The future of work is at the centre of debates on the emerging digital society: Which jobs will become obsolete through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and who will benefit? Can algorithms help to overcome discriminatory human decision-making or will they deepen existing biases? Do novel business models and platform designs provide progressive opportunities for workers or are they tools for their exploitation? How can workers organise themselves collectively and sustainably to contribute to responsible design and dignified forms of work? What does work look like on the margins of the digital? While many commentators bring to the table design solutions and inclusive visions, workers at the bottom of the supply chains, and particularly women, are often neglected in this conversation—despite forming the overwhelming majority of the workforce.
FemLab.co, an International Development Research Centre (IDRC) seed-funded initiative on the future of work in the Global South, hosted an online symposium that brought together civil society actors, designers, scholars, and business folk to share their grounded speculations on social and digital transformations, to carve common ground for an inclusive global value chain.