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The working world is in a complete transformation. The processing factors are known. And the digital is a part of the problems :

- digital technologies transform the nature of any jobs that humans still do : jobs use computer more often, they are more abstract, and more mobile.

- Relationships and time are porous, and this porosity is all consuming.

- and recent studies have shown that robotics and smart systems will continue to destroy creative, service-related and skilled occupations.


Why are the transitions not easy ? This document presents 3 alternative models for work and employment organisation, work distribution and redistribution.

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  1. 1. 19 WORK We no longer need cashiers, and soon we will have no need for truck drivers - or most technicians, engineers, etc. What is in the process of happening, is the disappearance of employment. Bernard Stiegler, from an interview with Rue89.com (27 | 06 | 201) FIVE POWERFUL IDEAS 1 Digital technology carries within it the potential to profoundly ­transform the way we work; these transformations will shape tomorrow's society. 2 The productive organisations of tomorrow will be characterised by their massive use of data and auto- mation, project-based operations, the permeability of professional boundaries, and continual organisa- tional reconfiguration. 3 Tomorrow’s educated, networked individuals will expect their professional experience to contri- bute to their personal development and their emancipation. 4 Openness and cooperation will give rise to new types of business organisation. 5 Digital technology, as a measure- ment tool, will underpin new kinds of activity and remuneration.
  2. 2. 20 IN EUROPE, THE DECLINE OF UNEMPLOYMENT RATES HAS COME TO A GRINDING HALT. IN FRANCE – AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES – SENIOR CITIZENS ARE BEING FOR- CED INTO EARLY RETIREMENT, WHILE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE TAKING AN AVERAGE OF 5-10 YEARS TO FIND A "REAL" JOB. Research has shown that robotics and smart systems will continue to destroy creative, service-related and skilled occupations, in addition to transforming the nature of any jobs that humans still do. These changes are only the beginning.We must radically revise our notions of work, employ- ment and businesses for four key reasons: 1  Value is shifting from stocks to flows, and away from products toward services and customer support, including toward intermediation platforms that reorganise markets around themselves; 2  Mobility (of goods, ideas, tasks and people), porosity (of time and relationships), and rupture (of value chains) have blurred the traditional boundaries separating organisations, jobs, communities and States; 3  Automation, even Taylorism, may potentially expand into every arena of acti- vity, including service and design; and 4  The tools of rationalisation, control and continuous availability have awarded individuals and groups with new capacities for organisation, self-determination and action. The evolution of work is the evolution of society. For although work serves to struc- ture our access to compensation and a set of social rights, it is also a factor influen- cing socialization and personal fulfillment.And tomorrow? Will work remain a noble undertaking, or simply serve to fill any temporary void left by machines? How, and where, will we find the source of our emancipation and our place in society?
  3. 3. 21 4 1 3 2 SOCIETAL POLARISATION AND FRACTURE -->  Mass unemployment -->  Tension surrounding income distribution -->  Tension surrounding social protection systems INDIVIDUALISATION OF EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS, AND WORKING MODE FRAGMENTATION -->  Ubiquitous working environments, porosity of private/public spheres -->  Clouding of the production/ consumption distinction -->  The call to self-entrepreneurship MEASUREMENT AS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND TRANSFORMATION -->  New work and activity metrics -->  Human capital measurement -->  New value and wealth indicators NEW WORKING COLLECTIVES, NEW PRODUCTION ENTITIES -->  Open, outward-facing businesses -->  Platform economies, the contribution of the multitude -->  New types of collective producers TRANSITIONAL TERRITORY
