In the last ten years, the Internet and other digital Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools have been used to organize dozens, if not hundreds, of social movements. From the WTO protests in Seattle in 2000 to the “viral” text for Haiti mobile-phone-driven fundraising drive of 2010, organizers have employed digital technology tools to catalyze and propel their campaigns.
We believe that these tools can be instrumental in mobilizing labor movements as well. Unions have traditionally been at the forefront of advocating for productive, secure, employment opportunities, which are essential for reducing poverty and advancing sustainable economic and social development. Though labor organizations are beginning to integrate ICT components into their mobilization strategies, many useful lessons in effective ICT use for organizing can be learned outside the labor community.
Next Generation Labor is a website for those interested in understanding new forms of labor and labor organizing, economic democracy and economic justice.
Dr. Chris Benner is an Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development, and Chair of the Community Development and Geography Graduate Groups at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment. He received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. For more information, click here.
Ingrid Behrsin is a Masters student in the Community and Regional Development, and a PhD student in the Geography Graduate Group at UC Davis. Her research interests are in participatory planning and citizenship studies. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 with a degree in International Development and has worked as a political field organizer and an online advocacy, fundraising and constituency-building consultant.
Siddartha Aradhya is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Community and Regional Development at UC Davis.
If you would like to be a contributor to this blog, please email Chris at:
ccbenner [at] ucdavis [dot] edu