Freelancers Are Reinventing Work Through Collective Enterprise

Amid a more volatile global market, “companies don’t want to be locked into providing income security for their workers,” says Gerald Friedman, professor of economics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

This volatility is one of the driving factors behind the freelancers’ collectives cropping up today. But it’s not a new phenomenon. “In the nineteenth century, working class self-help organisations included craftsmen’s guilds, co-operatives, friendly societies and the first unions,” the authors of the “Not Alone” report noted.

In today’s “age of economic insecurity and rapid changes in technology there is now the opportunity to reinvent democratic self-help for the twenty-first century in order to widen participation on a fair basis for all in work,” the report added.

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