  4. 4. 22 MAJOR EMPLOYMENT TRENDS Since the end of World War II, the prevailing economic system in Europe has rested on three pillars: employment, consumption and growth.Yet for the past 20 years, every OECD member country has experienced sluggish growth and high unemployment, indirectly crippling health care systems and pension financing. Even if a full-time, salaried employ- ment model retains its dominance, this is gra- dually being eroded by "at-will" job offerings (e.g., fixed-term contracts; part-time, intermit- tent work; or freelance jobs). In France, these represented 95% of jobs created in 2013. Our social institutions, our public employment services and our education systems were not conceived with such conditions in mind. a "return to growth" will no longer suffice: institutions, companies and individuals must invent new types of growth THE PROFOUND TRANSFORMATION OF WORK Work is becoming increasingly intangible:tasks and actions are now almost exclusively interfaced with screens.This de-materialisation produces conflicting effects.On the one hand,rationalisa- tion and automation intensify work,and produce more rigidity and control.On the other,they free up time for more diverse and creative tasks. The "creative classes" have taken full advantage of the opportunities these technologies afford; others,less so (for now?).Work is thus carried out in the context of a novel relationship to time and space.Extended enterprise also produces “networked”work collectives that straddle the internal and the external,pushing the boundaries of organisations and organisational charts. New working relationships: managers on the front lines POWERFUL EMERGENCES Distributed innovative capabilities Accessible design, modelling and prototyping tools (including Fab Labs), sales and supply chain management streamlined by digital technology, global networks of innovators who no longer hesitate to "disrupt" firmly esta- blished organisations in every sector. Relocation of industrial production? Computer technology has made the globali- zation of industrial production possible; will digital technology relocate it? Fab Labs and 3D printing are generally concerned with de- sign rather than production; however, robotics (which limits the relative impact of labor costs) and the search for short or "circular" supply chains can facilitate a kind of relocation. New productivity models Contributory (“commons”, e.g.,Wikipedia), collaborative (free and open source software, open hardware), task-based (marketplaces, crowdsourcing), Digital Labor (public plat- forms generating massive amounts of content, data, maps, etc.). New kinds of value Digital traceability quantifies our interactions, relationships, and contributions.This visibility opens up the possibility for new kinds of symbolic (reputation, impact...) and economic (contribution measurement, alternative cur- rencies...) valuation. « New movements are rooted in individuals’ personal expression, but they are in no way individualistic in the neoliberal sense. These movements aim to develop friendships, com- munities of shared interests, and common or local practices whose products are placed under freely usable or shared common sta- tutes (according to their nature). Such communities can develop commercial activities or monetary pooling practices as one means, amongst others, to ensure their sustainability. Individuals frequently belong to several communities, and their involve- ment takes the form of participation, rather than membership or affiliation. » Philippe Aigrain, « Les actions décentralisées des citoyens peuvent-elles régénérer la démocratie ? », ("Can the decentralised actions of citizens rejuvenate democracy?") Internet Actu, 2014 Digital technologies extend and make visible work that takes place outside ­corporate boundaries WHY THE CURRENT SITUATION IS UNTENABLE
  5. 5. 23 “DISRUPTIONS”: SOURCES OF TRANSITION INDIVIDUALISATION AND THE FRAGMENTATION OF WORK Ubiqitous working environments, ­porosity of public/private spheres Teleworking, digital nomadism, interpenetra- tion of professional and personal time, BYOD, “cloud personnel”, social networks... Clouding of the production/ consumption distinction Pro-ams, micro-service providers (Taskrabbit), entrepreneurship, open source, digital labor that is free or almost free (post a video, make a comment on an article, cultivate a social network...). The call to become an entrepreneur of oneself Pluri-activity (multiple part-time jobs, collaborative economy, entrepreneurship), portability of rights, personal responsibility for “employability”, valorisation of extra-profes- sional pursuits, professional communities, etc. « It is often said that if you do not pay, you are the product. It seems, rather, that if you do not pay, then you are the worker, the employee of the service. » Antonio Casilli, Lift France conference, 2014 NEW WORKING COLLECTIVES, NEW PRODUCTION ENTITIES Businesses opening outward Networked, open, agile, lean, extended enter- prise;“ecosystems”, alliances, clusters... Platform economies, contribution of the multitude User-generated content; platforms for sharing and exchange; collaborative services (e.g., Waze traffic and navigation app);“subcontrac- ting” from