EMCC Anticipation workshop: Commerce at the Crossroads – the future of the commerce sector in Europe

Dublin 19-20 November 2007

This workshop will present the research findings of an EU-wide study commissioned by the EMCC aimed at analysing the main trends and key drivers of change, as well as their impact on the structure and performance of the European commerce sector and their political, economical and social consequences.

The event will bring together European companies, social partners, policy makers and sectoral experts in order to jointly reflect and exchange their experiences. Through the use of scenario techniques and group work participants will also be encouraged to identify actions for further development, innovation and growth within the sector.

The workshop is organised by the European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) www.emcc.eurofound.europa.eu.

Workshop focus

The Commerce sector is undergoing profound changes due to political and regulatory developments, increasing international competition, the adoption of advanced digital technologies, such as RFDI (Radio-Frequency Identification) and other productivity boosting initiatives challenging existing business models across the value chain. This workshop aims to anticipate future change, including further concentration and consolidation in the sector and trends in consumer demand and preferences. It will also examine the political, economic and social consequences of these developments - for example restructuring processes and the corresponding human resource strategies, necessary to cope with them in a socially responsible way.

Bearing all this in mind, the workshop will also examine the political, economic and social consequences of these trends and changes, such as restructuring processes and the corresponding human resource strategies, gender and labour market issues, with the effects on employment levels, and the skill gaps and the training initiatives required by the industry.

The workshop is designed to encourage the social partners, companies and regional policymakers to jointly examine the key aspects of change in the sector through the use of scenarios to be presented at the event and which have been developed as part of the EMCC research.

The use of scenarios is an established and powerful technique used for policy and strategic analysis to describe a plausible hypothesis about the future. A scenario is a coherent description of drivers, trends and events that may influence and change the subject of analysis over a given period of time. It is not a prediction but rather a tool that enables the anticipation of possible future strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

The mixed audience of company representatives, social partners, sector analysts and researchers in the commerce sector as well as scenario experts will offer a rich mix for productive conversation and action.


Outcomes include:

  • greater understanding of the management of change at company level in commerce sector;
  • grasp of practical tools for anticipation in the day-to-day management of change within companies and organisations;
  • better knowledge with regard to the main current issues and challenges faced by the principal sectoral players;
  • a workshop report highlighting key issues which will be made available to participants shortly after the event and disseminated more widely through the emcc portal.


The workshop will be held in the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin, Ireland.

Wyattville Road, Loughlinstown, Dublin 18


For further details on the format and topics of this workshop, please download an outline of the programme.

What to do if you are interested

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please contact Catherine Cerf at cce@eurofound.europa.eu, or express your interest online by downloading the form and sending a completed copy to Catherine Cerf or by fax (+353 1 282 6456).

Please note that the deadline for expressing your interest is 28 September 2007– confirmation of your attendance will be sent to you early October 2007.

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