Work, Interrupted: The New Labor Economics of Platforms
Both opportunities + challenges in the shift toward
From its founding in 1968 to the present, IFTF has been on track to anticipate the changing nature of work—and to create truly workable futures. Starting with early experiments in computer-based communication on the ARPANET through the emergence of so-called groupware for work teams to the more recent IFTF Workable Futures Initiative to define future work skills for on-demand work, IFTF has sought to prepare the public for the coming phase shift in the way we work.
Digitally connected work platforms are a critical element of this phase shift, and our new report, Work, Interrupted: The New Labor Economics of Platforms (Executive Summary or Full Report now available for download), explores these platforms from multiple points of view. Undertaken with support from the Ford Foundation, the study includes:
- the historical arc that has brought us to where we are today, the technology shifts driving new ways of working,
- the challenges that today’s systems present to traditional thinking about labor economics, and
- the possible pathways toward positive platforms for digitally connected livelihoods that work for everybody.
This is a critical moment. If deployed wisely, online platforms not only have the ability to benefit both clients and providers, they also show immense potential to better address issues like underemployment and skill development. However, we believe that in order for online platforms to begin to reach their potential, the challenges need to be recognized and rectified as well.
It is a worthy challenge—one that we are excited to have had the opportunity to explore in this report.
- Executive Summary [PDF]
- Full Report [PDF]
- Workable Futures Initiative
- Voices of Workable Futures
- Future of the Workforce Development Ecosystem
- Future Skills: Update and Literature Review
- Learning is Earning in the National Learning Economy
For more information, please contact:
Jean Hagan | firstname.lastname@example.org | 650-233-9551