within company ecosystems (apps, peripherals, etc.). New kinds of productive collectives Informal collectives (free and open source software, mapping,Wikipedia, open hardware, etc.), or project-oriented collectives (automo- tive:Wikispeed; sensors: Sensori.ca); shared, collaborative workspaces (Fab Labs, coworking spaces, etc.). « The main dimension of the digital ­revolution is the power now at work outside organizations: the power of educated, equipped, connected people, the power of what we call the multitude. Because it is exterior to organisations, this power escapes them. Because organisations must learn to harness this power, they will have to learn to formulate new strategies, and face up to the radical consequences that these produce. » Nicoles Colin, Henri Verdier, L’âge de la multitude, 2012 SOCIETAL POLARISATION AND FRACTURE Massive unemployment Automation, robotising, productivity gains, increased life expectancy, the end of growth, worldwide competition created by low cost labour, pressure created by digital labor and crowdsourcing platforms. Tension surrounding income distribution Mounting inequality of income and asset disribution, tensions among workers about status, location, etc. Tension surrounding social welfare ­systems The “scissor effect” occurring between increa- sing expenditures and decreasing revenue, benefit reductions, the “working poor”, the myriad of special cases, competition between private and solidarity-based contributions, etc. « Capital domination strategy aims to pre- vent the birth of other activities, and to lead people to assume that paid work, work-as- commodity, and work-as-employment are essential to their careers and their personal development. In reality, defending the work- as-employment paradigm while there is less and less to be had, while the concept becomes more and more fractured, while jobs become more and more precarious, and there is more and more over-exploitation and less safety...is a strategy of domination. » André Gorz, from an interview on France Culture radio, 2005
  6. 6. 24 With business entre- preneurship as the reference model, each individual becomes responsible for his or her own professional development and ca- reer-building, contract by contract, project by project. The individual becomes the source of his or her own employ- ment (always) and that of others (sometimes). In return, social sys- tems support these self-entrepreneurs in times of risk and failure, and promote lifelong learning. "We are going toward becoming a freelance nation," says Mr. Gane- san. "The $40-an-hour manufacturing job is not going to come back," he adds, "but the $25 local services job" represents a viable alternative. Venky Ganesan, venture capitalist, in the Wall Street Journal, 2015 MEASUREMENT AS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND TRANSFORMATION New performance and activity metrics The Quantified Self, People Analytics, smart bracelets that lower insurance premiums, peer contribution measurement metrics (OpenValue Network de Sensori.ca), etc. « Important as these intangible assets are, the official GDP ignores them. User-generated content, for example, involves unmeasured labor creating an unmeasured asset that is consumed in unmeasured ways to create unmeasured consumer surplus. » Erik Brynjolfsson et Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age, 2014 Human capital measurement Value-enhancement from peers (LinkedIn endorsements, Mozilla Open Badge), from referral networks (Pay with a tweet), from influence and reputation (Klout), etc. New value indicators, new distributions of wealth Negative externalitiy measurement (pollution, etc.) and positive externality measurement (pollination); the Human Development Index (HDI); complementary currencies quan- tify exchanges according to various criteria; monetary or non-monetary recognition for acts of solidarity or contributory activities. « The Internet consists of a multitude of platforms that each of us pollinates. By exchanging and producing all kinds of information, we have created a massive "continent of externalities". The result: inter- personal interaction has assumed gargan- tuan proportions (...). We are going to enter an era of metadata, and discover the richness of our interactions.. » Yann Moulier Boutang, from an interview for Usbek and Rica, 2014 INDIVIDUALS ENTREPRENEURS; (NEW) SOLIDARITY SYSTEMS EVERYONE AN ENTREPRENEUR
