Public Policy Research Center (CENTER) is a team of innovative researchers and digital enthusiasts deliberating on the future of work in Serbia, as well as inclusive security and the creation of sustainable partnerships focused on social change. The CENTER was founded in year 2010 as an independent think tank aiming to contribute to the development of a sustainable, prosperous and just society in which the opinions and concerns of all citizens are equally heard and appreciated.

The CENTER strongly believes that the future of work should be addressed immediately if Serbia desires to keep a high quality of employment legacies in place. The future transformation will depend on today’s responses of policy-makers, business leaders, and workers in Serbia.


The second national conference “The Future of Work – Visions in Conflict” (FOW2019) will discuss a range of prospects for the future of Serbia in the light of international organisations’ opposing views of government and corporate accountability for the welfare of workers in the emerging knowledge-based economy. FOW2019 debates the following questions: what policies are needed to promote the development of the new economy in Serbia whilst ensuring dignified work? What are the likely outcomes if choosing the wrong path? If you find these issues inspiring, join us on 4 and 5 December 2019 in the Mata Milošević Hall at Belgrade’s Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade.


15:00 – 15:40        Registration of participants and refreshments

15:40 – 15:50        Welcome Note

15:50 – 16:30        Keynote Address

16:30 – 17:30       Plenary Session, Part I | Confronting visions, conflicting policies – top – down perspective

The opening session will provide a critical overview of the differences between key global stakeholder visions of the future of work. Broadly, the session will unfold different perspectives on the likely effects of the ongoing technological revolution and globalization on  economic outlooks, job creation and retention, and relations between employees, businesses and the state, and how related policies should change in response to these effects.

Among the questions to be discussed are: How much scope is there in the definition of decent work? What are the root assumptions driving the differences in labor-regulation visions? How do the two approaches ensure social cohesion? Or are the concepts of social cohesion  the ones that differ? Are there any likely entries for the convergence of these two visions? To what an extent will countries be able to remain sovereign in pursuing their values and policies in the context of the new global business models and globalization of work?

17:30 – 17:55       Networking Coffee Break

17:55 – 18:55    Plenary Session, Part II | What is the future of work in the Western Balkans countries: European visions in the mirror

The session revolves around three interconnected issues. The first deals with the ongoing debate of the ability of Europe to keep pace with technological advancements in Asia and related labour cost efficiency without sacrificing labour rights and the welfare state. The second concerns the repercussion of Europe’s choices on the future of the Western Balkans (WB), and the third is related to ability of WB countries to use – or lose – their human capital.

The following questions will be tackled: Is the EU able to create a unified approach to the challenges posed by the digital transformation to workers’ rights? How do new EU Member States cope with the digital transformation and the future of work context? What do out-migrations of the workforce from the WB region tell us about changes to the technological landscape and the emerging digital divide between countries?  Who or what might be driving forces for the transformation of WB and Serbian economy from labour-intensive to high value-added knowledge-based economy?

18:55 – 20:30      Reception (cocktail & finger food)

End of Day One

9: 30 – 10: 25        Session One | Bottom-up view:  Who has the last word?

The session will address the same question as the Opening conference session, yet in the opposite direction, namely what happens if and when the contrasting visions of the global stakeholders need to be translated and operationalised at the national economy level. The session will discuss possible futures of work, Serbia’s economic outlooks, job creation and retention, relations between employees, businesses and the state and effects of these changes on relevant policies.

The following questions will be debated:  What are the common denominators in policies proposed by the IMF, WB, ILO, and EU to the Serbian Government? How do they (such as industrial policy, tax policy, reforms in education, social security and labour legislation, etc.) affect the decent work agenda of today?  What kind of policies are needed for the future to “leave no one behind”?

10:25 – 11:05       Speed Debating | How do we fit?

The speed debate will address one question: How should the values of the decent work agenda enshrined in the Serbian Labour law be rewritten in line with the needs of the companies and workers in new types of businesses? Based on their own experience with business processes, the interlocutors will debate on how they cope with fitting workers’ rights into new business agendas.

