Beyond the gig economy: opportunities to organise, collaborate and develop new responses to insecure work

Date 24 November 2016
Location Melbourne Metropole Central, Fitzroy, Victoria

Researchers from the UK, New Zealand, Denmark and Australia discussed the consequences of insecure work, existing policy responses and opportunities for collaboration to foster positive change.

Speakers included Professor Rob MacDonald (UK), Professor Alan France (NZ), Professor Lisa Adkins (Aust) and Dr Kraen Blume Jensen (Denmark).

The word 'work' painted on the brick wall of an old building

Image credit: Flickr Anthony Austin

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University of Melbourne Logo
Monash University Logo

This seminar aimed to move beyond simplistic ideas about the changing nature of work to tackle questions of how to ensure economic security for the most disadvantaged in the face of rapid technological, demographic, social, political and economic change. It also included responses from senior figures from civil society, government, unions and business.

Speakers will consider the opportunities to organise, collaborate and develop new responses to precarity and underemployment, based on their understandings of:

  • the experience and impact of labour market change and increased economic insecurity across the life course
  • impacts of current and predicted changes on groups already experiencing labour market disadvantage and economic insecurity
  • government responses to labour market changes and the weakened link between work and economic security.

This event was hosted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the University of Melbourne and Monash University, and moderated by Peter Mares, Contributing Editor of Inside Story and Adjunct Fellow, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology


Professor Shelley Mallett and Dr Dina Bowman, University of Melbourne and Brotherhood of St Laurence 
Fault lines: opportunities and challenges beyond the gig economy (PDF, 2.7 MB)

Professor Rob MacDonald, Teesside University
Youth, precarity and a new age of enterprise? Some comparative, historical reflections from the UK (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Professor Lisa Adkins, University of Newcastle, Australia and Universities of Tampere and Turku, Finland
Abandonment, labour and life in the speculative state (PDF, 218 KB)

Professor Alan France, University of Auckland
Insights from New Zealand on the 'gig' economy (PDF, 69 KB)

Dr Kraen Blume Jensen, Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI), Copenhagen
Beyond the gig economy: insights from Denmark (PDF, 637 KB)

Dr Martina Boese, La Trobe University
Migrant workers at the intersection of variable vulnerabilities (PDF, 326 KB)

For more information, please contact:

Dr Dina Bowman DBowman(at)

Dr Dan Woodman DWoodman(at)

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