  7. 7. 25 These "models" exist today as a matter of public debate, and are supported by actors who suggest they are desirable, or conversely, submit them as anti-models best avoided. SEVERAL “READY- MADE” MODELS Faced with short term-minded financial capitalism, companies have opted for employee and/or user sharehol- ding. Power is exercised democratically: one per- son, one vote. Profits are reinvested. Work organi- zation favors dialogue, equity and employee empowerment. Such a model could attract businesses or start-ups, that seek employee engagement and new forms of value- creation. The French "intermit- tent artist" benefits scheme facilitates artists’ rapid alterna- tion between periods of employment and unemployment by subsidising free time when a minimum quo- ta of hours has been reached. Its extension beyond the enter- tainment industry could simultaneously streamline the labor market, fund further training and creative development during downtime, change per- ceptions of "job secu- rity", validate a wider variety of professional activities, etc. Basic Income intends to fight against poverty and inequality by allo- cating income uncondi- tionally to all citizens, from birth to death, without means test or assessment. It makes income, rather than work, the essential ingredient to leading a "dignified life". Accor- ding to a variety of sources and countries, this income - combined with any other - can range from EUR450 to EUR2500 per month. Several cities in Alaska, Namibia and Canada have already experi- mented with it. The Cheque Dejeuner Group in numbers: 51% employee-owned #3 worldwide in prepaid check and cards market present in 15 countries 1 to 8 wage gap training budget 4.3 times the legal requirement 35 hour work-week, in effect since 1986 2.4% absenteeism rate Source : Les Échos, 2012 "Whatever the wealth of our country, we will not end misery as long as we have not mental- ly dissociated the pro- duction process (where economic liberalism excels at optimizing work productivity) and income distribution processes (where mar- ket dynamics naturally lead to accumulation for some and lack for others)." Marc de Basquiat in Kaizen, 2013 "It is the mutual reco- gnition of value, and a reinvented public power granted to what Amartya Sen calls "capability" which form the founda- tion of a contributory economy. In fact, it is a scaling up of the enter- tainment industry’s benefits scheme for artists, who cultivate their know-how with this intermittent income that serves to enhance the value of their produc- tions, that runs the risk of being destroyed at a time when such an intel- ligent attitude ought to become the norm." Bernard Stiegler, in an interview for Rue89, 2014 THE STATE, SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS, PROJECT RESEARCH SERVICES EMPLOYEE-SHAREHOLDERS, STAKEHOLDERS IN THEIR BUSINESS STRATEGY THE STATE, SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS PRINCIPAL ACTORS EVERYONEACOOPERATIVE-UNIVERSALBASICINCOME SHAREHOLDER GUARANTEE EVERYONEACOOPERATIVE- SHAREHOLDER
  8. 8. 26 KEY ACTORS -->  the guilds that replace unions, recruitment agencies and insurers. -->  the social networks that not only facilitate exchange within a guild, but also serve to support the autonomy and mobility of each member. -->  the State, which maintains equality among the guilds and acts as their regulator. SHIFT 1 Faced with the impossibility of landing a job using conventional methods, a group of "at-will" employees forms a guild to share workloads and provide mutual support. The initiative rapidly gives rise to the emergence of similar organisations. SHIFT 2 Graphic designers forced into unbridled competition by the marketplace create a corporatist community, with the intention of defending community rights against platforms and clients, develo- ping solidarity among professionals and enhancing the value of their offering. TRANSITION SCENARIO THE ASSET GUILD Work and employment manage- ment are dissociated, and form two separate, complimentary activities: businesses become centres of purely economic activity, while newly- baptised “guilds” handle human resources. Employee guilds are orga- nised according to profession (some- times internationally) or by territory (especially the less qualified workers). In addition to job placement, guilds manage employee training, wages and salaries, and social welfare. Even though they must compete with one another to land contracts, guilds offer the distinct advantage of being able to guarantee reasonable, stable incomes, a safety net in case of hard times, a framework for ongoing professional development, and even a sense of community. The State acts as guild regulator and re-insurer. It maintains equality (pro- bably with some difficulty) between the richer guilds and others, and en- sures that no guild abuses its power over companies (talent blackmail) or individuals (racketeering). Guild selection, internal develop- ment and preserving a certain level of autonomy from the guild become important issues impacting the pro- fessional development of every guild member; social networking plays an invaluable role in this regard.
