About the Project

What is ‘good work’? Two members of Die Junge Akademie, Michael Bies and Lena Hipp, will explore this topic in a short film in collaboration with Carina Sprungk from the doctoral programme “Good Work” of the Berlin Social Science Center.

Questions about compensation, working hours, workplace safety, flexibility, employee participation, professional development, and employee satisifaction, and the overall relationship between work and life have been under discussion in relation to the concept of ‘good work’ since the 1990s. The question of what ‘good work’ really is plays a central role in the Science Year 2018 with its focus on “The Working World of the Future”. This is understandable – who wouldn’t want to do ‘good work’? – but also surprising. After all, work places and employment relationships come in so many different shapes that it sometimes seems unlikely that they can all be made to productively fit into a single concept, and, if that is possible, to determine what exactly the essence of that concept is.


The question “What is ‘good work’?” stands at the centre of this project. The goal is not to develop criteria for determining what ‘good work’ should be; plenty of such criteria already exist. Rather, this project aims to trace the traditions that gave rise to the concept of ‘good work’, the roles that the concept of ‘good work’ plays in current socio-political discussions, and the aspects that disappear from view when work is measured according to a definition of ‘good work’.

Featuring contributions from Jutta Allmendinger, Michael Bies, Lena Hipp, Stefan Liebig  und Michael Makropoulos, the short film will explore the question “What is ‘good work’?”, approaching the concept from socio-historical, sociological, and philosophical perspectives. The filmmakers plan to present the film in autumn 2018 during a variety of events such as a panel discussion, which will also take a look at the specificities of 'good work' in the academic context.

Film and panel discussion, 21st of November 2018

As part of the event, the short film "Good Work - Perspectives from Science" was shown. Afterwards there was a panel discussion with guests from politics and science.

Programme (in German)

Photos: Die Junge Akademie/Peter Himsel

Short film „Good Work“ (in German)