The gig economy has gone global.
One-stop online shopping in Africa? Check out on Jumia.
Need a car in Lagos or Jakarta? Grab a Grab or Bolt.
Need a Taskrabbit in Nairobi? It's called Lynk, & they'll be right with you.
Behind each app is a global workforce of flexible workers, many youth & on low-incomes, & you might not have guessed it, but some are refugees. In all cases, gig work has opened up opportunities for them to make money, have side hustles, & build new digital livelihoods. And this new generation of digitally-savvy workers are also digital consumers, buying online on Instagram or e-commerce sites, using mobile payments, & accessing financial services like digital credit. Some are also running their own online side hustles as informal but highly entrepreneurial merchants using Instagram, Facebook, & WhatsApp.
But the new online jobs markets & commerce platforms, & the startups & tech companies that run them, come with new rules around wages, benefits, & even safety. So, can a gig worker actually make it to the top & earn a higher income with greater stability than before? Or, is it a race to the bottom in a cycle of low-wage & low-skilled digital piece work? When we imagine gig workers trying to make it in the US, or in global growth markets such as East Africa or Southeast Asia, is the gig economy a viable path to a meaningful & prosperous future of work?
Join BFA & Quartz for an evening of insights, discussion, & networking on Thursday, December 5th, from 5:30pm to 9:00pm. Guest will get a preview of our special podcast series by BFA & Quartz about digital platforms, e-commerce, & the future of work.
(Photo credit: Noel Tock www.noeltock.com)