  9. 9. THE ROLE PLAYED BY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES -->  Online social media platforms are at the heart of guild development. -->  Digital tech promotes multi-modal pluri-activity, and contributes to the dissociation of human capital development from employment. -->  It facilitates access to continuing education and peer training. CONTROVERSIES -->  The return of the corporation? Guilds stifle innovation, professional development and personal initiative. -->  The end of solidarity? Guilds protect their own, and care very little about the success of other guilds. -->  Unmanageable businesses? Management finds it difficult to organise teams composed of different guilds, or of members not necessarily recruited by them directly. PHASE 1 Guilds are attacked by the organi­ zations they destabilize: employment service providers, temporary employ- ment agencies, training organisations, social and mutual insurers... The corporatist, mafia-style practices of certain guilds are singled out. PHASE 2 Professional corporations and ­local guilds meet to define working rules and best practices. Guilds model their practices after collaborative consumption networks and social network ­operators, in order to profes­ sionalise their services. BURGEONING (OFFICIAL) RECOGNITION A region entrusts its local guild with the task of retraining employees from an industrial area in crisis. The guild assumes a more professional character, and directly competes with local unemployment offices and some insurers. An increasing number of independent and unemployed workers join guilds. The more mature among them wonder about the need to split along territorial or ­professional lines. DENOUEMENT Guilds manage to ­supplant unions, ­insurers and most ­employment services (including public ones). The State ­recognizes their importance, and acts as their regulator, in addition to ensuring a minimum level of solidarity among them. It enforces guild ­compliance with a code of conduct and their use of service reposi­ tories, and compels them to safeguard their members’ right to change guild (or not join any of them). However, it’s getting harder and harder to find work that doesn’t come through a guild... 27
  10. 10. 28 KEY ACTORS -->  Exchange platforms, alternative currencies, commons creators and administrators, etc. -->  The non-profit sector, the social and solidarity economy. -->  Personal and urban services providers, who will need to update their business models to include contributive ­practices. SHIFT 1 Social systems fail to cope with needs, and reduce benefits. Those most fragile (the disad- vantaged, unemployed persons and pensioners) increasingly resort to ­systems of solidarity and exchange that they work out on the spot (a.k.a. "System D"). ONE ECONOMY, OR TWO? The expansion of this "non-market" economy appears menacing. ­Economists express concerns related to the GDP and the survival of social welfare systems. Unions denounce the movement as an attack on the wage model. Distribu- tion companies, personal services providers, etc. see it as unfair competition. But do we really have the means to do otherwise? SHIFT 2 The "commons" movement extends beyond the digital to include habitats, energy provision, etc. The social and solidarity economy embraces it, in addition to adop- ting "collaborative consumption" practices (e.g., sharing of goods and tools, horizontal exchange). Intrinsically collaborative plat- forms gain traction: alternative currencies, online marketplaces, etc. TRANSITION SCENARIO A CONTRIBUTIVE SOCIETY Between the market sector on the one hand and the lifeless public sector on the other lies an increasin- gly large space occupied by a "third sector", called the "economy of contribution". This economy is composed of two highly complementary attributes: 1  Horizontal sharing and exchange of unused goods, services or (human) resources (time, space, tools, vehicles) monetised using a variety of accoun- ting units, including alternative currencies. 2  Production and maintenance of “commons” that can be immaterial (databases, scientific research findings, software, maps...) or material (shared energies, resources and spaces). Contributive activities become natural and recognised components in the professional lives of the majo- rity of individuals.The contributive economy is entrusted with facilities and utilities management responsi­ bilities to varying degrees, depending on the territory.