11:05 – 11:30        Networking Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:25       Session Two | Bottom-up view: Letters from reality

The aim of this session is to offer a view on changes to the nature of work coming from practice, companies, and employees, in the context of digital transformation and Industry 4.0. The session will focus on the dynamics of human capital and its creation mechanisms, significance, and typologies, including supply and demand of digital competencies and relevant gaps in local labour markets. It will, thus, address issues surrounding the development and transformations of human capital needed for the economy of the future and a thriving society.

The panellists will debate the following questions: What is the state of digital competences among Serbian workers? What kind of human capital is needed for what kind of economy of the future? How do companies invest in human capital, informal education, and employee training? How to reduce inequality and close the gap between two “classes” of workers: the ones who possess skills that are in high demand and those with fewer skills?

12:25 – 13:05      Speed Debating | Who is After my Head?

Based on their own insights, the interlocutors will discuss one question: How to identify the right talent and what is the role of HR in the new economy?

13:05 – 14:10      Light Lunch

14:10 – 15:15       Session Three | Bottom-up view: In light of changing labour market do we have to rethink social protection system?

The session will debate the rise in non-standard forms of employment (NSFE) and their consequences on the social security system.

The panellists will discuss the following issues: What are the limitations of the existing labour law and how should it be fixed to accommodate new needs of employers and employees? How to ensure the quality and sustainability of the state health care system, social protection and the state pension system? Who should bear the cost of changing labour market in need for new skills?

15:15 – 16:00  Vote for the Future! (Closing session)


Jelena Zarkovic Rakic

Associate Professor Faculty of Economics University of Belgrade

Vladan Ivanovic

Vice Dean for International Cooperation, Faculty of Economics, Kragujevac

Tanja Jakobi

Executive Director Public Policy Researach Center

Sasa Popovic

Cofounder and Director Vega IT Sourcing

Paul Stubbs

Senior research fellow The Institute of Economics, Zagreb

Aleksandar Vidojevic

Finance and Administration Director Heads Adriatic

Senad Jasarevic

President Labour Law and Social Security Association of Serbia

Zarko Sunderic

Director Center for Social Policy

Ana Martinoli

Associate Professor Faculty of Dramatic Arts

Sava Marinkovic

Cofounder mySkin, ScanZ, Teleskin

Jovan Protic

National Coordinator International Labour Organization Serbia

Sreten Vranic

Social banking department Erste Bank, Novi Sad

Jana Novohradska

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for investment and informatisation Slovak Republic

Carsten Vollrath

CEO at Swiss IPG Partners Group AG

Sonja Avlijas

Researcher Researcher, Paris Institute of Political Studies

Kori Udovicki

Founder and President Center for Advanced Economic Studies (CEVES)

Ekkehard Ernst

Future of work and AI specialist International Labor Organization ILO

Francine Pickup

Resident Representative, UNDP Serbia

Indie Johar

Social entrepreneur, architect and futurist

Branka Anđelkovic

Co-founder and the Program Director Public Policy Research Center

Jasminka Čekić-Marković

Director, Centre for Educational Policies


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About the Faculty of Dramatic Arts

For over a decade, the Belgrade Faculty of Dramatic Arts (FDU) has been focusing on the application of digital technologies in the arts, culture, and the media. In addition to computer and 3D animation, the school offers courses in video games, virtual reality, and digital media theory. The FDU’s Interactive Arts Lab has become widely recognised for the wealth of experience it offers both teachers and students.

The FDU offers an inter-disciplinary master’s course of study in Digital Transformation of the Media and Culture, which allows students to gain a broad range of varied knowledge in the digital realm whilst also giving them a comprehensive set of skills required for actively contributing to today’s media and culture. The school intends to remain committed to improving its learning outcomes by enhancing its technical capacities and developing new courses, as dictated by emerging trends in the arts and media markets.

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