On 3-5 November 2022, I was at the department of Sociology of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) for the 5th INDL conference “Features and Futures of Digital Labor”. The conference was co-organized by us (the DiPLab project at the Polytechnic Institute of Paris) together with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Workers.
The INDL (International Network on Digital Labor) project started as ENDL (the “E” standing for “European”) 5 years ago with an inaugural meeting in Paris. Since then, it has expanded internationally, and its members organized larger conferences in Paris (2019), Toronto (2019), Milan (2020, online), and Edinburgh (2021, online). INDL’s conference in Athens was the first in-person meeting since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The key idea behind the creation of INDL, and the organization of these conferences, is that digital labor is central to the digital transformation of society. Despite its pervasiveness, though, the ways it is inscribed in the current organization of production and the state remain elusive. Different fields of the social and economic sciences, political theory, law, and philosophy have attempted to capture its distinctive attributes. The group’s initiatives contribute to this conversation by mapping the new working environments and fostering dialogue around the nature of digital work and the possible futures that academic research may help bring about.