In recent years, the labour market has been marked by the rise of AI and data-driven technologies that have enabling the platform to become a market-leading a model of organisation. The economic aim of the platform is to profit through the infrastructure that they have created, extending the logic of capital to commodify activities and networks that were previously outside the market space. Platforms tend to scale rapidly beyond national boundaries and regulations, which many take advantage of to drive down labour costs, undermining hard-won social protections for workers. The Fairwork project aims to counter the power of platform capital by highlighting the best and worst management practices while advocating for more a more just and sustainable working life.
About the Speaker:
Matthew Cole is a postdoctoral research fellow at Oxford University in the Oxford Internet Institute working on the Fairwork project. Fairwork is committed to highlighting best and worst practices in the emerging platform economy by evaluating platforms against global measures of fairness. Beyond the project, his academic interests are interdisciplinary, revolving around the political economy and sociology of work and technology. Recent research has involved themes such as the social shaping of the platform economy, trade union responses to digitalisation, the politics of inequality and policy development aimed at creating a more just society. Drawing on various disciplines, his approach to research is grounded in political economy, yet multi-level, using qualitative methods to link the micro to the macro.
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