The Future of Work: The Conversation Continues...

February 17th, 2017
by The People Who Share
By Clare Kandola

Back at the end of 2016, we held the first of a two-part workshop looking at the future of work. To be honest, it was intended as single event, but such was the interest in the topic - and the scale and quality of output from the session - that we were compelled to build on the great work with a follow up session. 

The earlier session (covered in the What Does the Future of Work Hold for Us All? blog from 12 December) established the five key tenets to form the foundations of our recommendations for working in the Sharing Economy: 

1. Information, classification and clarification on what it means to work in the Sharing Economy

2. Principles and ethics underpinning working in the Sharing Economy

3. Incentives to attract and empower workers to join the Sharing Economy

4. Support and security to protect those whose work drives the Sharing Economy

5. Inclusion and engagement for all in the Sharing Economy, focused on: 

  • participation
  • schools
  • community
  • citizens

Returning to the subject fresh and revitalised in January 2017, our second workshop contained another diverse representation from the sector. We continued to explore the themes of the five key tenets, but now with the focus on what these tenets represent, how they apply to workers, and the future for both people and society. The result was a wide ranging discourse covering all the questions, concerns and opportunities our working groups (pun intended!) want addressing. We've noted them all and will be exploring the issues in detail over the coming months as part of our coverage of the Future of Work. You can now find updates and information on our dedicated Future of Work page and join the conversation.

But how could we reword all this into a clear, cohesive and workable manifesto that reflects the value of our social currency whilst representing our new systems of working? 

We (as workers, entrepreneurs, academics, parents and architects of change) considered and agreed how to best reflect our vision of the future of work and the issues we believe need to be considered by business, legislators, the media and workers themselves.


Our Manifesto for the Future of Work: 

1. Ensure clear identification and classification of the agents of work; platforms, access points and participants within the Sharing Economy. Ensuring that platforms and business act as facilitators for worker participation, not as employers. Workers want trust and integrity from the platforms they engage with, ensuring flexible access for those who wish to utilize and purchase their services. 

2. Provide clarity on the shared values that represent principles and ethics of working in the Sharing Economy. Building an economy based on trust and that offers efficiency of resource, commonality of goals, a community of participants, and ensures sustainability for the future. 

3. Create stability through incentives. Ensuring that workers are offered the necessary tools to support new ways of flexible working, collectivisation of resources (new style co-operatives), and upstreaming change to refocus services towards workers' need rather than supplier convenience (i.e. annualising bills to allow flexible payment schedules). 

4. Provide support and protection with fairness and transparency. Enabling ownership of the Self, particularly in regards to data. Ensuring access and portability of digital profiles to benefit workers, service providers and consumers in a balanced and fair way. The democratisation of reputation and value. 

5. Develop cross-community inclusion and engagement. Changing the societal mindset to one of conscious caring to ensure access for all through inter-generational interaction. From our schools and educational institutions, through to ensuring inclusive approaches to community living in our streets. 

Does this resonate with you? Is this a workable blueprint for future workers? We'd love to hear your thoughts, and for our fellow Sharers to contribute to this live debate around our collective future.

We will be posting further discussion pieces and continue our dialogue with the industry, RSA and other organisations actively involved in providing for the future of work. Please do email us at's to a workable future for all!