Digital Kontrovers! #12: The platform economy – a curse or a blessing for the global South?
DK #12 explores whether digital platforms create job prospects in the global South or lead to precarious employment.
We all encounter multinational companies like Amazon, Uber and Airbnb on a near daily basis. They use digital platforms to sell goods and services around the world. Accessing these global digital marketplaces is easy enough: all you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.
And digital platforms also have something to offer those seeking work: New opportunities for income are created through digital platforms and online orders. Cloud-based services can be provided from anywhere in the world.
Some observers go further, pointing to the fact that digital platforms can also help economically disadvantaged groups to generate income. And, they argue, digital platforms preserve anonymity, helping combat discrimination. In the light of all this, digital platforms appear to offer unprecedented opportunities for employment in the global South in particular.
But what initially looks like economic inclusion can in practice lead to precarious employment. Most individuals working on these platforms have no social security or pension insurance, and many are poorly paid for the work they do.
We explore the scope for managing the platform economy in a way that respects individuals and their rights. How can we avoid individuals becoming digital day labourers? And how can development cooperation support sustainable business models and fair work with prospects?
A tech issue. Two guests from opposite perspectives. Clashing opinions. That is the exciting concept behind Digital Kontrovers!
Our guests this time are Adél Holdampf-Wendel of Bitkom and Elvis Melia from the German Development Institute’s Transformation of Economic and Social Systems programme.
Venue and time:
GIZ Representation Berlin
Monday, 2 December 2019 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm