The promise and perils of the 'human cloud'

The gig economy goes global. It is time for policymakers to shape the future of this new world of work

Nationalist rhetoric is on the rise. Politicians are hardening their borders against "outsiders". After decades in which globalisation seemed like an unstoppable economic force, "deglobalisation" is suddenly the word on everyone's lips.

But to focus on border walls and goods in container ships is to miss another phenomenon, one that is happening out of sight and outside of politicians' control. The gig economy is facilitating the rise of a global marketplace for online labour. For good or ill, this is a new strain of globalisation in its rawest form.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2018, with the headline 'The promise and perils of the 'human cloud''. Print Edition | Subscribe