  11. 11. THE ROLE PLAYED BY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES -->  Digital technology enables a flexible, ­decentralised coordination of individual initiatives and interventions; and the confluence of needs with proposals, and projects with energies. -->  It plays a major role in increasing the visibility of the such activities, and in their evaluation and measurement. -->  It is the medium used for "commons" production and collective management. CONTROVERSIES -->  Sharing shortage? The model would have us abandon any ambition or concrete objectives of growth. -->  A society of amateurs? The reign of the collective would also be the reign of mediocrity. -->  A closed society of networks and communities? -->  A mask for State disengagement and ­widespread, systematic privatisation? THE STATE HOLDS IT ALL TOGETHER State and local authorities ­support non-market activities, and organize their relation- ship with the market economy. The authorities ensure that alternative currency conversion standards are met, set aside "cooperative" spaces in malls and vice versa, and oversee accreditation of collaborative activities. Social and solidarity organi- sations play a bridging role between the two economies. THE GIANTS REVOLT Faced with increasingly influential local and community platforms, global giants ramp up their persuasive argu- ments: free ­services, global reach, an ever widening range of ­proposals for activity and employment... The market segments. Those who consi- der their career to be an international adventure prefer the big ­platforms. The rest decide to become ­members of local platforms. Alliances between global giants and local collectives become more and more frequent. OUT OF CRISIS, GROWTH Aware of the stakes, communities devise ways for the non-profit nature of their activities to peacefully coexist with the concrete ability to measure their indirect contributions to the eco- nomy, the environment and the fabric of social cohesion. Local authorities, financial institutions and social rating agencies adopt contri- butive practices. Non-market activity is recognised as a requisite, qualifying component of work experience 29
  12. 12. 30 KEY ACTORS -->  Financial establishments who assist clients’ allocation management. -->  Training and continuing education providers, who train "self-capitalists" and follow career trajectories. -->  Project financing platforms, which become the cornerstones of the economy. THE SHIF The next global financial crisis looms as a result of aggressive lending to students. Governments prevent it: this time, they no longer save the banks. A Chinese bank takes the lead: rather than lend to students, it opts to invest in their lifetime value. Other banks follow suit, all over the world. LOANS ONLY FOR THE FUTURE RICH? The market for student loans dries up, despite the rising cost of higher educa- tion throughout the world. Only the best students are awarded "student invest- ments" that are often underwritten by a pool of large companies. The students are concerned: should they commit to working for these companies? TRANSITION SCENARIO PERSONAL CAPITAL Upon reaching the legal age of ­adulthood, every individual receives an identical initial endowment - a "basic income" - to be freely uti- lised during his or her working years. It can be spent on training and continuing education, used as an investment in a business or cultural project, or even allocated to oneself monthly, as a stipend. Discreet ­monitoring and incentive mecha- nisms discourage speculative use of capital, and ensure that it is not squandered early on. At the same time, the estate tax is strongly revalued: the endowment is intended to redistribute power, ­allowing people to develop their own future and work as they wish. People literally become “entrepre- neurs of the self”: they personally and actively determine their way of life, and the kinds of skills and pro- jects they want to invest (themselves) in. Education and continuing educa- tion include learning about personal capital management. Access to this windfall plays a significant role in entrepreneurial, associative, scientific and cultural project creation.The goal becomes to convince "investors" not only to join and fund collaborative efforts, but also to dedicate themselves ­personally to the accomplishment of their chosen endeavour(s).
  13. 13. THE ROLE PLAYED BY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES Digital technologies are involved with: -->  basic income and career path management, individually and collectively, throughout a person’s life; and -->  project platform construction and management. CONTROVERSIES -->  Economic carnage? Universal capital is certainly the ultimate stage of commodification for some; for others it is merely an invitation to idleness. -->  False equality? The ability to manage oneself is very unevenly distributed; the older generations, who do not benefit from the system, feel that they have been sacrificed. -->  The end of solidarity? Does the system elicit selfish drives, or, conversely, individual investment in collective action? BANKRUPTCIES Many of the first "student investments" end in bankruptcy as funds are wiped out within a few months. The first beneficiaries come up with a set of rules, which are adopted quickly, including pro- visions for regular coaching and mandatory financial ­instruction, and mechanisms for modera- tion and regulation, etc. DENOUEMENT(S) Two models coexist globally. In Asia, North America and most (financially) liberal countries, the allocation of "universal ­capital" – co-managed by the State and the banks – becomes wides- pread, and replaces most existing forms of education financing and unemployment insurance. In Europe, receiving the payment is optional, is managed by public authorities, and coexists with more traditional forms of public funding. Its use is more controlled, but in return, safety nets in times of hardship are more robust. THE TIPPING POINT California takes the lead: in collabora- tion with its banks, it devises a "univer- sal capital" payment, to replace scho- larships and loans for public university study or continuing education. At first, receiving the payment is optional, and used exclusively to cover higher educa- tion fees. Then, little by little, it is made available to most young professionals. The question arises: are we investing in our youth to maximize a "return", or helping them to invest in their own future? 31

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