InGRID Winter School

Will we all end up self-employed if digital platforms continue to spread? What are the working conditions of digital workers, and who are they? Do they use platforms like AirBnb and Task Rabbit to earn a full-time income or as a secondary source?

These were some of the questions that were debated at the latest InGRID Winter School on the theme “From Uber to Amazon Mechanical Turk: Non-traditional labour markets driven by technological and organisational change”. The two-and-a-half-day event, organised in the context of the CEPS project on “Integrating Expertise in Inclusive Growth, brought together scholars to understand the impact of the so-called 'on-demand' or 'sharing' economy on the labour market.

A special session was devoted to local transport, which has been particularly resistant to the penetration of innovation. It is in this sector that the existence of platforms like Uber and Lyft, combined with driverless cars, can have a significant impact on urban life and the environment in a not-too-distant future, without necessarily destroying jobs. Private individual drivers might well disappear, but more jobs would be created in the manufacturing sector as a consequence of more intensive car use.

In this year’s Winter School, an innovative way to engage participants – beyond the presentation of their research – took the form of the 'Policy Hackathon'. Divided into three teams, participants worked to find ‘hacks’ (unorthodox, innovative, ‘cool’ solutions) to three challenges: i) a fair MTurk?, ii) a company of the future and iii) a fair taxation of Airbnb services?

Download the presentations at the Winter School, as well as the descriptions and solutions proposed during the Hackathon simulation exercise here.