Since the 2008 recession which touched most countries in the world, governments and citizens alike have been concerned about maintaining sufficient levels of economic growth to support their standard of living.
The jobs and government revenues lost during the recession and the debt crises that followed and that remain to this day have served to remind us that standards of living are fragile.
The crisis in the Eurozone and the shaky recoveries in many countries of both the developed and developing world are exacerbated by their ageing societies and shrinking work forces, which point ultimately to their need for international migrants.
The need for migrants to sustain standards of living in many countries will bring with it significant policy challenges with regard to security, social well-being, and social justice. The 2013 International Metropolis Conference, which will take place in Tampere, Finland, will contextualize international migration within a framework that looks at simultaneously managing economic and population growth, security, and social justice.
High levels of increasingly complex international migration, the new mobility, have formed the basis of many conferences over the past five years. In Tampere, Metropolis plans to explore the new mobility from the broader context of how contemporary societies should integrate migration in their economic planning as well as their planning for social justice and security.
The global economic and financial environment that we will take into account at this conference includes the growing international competition for migrants, especially those with high skills, the development-induced reversal of many migration flows and the high levels of multiple migration that globalization has encouraged, how to manage the unmet demand to migrate from countries with younger populations and high levels of unemployment among young people, and the effects on immigrant integration of the diminishing of the welfare state in many countries as government debt levels force expenditure reductions on social programs and wealth re-distribution.