Let’s Build a New Social Contract @ Work

Join the conversation and share your opinion about what business, labor, education, and government should contribute to a New Social Contract about work.

The consequences of the coronavirus have placed a disproportionate burden on low-wage workers. Many have called for a New Social Contract that could put our economy on a more productive, resilient, fair, and inclusive path. My colleagues and I at MIT and elsewhere have been working hard in our research, teaching, and outreach in recent years to identify the features such a New Social Contract might contain. We invite you to join this important conversation about just what features you think are central to a New Social Contract @ Work.

By the term Social Contract, we mean the mutual expectations and obligations workers, employers, and their communities and society have for work and employment relationships.

In this exercise, we invite you to share your opinion about what business, labor, education, and government should contribute to a New Social Contract about work.

We have used this exercise in our online course at MIT called Shaping Work of the Future and so we start with proposals for a New Social Contract generated by course participants over the past several years. You can now add your perspective to this exercise by reviewing the proposals generated by class participants and then “voting” on the priority you would assign to the different proposals. You will be shown two of the proposals at a time and asked to vote which one you feel is more important. Once you choose, another two proposals will be presented for you to vote on. Vote on as many of these comparisons as you'd like for a given stakeholder group (e.g., business) and then, when you are ready to move on, click on the next stakeholder group (e.g., labor) and do the same. Continue until you have voted on proposals for all four stakeholder groups.

You also have the option to offer your own proposals (in 140 or fewer characters, including spaces). We will review submitted proposals before adding them to the list, to make sure they don't repeat ones already on the list and are appropriate for this exercise.

If you'd like to learn more about all these issues, we invite you to register for the online course we offer. It is free and open to all. There is no need to do the course to do this exercise but the course has lots of relevant videos, readings, and discussion comments that you might find useful. The course is self-paced and so you can sign up here at any time and look at any of the materials that are of interest to you. We would be delighted to see you in the course!

Our intent is to get a large and diverse cross section of people in our society to engage in this exercise to spark ideas and inform leaders of key stakeholder groups as they go about the task of shaping work of the future.

So, let’s get started in building a New Social Contract and see if we can make it happen!