Demos Helsinki at COP28: Developing skills for the workforce of the future

Published 1 December 2023


What skills are essential for a transition to a net-zero world? How can governments and businesses go beyond anticipating a green transition and actually building one? What are truly “transformational green skills”?


Demos Helsinki will host a discussion at COP28 to explore these questions, inviting a cross-sectoral panel of practitioners and experts. The panel will highlight the importance of green skills and leadership in driving climate action and fostering collaboration across sectors. Join us as we delve into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in building a fair, sustainable and joyful future.


“Green transitions require green skills – building an organization capable of a green transition”

A COP28 panel discussion hosted by Demos Helsinki

Date: 8th December 2023
Time: 13:00 (GMT+4)
Location: Finland Pavilion (Blue Zone)
Follow the live stream on Business Finland’s webpage.

A green transition requires organisations capable of transformation. For this, organisations need transformational green skills and leadership, so we plan to focus our discussion on:

– Long-termism
– Life-long learning
– Collaboration

We are very grateful to our panellists and excited to hear from them:


Why must we build skills for a net-zero world now?

To successfully navigate the transition, organisations must possess the capacity for transformation. As such, leaders must go beyond anticipating. Individuals with green skills will lead the way towards a sustainable future. From 20 years of researching the intersections of sustainability and work, we believe that equipping organisations with green skills, and especially green leadership, is a big — but ultimately addressable — gap.

If organisations start developing the right skills now, they can avoid:
– the time lags associated with transitional periods,
– job uncertainty, wage instability, reactionary policies,
– a near future where workers are left behind, increasing poverty and furthering injustice.

At the same time, they can build:
– the right capacities for stronger and bolder action with explicit societal backing,
– collective intelligence, fast learning and fuss-free adaptations of new technologies,
– pro-active investment in a desirable future.


You can read the relevant white paper here.

A note on COP and why we choose to contribute

This year, COP28 is in a location that has financially benefited from fossil fuel production but is also among the first to experience the impacts of climate change and injustices it exacerbates. It is also taking place right next to war zones; especially the war in Sudan has shown the world’s first climate change conflict — of which we could see many more. Each year, it feels like the conference is increasingly becoming a luxury instead of a platform for increasing the ambition of global climate action. Demos Helsinki is committed to building a world that remains within planetary boundaries, and we are prepared to hold exquisite tensions to keep pushing against climate negligence at every opportunity.



Feature Image: NK08gerd/iStock.