Saturday 6th July, 2013
5:00pm to 5:45pm
How to learn from online communities and coworking spaces to build a freelancers' movement
As the number of freelancers grows, so too does the urgency of creating a movement to improve their social, political and economic situation. Joel Dullroy is editor of the forthcoming e-book “Independents unite! Inside the freelancers’ movement”, which follows the different groups which are building this new social infrastructure by learning from recent political uprisings, using social media tactics and start-up growth concepts.
The proportion of freelancers in the workforce has increased dramatically in recent years, driven by the pull factor of technological enabling, and the push factor of corporate squeezing. While some see freelancing as a liberating utopia, others are discovering the downsides of being an isolated individual in an exploitative economy.
As the number of freelancers grows, so too does the urgency of creating a movement to improve their social, political and economic situation. Already several groups have emerged in different countries, seeking to bring together freelancers, part-time contract workers, entrepreneurs, interns and other unrepresented individuals in a unified body.
These freelancers’ movements are learning from recent political uprisings, such as the Occupy movement and the Pirate Party. They are also borrowing tactics from the startup world to build lean structures that distribute work and make aggressive use of social media communication channels. And they are making use of existing infrastucture, such as the network of coworking spaces, which can act as the political meeting houses of this demographic.
In Germany, the movement is represented by the Verband der Gründer und Selbständigen Deutschland, an association that formed in the wake of the Merkel government’s attempt to impose a €400 monthly flat tax on freelancers to pay for their retirement. The VGSD is now teaming up with other European freelance bodies to create an EU-wide campaign for better political recognition.
Joel Dullroy is the international representative of the German freelancers’ movement. He is also a freelance journalist and co-founder of the coworking search portal Deskwanted.com. Currently he is editing an e-book entitled “Independents unite! Inside the freelancers’ movement”, which follows the different groups involved in this fast-developing social shift. This presentation will give a summary of the book's findings.
Writing the Freelancers' Rights Movement e-book. Host of Radio Spätkauf - The Berlin Podcast. http://www.radiospaetkauf.com bio from Twitter
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