A friendly conversation on stuff that matters
with Andreea Petre-Goncalves
Conversations / Thurs 31st Aug / 6.30-8:30 pm
In this session, Andreea explores the meaning and nature of work in contemporary society. After all, being “hard-working” is drilled into us in childhood. But what and who is modern work for? What kind of work do we reward?
Good work offers us identity, belonging and the material means to live comfortably and enjoy life. Good work is in the service of society. Yet many of us work hard for lives of increasing precarity. Career progression can mean thankless striving on a personal brand marketing treadmill. We can find ourselves alone, exhausted, uninspired and poor. All the while, inequalities increase apace.
We casually objectify ourselves as “the labour market”, “human resource” and “human capital”. Although we teach our children to be kind, truthful and caring, when they enter the world of work as young adults, we encourage them to see it as a marketplace in which they themselves are for sale. We goad them to behave inauthentically, to network opportunistically. To say and do things they do not mean and do not believe have value. If they complain about their low-pay, low-joy work lives, we chide them for eating avocados.
In all of this, better things are possible. We can make sure we reward the work that benefits us all. That where work is needed, it is also a vehicle for a comfortable life. That the invented link between industriousness and wealth is questioned and our attitudes to merit reviewed accordingly. We can ensure automation serves society, that it saves us from drudgery without leaving us destitute. We can make work good, and society as it should be.
Join the conversation as we explore what "good work" really means.
Open to everyone | Booking required
Andreea was 8 years old when totalitarian Communism collapsed overnight in her native Romania. She saw then how quickly yesterday’s absolute truth can become tomorrow reviled atrocity. She knows that societal narratives can shift fast, and when they do, they make deep system re-set possible.
For two decades she worked for international development, human rights, health and sustainability in the EU institutions and international NGOs. In 2019 she set up Flare, a Brussels-based think-and-do tank that experiments with practical ways of shifting the collective ideas we hold of what is normal and desirable. This work builds on 15 years of her researching and writing about societal narrative shifts. She is a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader and a member of Global Diplomacy Lab.
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