A Holistic Labour System

This theme investigates how we can co-create a labour market with high employment and meaningful jobs. In the solution lab we will discuss if reduced working hours is a way to relieve stress for the workers and for the planet and create new jobs for the unemployed. Another key topic is how to give the public sector a new ‘co-productive’ role, where its employees cooperate with local communities in order to design the optimal solutions for the people using public services. The citizens are looked upon as resourceful and they are helped to utilize their own resources instead of being regarded as passive recipients. This generates the possibility of a more equal and reciprocal relationship between public servants and the people they serve: generating much better outcomes with fewer resources.

This theme will address questions like:

  • How do we create meaningful and nurturing employment for all that relieves the stress about not living up to expectations and removes the fear of losing ones job, and instead fosters a better work-life balance? How can the public sector enable professionals and citizens to cooperate on creating a functional welfare state?

The plenary session related to this theme will be led by Anna Coote, while the Solution Lab will be led by Rune Wingård (Omstilling Nu/Transition Now) and Nathalie Nguyen (Sparks Copenhagen). Anna Coote will take part of the Solution Lab Saturday. Facilitator Jara von Luepke will capture participant’s ideas with live drawing and create a visual summary of the solution lab.


To prepare well for the workshop we recommend the following texts:


Coote, A. & Fraklin, J. (2013): Time On Our Side – Why We Need a Shorter Working Week, New Economics Foundation, London.

  • a book of essays authored by leading experts in social, economic and environmental sciences that explains how moving towards shorter, more flexible hours of work could help tackle urgent problems that beset our daily lives – from overwork, unemployment and low well-being, to entrenched inequalities, needless high-carbon consumption and the lack of time to live sustainably.


Coote, A. & Himmelweit, J. M. (2013): The Problem That has No Name: Work, Care & Time, Soundings, 54, London, UK.

  • a discussion paper that argues that the best way out of this impasse is to move towards a shorter working week. If everyone – male and female – put in 30 hours of paid work a week, instead of 40 hours or more, this would open up a range of opportunities for doing things differently.


Coote, A. & Franklin, J. (2010): 21 Hours: Why a Shorter Working Week can Help Us to Flourish in the 21st Century, New Economics Foundation, London, UK.

  • a useful summary of the arguments for a shorter working week. Includes a short film on the topic.


Slay, J. & Stephens, L. (2010): Public Services Inside Out, New Economics Foundation, London, UK.


Slay, J. & Coote, A. (2010): Right Here, Right Now, New Economics Foundation, London, UK.


Harris, M. & Boyle, D. (2009): The Challenge of Co-Production, New Economics Foundation, London, UK.

  • three reports on co-production where the public sector co-produces with local communities and businesses based on the principle that people’s needs are better met when they are involved in an equal and reciprocal relationship with professionals and others, working together to get things done.


Alperovitz, G. (2013): What then must we do? Straight talk about the next American Revolution, Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont, USA.

  • a powerful introduction to how communities can drive the transition to a more equal and sustainable future through the public sector focusing actively on strengthening local economies, and through developing new forms of businesses that focus primarily on enhancing human wellbeing and sustainability where profit is just a method for achieving these goals. The latter sections in the book about the health sector, the banking system and the ‘too big to fail’ companies are interesting but will not be discussed in the workshops. The book includes numerous examples from USA on how local communities and businesses are working within a new co-creative paradigm.

Any questions?

Contact us at info@omstilling.nu