Online – October 5-6-7, 2021

3-day online Global Forum, that gathered 3043 attendees from 85 countries, featuring 387 speakers* presenting through 129 panels in 9 languages. See some highlights in the video below:

This initiative is part of the #DemocratizingWork movement.

The recordings of the sessions are available on this webpage.

You can access the full program here.

* Among other speakers, the Global Forum featured: Jayati Ghosh (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal (Mondragon Corporation), Elizabeth Anderson (University of Michigan), Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics), Katharina Pistor (Columbia University), Ricardo Gutierrez (General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists-EFJ), Carole Pateman (University of California, Los Angeles), Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (IPCC Vice-Chair for AR5), Aurore Lalucq (EU Parliament), Anthony Kwame Appiah (New York University), Tim Jackson, (University of Surrey), and many others.

Agitation: From op-ed to manifesto

On 16 May 2020, the op-ed turned movement, WORK: DEMOCRATIZE, DECOMMODIFY, DECARBONIZE, was published in more than 43 newspapers, in 27 languages, in 36 countries around the world. It has since gathered thousands of signatories – including academics, activists, and people everywhere who believe that “working humans are so much more than resources.”

16 May 2021 marks the first anniversary of the op-ed’s initial publication. Over the course of the past year, the network behind the op-ed has taken shape. The op-ed and the three core principles were developed into a book, Le Manifeste Travail, which was published by Éditions du Seuil in October 2020. In March 2021, a Portuguese version, O Manifesto do Trabalhowas published open access by Lumen Juris. Several other versions of the book are in the process of being completed, including an English version that will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022.

The Democratizing Work manifesto has received significant positive media attention from outlets around the world, and the group of female scholars at its heart have participated in many events, written related articles, and been involved in interviews and podcast recordings, many of which are available here

A year after the release of the op-ed, the three core principles have only become more relevant, and the stakes for workers, and indeed the planet, may be higher than ever.

Innovation: From manifesto to the first Global Forum on Democratizing Work

The first-ever Global Forum on Democratizing Work, on 5–7 October 2021, will allow us to build the future of the #DemocratizingWork movement together, across geographical and disciplinary boundaries.

The Global Forum will gather participants from universities, trade unions, progressive businesses, public institutions, environmental and human rights NGOs, the media. Beyond these communities, activists or concerned citizens who are interested in the message encapsulated in the manifesto is welcome. With such a transdisciplinary exchange of perspectives, we hope to fuel a productive and inclusive learning process about the Manifesto’s principles. Participants will have the opportunity not only to attend sessions with prominent figures whose work focuses on the three core principles (DEMOCRATIZE, DECOMMODIFY, DECARBONIZE), but also to discuss ideas and initiatives in smaller groups, based on common but diverse interests, paving the way towards orchestration.

Orchestration: From ad hoc efforts to an organized #DemocratizingWork movement

To continue the #DemocratizingWork movement, actions must be orchestrated at different levels (continental, national, regional, local) in order to make a significant impact. For this reason, participants from the same country and/or region will have the opportunity to exchange with participants belonging to a diverse set of backgrounds, but united in the commitment to materialise these principles, with the goal of establishing a framework for national and regional action in the aftermath of the Global Forum. 

The Global Forum on Democratizing Work has been developed with a strong participatory dimension in mind: we want you to be involved! You have the opportunity to form your own panels and sessions, involve speakers, and tailor discussions to your own country or region. (The deadline to submit a proposal has expired on 25 July 2021.)

The Global Forum will take place from Tuesday October 5th until Thursday October 7th. Each day will center on one of the three principles of the manifesto – DEMOCRATIZE, DECOMMODIFY, DECARBONIZE – and sessions will be scheduled according to this structure.

These dates have not been chosen randomly: October 7th, 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) organized by the International Trade Union Confederation.

Given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and our aspiration to reach across our planet, the organizing team has decided to set up the Global Forum fully online. This will allow everyone to participate regardless of restrictions and sanitary measures.

We hope that knowing that our movement is gathering steam gives you the strength to continue the crucial work together. We are counting on you to join us!