The Future of Work We Seek: A Philanthropic Agenda for Workers And the Digital Economy

Digitalization is rapidly changing the economic landscape. Advances in platformization and AI have thrown up a range of new realities to contend with respect to the future of work and workers’ rights. ‘Gigification’ and servicification of multiple sectors has proliferated non-standard employment arrangements and created new regulatory vacuums. The steady automation of manufacturing value chains is leading to the elimination of many remunerative job segments. The use of IoT and real-time data in traditional sectors such as agriculture is restructuring the role of labor within these crucial sectors. The onset of the pandemic has only further accelerated the digitalization wave of global value chains


IT for Change, with support from the Ford Foundation, undertook an ambitious landscape study that focused on the impact of digital technologies on work and workers. The study spanned across sectors and geographies, to assess key issues across regions and develop actionable insights to aid the philanthropic sector’s decision-making and programmatic agenda in this domain, with the goal of ensuring a just and equitable future for all workers.


The report contains in-depth analysis culled from over 100 informants’ views through interviews and roundtables, supplemented by detailed background research and regional case studies. It also provides a critical assessment of current philanthropic approaches and their shortcomings, as well as an alternative framework and concrete proposals for novel initiatives.


Do a deep dive: If you have 60-75 minutes, read our full report

Take a quick look: If you have under 10 minutes, skim the highlights in our executive summary or check out this deck of key messages.


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