The WorkUp! seminar unites Helsinki Design Week and Working Life 2020

The vision of the Working Life 2020 campaign is that Finland will offer the best working life in Europe by 2020. In September, a seminar co-organized by the campaign and Helsinki Design Week takes a look at the objective from the point of view of artificial intelligence and ethics.

The seminar is being jointly organized for the first time by HDW and Working Life 2020. Its theme “Artificial intelligence and ethics” places an emphasis on technological challenges and opportunities. The theme is addressed from the point of view of both working life and design.  

The morning is divided into two theme sessions that last one hour each. The keynote speaker of the first session is Minna Mustakallio from Futurice. Her theme is “Designing work using AI methods”. The second theme focuses on the ethical questions of AI design and will be introduced by keynote speaker and philosopher Maija-Riitta Ollilla.

After the keynotes, there will be panel discussions among the keynote speakers and Jaakko Särelä (Reaktor), Petri Lattu (Nordkapp) and Jaana Leikas (VTT). The seminar is hosted by Erik Bäckman of Miltton, known to us from previous seminars.

“To counterbalance extensive learning and self-management opportunities, Finnish people carry individual responsibility for their work. This translates into a heavy mental load. While AI is changing the nature of work, we must develop the workforce to accept this change by improving how work is organized, how it is managed and how work communities function socially,” says Work Up! seminar team leader Tuomo Alasoini.

Alasoini is a research professor at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) and a member of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s AI programme committee addressing the changes in working life and society. Alasoini is one of the authors of the Work in the age of artificial intelligence report, one of the themes of which is ethics. According to the report, we must take an ethical view on AI because it impacts business life directly. The values according to which AI is being developed and utilized can impact brand value in the future.

The Work Up! events are part of the Working Life 2020 campaign seminars, which seek views, opportunities and practical experiences on how to perceive and execute work in a new way. The series strives to increase public awareness about each theme and to impact public discussion. One of the larger objectives of the campaign is to discover breakthroughs to a new, more humane and better working culture and new kinds of opportunities to engage people in working life.

During the last two years or so, the Work Up! events have addressed smart services, circular economy, robotics, multicultural employment, communal work spaces and crowdsourced work. The event series is produced in cooperation by the Ministry of Economics and Employment, Business Finland, FIOH and the Ministry of Finance.  

Trust plays the main role in Working Life 2018

The objective of the Working Life 2020 network campaign is based on the national tripartite working life strategy of 2012, and the campaign is coordinated by the Ministry of Economics and Employment. In order to realize the vision, it is important to create a culture that supports individual development in the workplace and allows the co-creation of products, services and ways of working. The campaign also requires developing interactive and predictive actions that involve skillful management and new ways of utilizing technology.  

Finnish working life already ranks high in comparison with other European countries. According to project director Margita Klemetti, its quality is usually measured by the opportunities that people have to learn, develop and make a difference at work.

This year the campaign focuses on stimulating discussion about trust. The message is that “trust is the most important capital for working life, and a successful business culture can only be built on trust.” Trust is also the theme of this year’s Helsinki Design Week, thus it was a natural move to combine the coinciding seminar with the festival programme.

The seminar is free of charge. Please register before 31 August here. The seminar is also available online on the Working Life 2020 website.


9.00     The seminar begins

Briefly about artificial intelligence, host Erik Bäckman

THEME 1: Designing work using AI methods

Keynote: Minna Mustakallio, Futurice

Panel discussion: The panellists are Minna Mustakallio, (Futurice), Jaakko Särelä (Reaktor), Petri Lattu (Nordkapp) and Jaana Leikas (VTT).

10.15   Break

10.45   THEME 2: Ethical questions in AI design

Keynote: Maija-Riitta Ollila

Panel discussion:The panellists are Maija-Riitta Ollila, Jaakko Särelä, Petri Lattu and Jaana Leikas.

12.00               The seminar ends