Digitisation – some general questions

A presentation under the title

‘Gig Sharing Economy’: Value Chains or Poverty Chains – Challenges posed by Digitisation in the Context of Globalisation

is now published. The presentation does not go into much details but aims on ventilating some general issues of a specific strand of digitisation, namely sharing economy, gig and cooperative economy and the like.

The presentation [i] explores a little bit the context of globalisaiton, [ii] considers the wider framework of reshaping capitalism and the composition of capital and [iii] looks at different classificatory aspects of the ‘new economies’.

It is part of my work at the moment, and further information may be found for instance via the following links:



Talking yesterday in ChangSha about academia, and a life committed to it also in terms of a political obligation, it is today about contributing to the

Summit for Global Solidarity

you may also see it as real G20-meeting – real as it is reality that we need alternative approaches to the worlds pressing problems and great opportunities.

Attac’s Academic Council contributes with various workshops, one of them looking the Digital Platforms.

In German language my contribution during a workshop – and below some more detailed description. In a few days, a more extensive, and more academic presentation will be posted in English language.

follow also the two projects

Is it really about Industry 4.0.?

Wandel des Wirtschaftens – Wandel des Rechts. Forschungsskizze zu Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik

BEITRAG zum WIRKLICHEN G20-Treffen, dem


[Aus der Programmankuendigung]

„Digitale Plattformen“, „sharing economy“, „crowd working“ sind neue Begriffe, an die sich Hoffnungen, aber auch Sorgen knüpfen. Laptops, Tablets und Smartphones revolutionieren die Arbeitswelt – tun sie das, und wenn ja, wie? Im Workshop soll unter Beteiligung von Prof. Peter Herrmann diskutiert werden, ob und wie sich unser (nicht nur Arbeits-) Alltag durch diese Digitalisierung verändern könnte und wie wir darauf reagieren.

Dieser Beitrag speziell versucht, die Änderungen der Kapitalstruktur herauszuarbeiten – die Schlussfolgerung ist einfach: Vergesellschaften anstatt Teilen.

On studying, teaching, responsibility … and a bit on economy and economics

Students at Bangor College China asked me for an interview – some would say it is about god and the world – but that is not really an appropriate wording when it comes to talking with an atheist about studying, teaching and responsibility, is it?

It may well be of interests to a wider audience — trying to make sense of studying today. And it surely links to many other statements made on various occasions of looking for firm grounds in a world of flux.

The students:

采访:李雨欣 彭博 龚佳亮 刘佳浩



academics making life difficult ?

Making life difficult by complicated, complex thoughts …! – This is the image academics have the bear with quite often – the absent-minded professor is the common proposition.

So the scene:
Imagine there is a train station, you receive a mail message on the phone and it is important enough to receive immediate attention: you want to download it on your tablet, allowing you to work on the issue while travelling. Free internet available as service of the train station, so you try … the annoying process of registration (big data needed, even from a small aunt like you)  … the connection fails … – well, that’s life and you have to assess the text (some peer reviewing) later, other work to do during the train journey.
Sitting in the train, a few minutes later, a mail on your phone tells you the user name, different from the one sent via SMS.
As you are still in the area of the train station  you want to connect … – big data, all is connected in the global village … – but now you are required to register for another network, not the train station int the railway company …, of course registration is free, zero marginality, the time you spent doesn’t count, i.e. the value of your time is considered to be equal to zero. Curiosity lets you do stupid things – so you register again, fail again …

… The voice out of the speaker reminds you in a very clear, not to say sharp and loud – voice: keep your mobile phones low level, don’t upset your neighbours … – pick and choose, the announcement is made n different languages, all in the clear and loud voice:


Isn’t this something that has to bring the day’s trinity to my mind, the one is the presentation heard earlier, dealing with data robbery and the working customer as new type of consumer, and the Un(der)paid Innovators: The Commercial Utiliza- tion of Consumer Work through Crowdsourcing.

The other thing coning to mind is a phone call made earlier, chatting with a Hungarian friend about the near-to-impossibility of living globally in a narrow-minded world where national sentiments are put higher than moral sentiments, even conflating them under the hegemonic meaning of the idea of a “commonwealth” of the Wealth of the Nations.
The dream you still have and of which you receive with all this the confirmation that it is a dream, something you just imagine, thus being a bit interpreting the world without (having the power to) changing things.

Escaping the world of dreams, of the supposed holiness of the trinity capturing your mind, you add a fourth element (which actually leaves father, son and Holy Spirit behind, overcoming them): a beautiful day, a beautiful landscape through which you pass, and possibly some readers from different countries wondering if this is a story that happened in the “own” country, wherever this might be … and where the only “academic” to the little tale was that the train left exactly 15 minutes later than scheduled – the academic quarter. – Perhaps to is not about academics making life complicated but the injustice of a narrow-minded system, extremely “diversified” = uncoordinated by privatisation, a world that  suggests sharing as means of encapsulating (within) large “social networks” that loose their democratic dynamics.