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The gig economy and the automation revolution: capitalism or cooperativism?
Tue 1 November 2016, 18:30 – 19:30 GMT
Join us for a critical dialogue on the automation revolution, the gig economy, and their social consequences featuring:
Dr Nick Srnicek, author of "Platform capitalism"
Dr Alex Williams, co-author of "Inventing the Future"
Dr Mayo Fuster, expert on digital commons and cooperativism
Dr Phoebe Moore, expert on digital labour and the quantified self
We are living through a significant technological leap, sometimes described as the automation revolution as data-driven technologies, algorithms and robotisation transform the ways we work and consume. The first signs of this trend are already visible in so-called platform companies like Uber, AirBnB, and Deliveroo and the way they disrupt a number of markets. For some —in particular the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley--the automation revolution is going to deliver great advances in the quality of life. But many critics are wary about the risks that are involved in this transformation, and are concerned that automation may destroy jobs, undercut wages, and make it more difficult for workers to organise. This panel will explore the social and political consequences of the automation revolution, the new forms of struggle and alternative forms of economic organisation such as "platform cooperativism" that are emerging in this field, and more generally the transformation of notions of work, class, and conflict in the present digital era.
How is automation reshaping social structure and economic organisation? How are ideas of work, production, class, production being reshaped at the time of Deliveroo, Uber, AirBnB etc? Are we heading towards a world of digital small entrepreneurs or digital slaves? What are the prospects for alternative forms of economic organisation such as platform cooperativism? What are the new forms of struggle that are emerging in the digital economy? Should focus on the struggle within and against digital capitalism, as prefigured by the strike of Deliveroo workers, and the struggle in the logistics sector in Italy? Or should we aim instead at reclaiming ownership of the means of production? And what are main challenges ahead for emancipatory struggles in this emerging landscape?
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