Point-Counterpoint: Digital Technology and Work, Working Arrangements and Workers’ Well-Being
Mon, 05/21/2018 – Tue, 05/22/2018

Audience: General Public (Attendance is limited for this two-day event.) 
Registration: CLOSED
Questions: Email techwork2018@gmail.com  

3rd Annual Conference of Rutgers-Renmin Center for Global Work and Employment 


Recent advances in digital technology, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, online platforms, and social/mobile/wearable media, have triggered polarized debates on their impacts on work, employment, labor, business, and society. Is a revolution underway or is everything old new again? Will robotics and artificial intelligence lead to mass unemployment or create more jobs? Are the emerging digital technologies fundamentally changing the nature of work and how it is managed and blurring the lines of employment? Will a growing portion of the labor force become the digital precariat or the empowered freelancer? Are traditional labor unions adapting or giving way to new forms of worker representation in the new digital era? Will digital technology transform the dynamics, patterns, and structure of organizations and the way of doing business? Is digital technology a tool of liberation that makes work easier and facilitates collective action or a tool of oppression that strengthens monitoring and surveillance and threatens privacy and dignity? How should public policies maximize opportunities from emerging digital technologies while minimizing their negative impacts? Should we focus on regulating digital technology, strengthening social protections, providing universal basic income, or developing employee or citizen ownership?

Join us for this two-day conference to explore these timely and fascinating issues with leading scholars and practitioners including:

  • Ifeoma Ajunwa: Professor, Cornell University, and author of the forthcoming book, The Quantified Worker, examining the role of technology in the workplace and its effects on management practices. 
  • Christiane Benner: Vice President, IG Metall, Germany’s largest trade union; author of publications on crowdworkers; and a specialist in digital transformation and the world of work.
  • Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld: Professor, Brandeis University; Past President of LERA; and co-author of the book, Designing Reality: How to Survive and Thrive in the Third Digital Revolution.
  • Madeleine Clare Elish: cultural anthropologist, Intelligence & Autonomy Initiative, Data & Society Research Institute.
  • Cynthia Estlund: Professor, New York University School of Law and author of the book, A New Deal for Chinese Workers, and “What should we do after work: Automation and Employment Law” (forthcoming Yale Law Journal).
  • Susan Helper is the Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She was formerly Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce and a member of the White House Staff. She has served as chair of the Economics Department, and has been a visiting scholar at University of Oxford, the University of California (Berkeley), Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research focuses on the globalization of supply chains, and on how U.S. manufacturing might be revitalized. Dr. Helper received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.
  • Michelle Miller: Co-Founder and Co-Director, coworker.org.
  • Brishen Rogers: Professor, Temple University School of Law; author of articles about Uber and the Platform Economy; and now working on a book, Rethinking the Future of Work: Law, Technology, and Economic Citizenship (forthcoming).
  • Noam Scheiber: Labor and workplace reporter, New York Times, and author of The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery.
  • Trebor Scholz: Professor, New School of Social Research; author of the book, Uber-Worked and Underpaid. How Workers Are Disrupting the Digital Economy; and Co-Editor of Ours to Hack and to Own: Platform Cooperativism. A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet.
  • Andy Stern: Former President, Service Employees International Union and author of the book, Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream.
  • Alan Wild: Vice President HR, Employee Relations and Engagement, IBM, and author of books on employee relations and business advocacy.
  • Mike Wing: former Vice President, Strategic & Executive Communications, IBM. For 21 years he helped shape IBM’s thought leadership and the strategic direction of its communications, including counsel to three IBM CEOs. He crafted IBM’s vision of the globally integrated enterprise, Smarter Planet and Cognitive Business.
  • Todd Wolfson: Professor, Rutgers University, and author of the book, Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left.


Download the event agenda

Download our speakers' bios


Registration for this event is closed. 

If you have questions about this event, email techwork2018@gmail.com

Conference Organizers

  • Mingwei Liu, Associate Professor, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University
  • Wilma Liebman, Guest Lecturer, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University and Former Chairman, U.S. National Labor Relations Board
  • Qingjun Wu, Associate Professor, School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China

The Center for Global Work & Employment explores the consequences of increased transnational competition for labor markets, employment relations and workplace conflicts around the world. In tracking the changing governance of work, it engages with strategic responses by businesses, workers and public authorities. The center is part of the interuniversity "Better Work" network.