Advancing Decent Work in The
Platform Economy


23 September 2020

The purpose of this interactive event organized on Zoom was to convene diverse stakeholders to share insights and brainstorm ways forward to better address decent work in the digital economy, particularly with respect to platforms that provide ‘gig’ work.

The two-and-a-half-hour workshop brought together experts and advocates to tease out critical issues with respect to promoting decent work in the platform economy. During the event, the following three broad and interrelated regulatory challenges were explored. First, the question of what are the data governance challenges with respect to worker data, for workers and for regulators? Second, the question of what elements of antitrust/competition policy needs to be addressed to create space for platform business models that support decent work? Third, the issue of labor and employment law challenges, and where do our industrial relations frameworks need updating for platform work? 

Moreover, this multi-stakeholder exchange brought together experts, advocates, platform workers, labor organizers, and practitioners from all over the world to think through new approaches to regulating platform work, connecting the dots between the data governance, competition policy, and labor law challenges for a holistic approach to the digital economy and platform work. Furthermore, the conference provided the space for smaller working groups to share knowledge and strategies about their working experience.

This event was organized by Open Society Foundations in collaboration with Cornell ILR Worker Institute.


8:00 ET Welcome & Rules of engagement

8:10 ET Keynote speech: Regulatory challenges from worker perspective Debra Weddall, National Secretary, Rideshare Drivers Network (Australia)

8:20 ET – 8:50 ET Panel discussion: Platform Workers’ rights & policy challenges – What’s the way forward?


The panel was moderated by Edward Ongweso, Journalist Vice.

9:00 ET Breakout sessions  

Breakout 1:  Role of worker organizations in data governance – Moderated by Bama AthreyaResearch Fellow, Open Society Foundations (Massachusetts)

Breakout 2:  Role of government in data stewardship for decent work – Moderated by Laine Romero Alston, Team Manager, Open Society Foundations (New York)

Breakout 3:  Changing competition policy to enable decent work – Moderated by Edward Ongweso, Journalist, Vice (Massachusetts)

Breakout 4:  Updating labour and employment law for the digital economy – Moderated by Maria Figueroa, Director, Labor and Policy Research, Cornell University (New York)

10:00 ET – 10:20 ET Debrief & Closing


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Keynote speech - Regulatory challenges from platform workers' perspective

Panel discussion – Platform workers’ rights and policy challenges


Maria Figueroa, Director, Labor and Policy Research at Cornell University


Read about the key event take aways in a though-provoking article written by Bama Athreya and Ben Wray

Decent Work in the Digital Economy: Is Data the Key?

Check out the following report based on the discussions that took place at
Reshaping Work Onward event on 23 September 2020, written by
Jovana Karanović, Bama Athreya and Maria C. Figueroa

Discussion Report – Advancing Decent Work in the Platform Economy

In collaboration with