Workers of the World, Connect! Tech Innovations and Organizational Change for the Future of Work(ers)


July 18, 2019


Mary Gray, Jamie Woodcock, Louise Hickman, Jacki O'Neill


Microsoft Research, Oxford Internet Institute, University of California, Microsoft Research


From Uber-like services dishing up physical labor to startups “taskifying” information services, tech companies shaping the platform-driven, on-demand economy have paid little attention to the value of connected workers. What could the future of work look like if tech facilitated new worker-centered organizational structures? How might we build these structures while both delivering job opportunities and supporting worker groups, even in resource-constrained settings? What are the opportunities for capitalizing on technology innovation to design new economic markets that benefit workers and more fairly distribute jobs to a global workforce? We will address these questions and more, drawing on their research to outline how technologies could be used to counter the trend toward isolating on-demand workers.