The digital transition and the growth of the collaborative universe

The business sector and corporate responsibility will also have to respond to the new demands of the techno-digital paradigm.

The digital transition implies, as we know, the existence of broadband infrastructures, the promotion of a widespread digital culture made up of technological platforms, social networks and interactive communication systems, programming and software with open access, start-ups and business models. open.

The collaborative universe, in turn, includes a wide range of common and shared services: collaborative consumption of idle resources, social production by peers, services shared by user communities, participatory financing, common spaces for creative creation. , collaborative learning and training, the use of creative currencies, among many other collaborative economy endeavors.

This extensive area of ​​the shared commons economy is, for the time being, a mirage, as the popular and cognitive capitalism of the knowledge society is far from having reached its cruising speed.

What we have at the moment is the capitalist gigantism of the great technological conglomerates GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and NATU (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla, Uber) and the unbridled race of small start-up companies that seek to arrive as quickly as possible. to the condition of unicorns (billion dollar appreciation) to be sold and make a fortune quickly.

In any case, the ongoing digital transition is already causing the dematerialization and disintermediation of the commercial and institutional/administrative areas and the public administration sector, in particular, will undergo a profound reorganization and many of its routine activities will be transferred directly to customers/ users operating online on digital devices through collaborative and cooperative sharing operations and procedures.

The same can be said of the large sector of social solidarity that can be awarded by associations with different statutes, of the environment and circular economy sector and, also, the sector of cooperation and development with third countries.

To these sectors, let us add two large areas with a very impressive cosmopolitan brand, education and scientific and technological research and the entire sector of creative and cultural activities, not to mention the volunteer work that usually accompanies many of these activities.

On the political-administrative level, we know that the conventional capitalist economy socialized the losses and privatized the benefits. Now, with the digital transition, there is a lot of room for the growth of collaborative goods co-produced in distributed networks and platforms and in online communities and, this time, it remains to be seen what portion is internalized by the collaborative universe in the set of already famous negative external effects that the State socialized through the taxpayer and bureaucratized through the public administration. This is, perhaps, the most pertinent question we can ask at this time, as I am sure that the collaborative universe will grow unstoppably.

Moreover, in the rear of this long-range movement the signs are already there. The Welfare State, for reasons of debt and financial sustainability, will increasingly reduce public employment, replacing civil servants by co-producing services and outsourcing services.

The social and solidarity economy (IPSS), due to a contraction in public subsidies, will reduce social employment and many of its functions will be outsourced to the local communities of the collaborative universe. The private economy, due to automation and competition in global markets, will reduce conventional employment and outsource many tasks that will be offered by the outsourcing economy to which many workers will be transferred on an intermittent and freelance basis, as is the case of the large sector. of cultural and creative activities.

In turn, the start-up movement will incubate numerous business projects and many will be on hold waiting for a second opportunity.

The evolution of this collaborative universe will go through several phases. In a first phase, on the margins of the established system, in the form of social and environmental responsibility, it will be a kind of intensive care yard, a huge turntable through which the disinherited of luck, the more adventurous, those who are in step with waiting and, also, a good part of this cosmopolitan nomadism in search of new experiences. In a second moment, in a more organized way, as digital natives and technological and social entrepreneurs take control of the situation in their own hands, with much less state economy and much more shared and collaborative economy.

In this context, the great innovation of the collaborative universe is the increase in effectiveness and efficiency introduced by the digital transformation in areas that are usually institutionalized and bureaucratized, but also the return of social responsibility to citizens and civil society, that is, we can promote deindustrialization and substantially reduce the social bureaucracies that come from the last century.

Final Notes

Everything leads us to believe that the techno-digital transition will lead us to a society of very diverse and flexible socio-labor regimes, some on a part-time basis, others on a freelance basis, others still in a contributory and collaborative regime, under many formats and conditions. , if we like, a society where the individual produces himself.

In other words, when we move from employment to employability and from work to the provision of services, we are truly revolutionizing the employment and work market, that is, we are preparing a field of culture where professional profiles are cultivated with the objective of increasing employability and not leaving anyone behind while looking for an occupation that best matches your expectations.

If we are able to understand and practice this structural innovation in the labor and collaborative universe, we will be facing a real revolution in the markets and active employment policies.

Firstly, the current bipolarization of the world of work can be unblocked, secondly, macjobs and intermittent work will be welcome, thirdly, vocational, technical and higher education institutions will be able to practice a policy of open and facilitate the best employability and training regime, fourthly, all these occupational profiles, once validated by public authorities within the scope of a flexicurity regime, will guarantee a fundamental right to social protection beyond the mere working condition at any given time , finally, the revision of tax law will promote and facilitate the best multi-activity and multi-income regime in the context of intermittent work and independent work.

Finally, the business sector and corporate responsibility will also have to respond to the new demands of the techno-digital paradigm, especially with regard to the new ESG certification metrics (environmental, social and corporate responsibility), which include good circular economy practices, new flexible working regimes and areas of good corporate governance.