Alternative Work Arrangements

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted–and hastened–changes not just to how we work, but the structural configurations of the job market. Not only have jobs disappeared across the globe (one study suggests that 42 percent of US jobs will never return), the jobs that remain are of a different nature. I am interested in short-term and task-based work among both blue- and white-collar workers, much of which is done through platforms. Many have suggested that these workers are vulnerable; but it is increasingly apparent that there are also those who prefer task-based work. This is in part for the flexibility such work offers, and because choosing tasks and employers allows workers to pursue their passions.

Keywords: gig economy, gig work, freelance, future of work, platforms

Collective Intelligence

AI has been described as a “Management Revolution”, and it is thought that up to 47 percent of today’s jobs are at risk. But this presents only half of the picture: digital tools don’t just automate, they also augment, creating new jobs like “data detective” and “Chief Trust Officer”. Collective Intelligence, which is when digital tools—like AI—make us smarter and more effective, is what results.

Keywords: AI, machine learning, platforms, future of work, augmentation, hybridity

Digital Entrepreneurship

Stockholm has emerged as a hotspot of tech entrepreneurship, particularly when it comes to FinTech entrepreneurship. One oft-cited enabler is the “hem-pc-reformen”, home PC reform, which allowed families to deduct the cost of a PC from their taxes. Once the technology was in place, Swedish society took over, turning budding tech enthusiasts into tech entrepreneurs through a combination of financial, human and social capital that is hard to replicate.

Keywords: fintech, entrepreneurship, startup, finance, crowdfunding, venture capital, social capital

Social Capital, Trust and Inclusion

Sweden is known internationally as a “high trust” society. One of the main consequences of these high levels of trust is that it is easy to do business, make arrangements, and create value with others within the society. However, the high trust is built on social capital: usually only those who are “inside” the society recognise it and benefit from it. After many years as an “outsider” in Sweden, and extensive ethnographic work in both business and entrepreneurship circles, I believe that inclusion and high levels of trust are not incompatible—and make Sweden what it is today.

Keywords: inclusion, social capital, trust, Sweden, entrepreneurship

Stacked Value Creation

Stacked value creation strategies not only allow for innovation, they can promote sustainability. At its core, digital infrastructures can be used to enable organisations and individuals to “stack” knowledge, networks and competence on top of their existing capabilities. In practice, digital platforms and ecosystems provide a base upon which both new applications and new skills can be developed, for instance through platform ecosystems. Platforms also make it easier to connect—and match—supply and demand, as in the sharing and gig economy. However, there is a trade-off: an infrastructure has to be open enough to guarantee value capture for all involved, but not so open that it spins out of control.

Keywords: circular economy, innovation ecosystems, platforms, gig economy, sharing, sustainability, leadership, future of work

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