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Is the Future of Work Stuck in the Past?

Here’s an interesting and thoughtful piece from the National Freelancers Union. More people are talking about the new, freelance workforce (also known as the “gig economy”), but rarely from the point of view of those freelance workers themselves. Read on to get the union’s take on this tendency, particularly in academia:

Is the Future of Work Stuck in the Past?

This article is reproduced with the permission of the Freelancers Union partner, Trupo.

antique carAlmost 25 years ago, Freelancers Union was formed to cater to the needs of a growing independent workforce – one that didn’t have a mechanism to help everyone come together, pool resources, and advocate for their rights.

Now, roughly 56.7 million – one in three – Americans reported freelancing last year, contributing $1 trillion to the economy. Naturally, the rise of the gig economy, coworking spaces, and terms like “permalance” spark discussions and panels around the future of work.

Unfortunately, more often than not, Future of Work conversations focus on the impact on businesses rather than individual workers. Over a nice catered lunch, attendees are given advice on how businesses should market to the new workforce as consumers, and most recently, how technology and automation will affect business profitability and the labor force.

Notably absent from the talks are the middle-class workers directly shaping the future. These events happen at think tanks and academic institutions, fueled by an influx of philanthropic funding. Yes, they can lead to some interesting solutions for potential challenges the workforce could face, but they’re not coming from the people who are most affected by the changing work structure and economy. In fact, “The Future of Work” takeaways are often radically disconnected from the needs of American workers.

Read the rest of this article on the Freelancers Union blog.

 

Happy February! A Health Update and Some New Events

Happy February, all! I’m delighted to report that I am basically in remission from my pemphigus (what’s pemphigus? Click here to find out!) and, with the exception of some sensitivity in my tongue, am out of the woods. I got a thumbs up from my doctor a few days ago and am slowly being withdrawn from one of my two immuno-suppressant drugs.

To celebrate this milestone, we’ll be hosting a Coffee at Cafe Nero networking event on Tuesday, February 18 at 2:00 pm. It’s been a while since I’ve been up to hosting events, so I hope you’ll join us to relax, to network and to celebrate! Click here for more information and to register

 

Founders over 55 Graphic
There is one other event I’d like you all to know about. There’s a wonderful organization for older entrepreneurs who establish businesses. Appropriately, it’s called Founders over 55 and they’ll be hosting a Meetup on Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 pm. The location will be the Venture Cafe at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square.

Founders over 55 describes itself this way:

“We are a collegial community of encore entrepreneurs (first-timers, serial, solopreneurs, et al) who come together to help each other build great companies.

We are dedicated to exploring and supporting the unique needs of founders who believe our age is an asset, not a stigma.  The Club connects you to people and resources to help you along your journey: to kickstart a new venture, get access to capital/collaborators/customers, manage and mentor multigenerational teams, balance work/life/health/wealth, keep current with skills and trends, and frame a counter-narrative to ageism.

Above all, we celebrate you, and all the founders who bring their unique lifelong experiences and wisdom to the wild ride of launching and growing an enterprise.

We got the ball rolling with two enthusiastic well-attended meetups thanks to generous support from AGENCY: Worldwide Innovation for Living Longer & Aging Better (coworking space and business support for companies focused aging & longevity at the CIC: Cambridge Innovation Center) and with the VentureCafe (a weekly gathering of innovators across all sectors and stages every Thursday night at CIC’s worldwide).”

This event is free and you can register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/founders-over-55-club-meetup-3-block-buster-workshop-tickets-91232660343

I hope you can join us for one or both events. More events will be coming soon, so stay tuned!