IFTF Fellowship to Help Create a Positive Gig Economy

Teams in Ireland, Italy, Spain and the U.S. awarded fellowships to tackle challenges and seize opportunities of on-demand economy

Institute for the Future awarded four fellowships to teams across the world to work on projects aimed at protecting workers in the on-demand economy while ensuring start-ups and investors remain profitable. The projects range from connecting people with disabilities to employers, to creating a platform model that combines the worker protections found in co-ops with the flexibility inherent in existing high-growth platforms.

These projects grew out of IFTF’s Positive Platforms Design Jam, held Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2016 at its Palo Alto headquarters and at IFTF affiliates around the world. During the Design Jam, participants brainstormed ideas to tackle the unique issues presented by the platform economy as described in IFTF’s report Work, Interrupted: The New Labor Economics of Platforms.

Participants were invited to submit proposals and a panel of experts selected the following four projects out of 24 proposals submitted to develop further:

  • Chiara Agamennone, Daniele Bucci, Marta Mainieri and Valeria Loreto of Milan, Italy. Their project, “Mapping Positive Platforms Identity,” aims to develop guidelines and a common language for what defines a positive platform.
  • Denise Cheng, Matt Schaefer and Joshua Danielson of the United States. Their project, “Recruiting Worker-Owners to Loconomics Co-operative, an Existing Positive Platform,” will research the psychology behind skepticism about joining co-ops and test a new marketing campaign to recruit people to co-ops, using Loconomics, an early stage platform co-op, as a benchmark for the effectiveness of the campaign.
  • David Pollard, Jim Hyde and Reuben Jayawardene of Dublin, Ireland. Their project, “Getting Learners into Direct Employment Platforms,” aims to create an information and jobs platform to link jobseekers with disabilities, anywhere, with real-time employers and relevant support workers.
  • Ana Manzandeo and Alicia Trepat of Barcelona, Spain. Their project, “Hybridizing Platform Co-ops with Open Participatory Networks: Building a Framework for Positive Platforms,” will focus on creating a platform governance framework that combines the worker security and rights of co-ops with the flexibility and adaptability of open participatory networks.

Press Release »
History of the Fellowship: IFTF’s Positive Platforms Design Jam »