the School. The topic chosen for this edition is consistent with the original inspiration of IESE around the spiritual and human value of all kinds of work. The Symposium is an international and interdisciplinary academic event that aims at high standards of academic rigor and also at a deep impact on responsible business practices.

Business Ethics is a unique academic field that, through multiple methodologies, aspires to contribute to addressing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in an exceptional way. We welcome papers focused on the current and future transformations of work and their social and moral implications (mainly in business organizations), from a wide range of scientific perspectives: philosophy and theology, empirical social sciences, law and regulation, humanistic studies such as history and the arts, among others.

We expect to contribute to building a new vision of work that places the centrality of the human being at the core of the definition and practice of work, as well as the centrality of work for the development of societies, as Pope Francis recently declared:

“It is therefore necessary to look without fear, but with responsibility, to the technological transformations of the economy and life, and not to be resigned to the ideology that is gaining ground everywhere, that imagines a world where only half or maybe two-thirds of the workers will work, and the others will be maintained by social subsidies. It must be clear that the real goal to reach is not that of ‘income for all’ but rather, ‘work for all’. Because without work, without work for all, there will be no dignity for all (…) The work of today and that of tomorrow will be different, perhaps very different – we think of the industrial revolution, there has been a change; here too there will be a revolution – it will be different from yesterday’s work, but it will have to be work, not pension, not retirement: work.”