BANGKOK, Thailand, 2 October 2023 – Around 100 Better Work staff members convened this week in Bangkok to share knowledge and set goals for future progress as part of the 2023 “Innovation Lab.”
Better Work is in year two of our “Sustaining Impact” strategy; the approach we are taking now reflects our future vision for the global garment industry – and beyond – to create long-term, progressive change for workers and businesses that can be managed outside of the immediate scope of Better Work.
The workshops during The Innovation Lab and our ongoing efforts are set to amplify our impact as we continue to expand into new countries and sectors, adapting to unique challenges while staying focused on our vision for the global garment industry.
Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, Regional Director for the ILO in Asia and Pacific, formally opened the Better Work Innovation Lab 2023 on 2 October in Bangkok. Better Work is a flagship programme of the ILO, and its work in Asia is instrumental in shaping labour standards and practices, especially in the garment industry.
Around 100 staff members from 13 country programmes and two global offices convened at the Better Work Innovation Lab to innovate and collaborate.
As Better Work sets forth into the second year of our "Sustaining Impact" strategy, the Innovation Lab has established a platform that allows for collective reflection on our achievements and impact, both at the global and national levels.
The four-day Better Work Innovation Lab was a deep dive into key areas of our work. From advancing quality standards in Assessment Services to tackling challenges in Advisory and Training, staff from various country programmes learned from challenges and drew inspiration from best practices.
Better Work staff with diverse roles and expertise participated in a wide range of sessions. They delved into key issues such as Industrial Relations, OSH, and Gender, discussing innovative solutions to pressing challenges. These efforts are set to amplify our impact as we continue to expand into new countries, adapting to unique challenges while staying focused on our vision for the global garment industry.
Staff from country programmes took the opportunity to share their successes, challenges, and best practices, enriching the collective knowledge and driving forward the objective of the Innovation Lab.
Every session featured open discussion, dialogue, and collaborative problem-solving, providing Better Work staff with a platform to exchange ideas and innovate.
The Better Work Innovation Lab also featured a 'Brilliance Board' to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse expertise of Better Work staff from around the world.
The Innovation Lab enabled an environment for our staff where sharing, listening, and speaking out were actively encouraged, fostering a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect.
The unifying purpose of the knowledge-sharing event was to bring together Better Work Enterprise Advisors, Training Officers and Technical Experts from different countries to promote an integrated approach to learning and collaboration.
Better Work staff members from across the globe had the opportunity to convene in person. For many, it was their first face-to-face meeting.
In her opening address, ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa shared her vision for the future of Better Work and the ILO in the region: “Better Work has provided a more agile model within the ILO of how to respond deftly and efficiently to changing circumstances, working hand-in-hand with partners and factories to help them navigate ´the new normal,´ even as that was a moving target.”
Better Work has provided a more agile model within the ILO of how to respond deftly and efficiently to changing circumstances, working hand-in-hand with partners and factories to help them navigate ´the new normal,´ even as that was a moving target.
ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific
The unifying purpose of the knowledge-sharing event was to bring together Better Work Enterprise Advisors, Training Officers and Technical Experts to promote an integrated approach on areas including occupational safety and health (OSH), gender equality and inclusion, industrial relations, quality assurance, and compliance assessment tools. In all these areas, we are adapting our methodologies to ensure delivery of our strategic goals and to contribute to the overarching goals of the ILO and IFC.
Nurturing a spirit of cross-country collaboration and learning is the unifying approach behind these common goals. Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing among staff across country programmes is what we’ve found – and hope continues to – promote innovation and progressive thinking.
These values were showcased through collaborative workshops, staff experience sharing and interviews, team discussions of how to implement new tools and processes, and presentations on the future of Better Work.