Networking for the Emancipation of Labour

Supported by transform! europe, Transnational Institute, Networked Politics and IGOPNet, an international seminar on Networked Labour was held in Amsterdam from 7 to 9 May.

Around 25 activists, practitioners, researchers and theorists from various networks , organisations and backgrounds came together to contribute to the on-going debates on the changing nature of the capitalist modes of production, linking it to emerging new social forces and political actors.
The program of the seminar was constructed in an open sourced way. The ‘code’ draft program was designed and shared online prior to the event. According to it, the focus was the impact of internet and telecommunication on production modes, work organisation, and political protest and organisation.
Michel Bauwens, one of the participants, formulated the underlying question of the seminar “How to take labour out of the market?”. Participants from the Netherlands, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria and the US have built a collective and collaborative space in which labour and possibilities for its emancipation from contemporary capitalism were re-thought openly and creatively.
The first day of the seminar was devoted to get to know each other. Informal chats sparked lively interactions during the opening lunch. Participants agreed to start with introductory rounds with a focus on participants’ current work and interests. The participants were asked to provide one question or issue to be further discussed in the following days (Find on the right a document with the main items resulting from the two introduction rounds).

At the end of the day, four thematic clusters were formulated: New value creation and production practices, new subjectivities, new organisational forms, issues related to state-regulation-power.
On the second day the debate started with a discussion addressing the new value creation practices. Michel Bauwens, Jakob Rigi and Marco Berlinguer gave the opening interventions. Each intervention was followed by an open debate. The next cluster was on new subjectivities. Richard Barbrook, Melissa Gregg, and Phoebe Moore made presentations to start up the round. To open up the third session Sol Trumbo, Paolo Gerbaudo, and Peter Waterman made their interventions.   
The third day started with issues related to state, power and regulation. Robin Murray and Selcuk Balamir gave the opening presentations, and Michel Bauwens reacted by providing a template for governing the global commons, including labour. The final session was dedicated to talk about “what is to be done!” – in order to draw a road map to continue with the fruitful production.
Further steps were identified to carry the ideas and energies coming out from the seminar into our daily practices, research, organisational efforts and activism. A concrete accessible publication has been drafted and ideas have been collected to improve the website as an open platform which would ideally serve as an effective tool for the continuation of exchange and spreading its outcomes.  
The spirits of Networked Politics encounters were back!

For announcement and program click here.