Platform economy: utopia or dystopia?

Hosted by the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity, Department of Geography and Environment and International Inequalities Institute

In-person and online public event (Auditorium, Centre Building)


Dalia Gebrial

Dalia Gebrial

Kruskaya Hidalgo Cordero

Kruskaya Hidalgo Cordero

Gabriella Razzano

Gabriella Razzano

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch


Dr Romola Sanyal

Dr Romola Sanyal

In recent years, digital platforms such as Uber, Amazon, AirBnB, and Deliveroo have become increasingly popular across the globe, radically changing the economic landscape and the nature of work. But does the emergence of the platform economy and gig work create a utopia or dystopia for workers?

Whilst advertising jobs that offer freedom and flexible working conditions, digital platforms have received criticism for taking advantage of their workers and creating precarious work. With the platform economy looking like it’s here to stay, understanding how workers are impacted is an important step towards improving conditions and the wider environment in which workers operate. This event brings together a panel of experts to discuss how the platform technology has impacted workers and the nature of work and how we can ensure that workers’ rights are being protected.

Meet our speakers and chair

Dalia Gebrial (@daliagebrial) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE. Her research focuses on race and gender in the platform economy, particularly the impact of platformisation on workers in transport, domestic work, and sex work in London.

Kruskaya Hidalgo Cordero (@KruskayaHC) is an Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity and a field organizing specialist for the Solidarity Center in Mexico. She is also the Co-founder of Observatorio de Plataformas (Platform Observatory), a collective that challenges the poor working conditions and human rights violations for workers in platform economies and presents alternatives for decent work and ethical consumption.

Gabriella Razzano (@Jablet) is an Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity and a human rights activist, lawyer, and researcher. She is currently Executive Director of OpenUp, a civic technology hub in Cape Town focused on empowering people and government through data, technology, and innovation.

Kirsten Sehnbruch (@KirstenSehn) is a British Academy Global Professor and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the LSE International Inequalities Institute. Her work on the measurement of the quality of employment in developing countries informs social, labour and development policy more broadly as it allows for resources to be targeted at the most vulnerable workers in the labour market.

Romola Sanyal is Associate Professor in Urban Geography in the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE. Romola’s research focuses on the relationship between forced migration and urbanisation. She is currently also working on a project that looks at the effects of AirBnB on urban governance, informality, and planning in cities in the Global North.

More about this event

This event will be available to watch on LSE Live. LSE Live is the new home for our live streams, allowing you to tune in and join the global debate at LSE, wherever you are in the world. If you can't attend live, a video will be made available shortly afterwards on LSE's YouTube channel.

The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme (@AFSEE_LSE) is a Global South-focused, funded fellowship for mid-career activists, policymakers, researchers, and movement-builders from around the world. Based at the International Inequalities Institute, it is a 20-year programme that commenced in 2017 and was funded with a £64m gift from Atlantic Philanthropies, LSE’s largest ever philanthropic donation.

The Department of Geography and Environment (@LSEGeography) is a centre of international academic excellence in economic, urban and development geography, environmental social science and climate change.

The LSE International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) brings together experts from many of the School's departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEPlatformEconomy

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This public event is free and open to all. This event will be a hybrid event, with an in-person audience and an online audience. 

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For the online event: Registration for this event will open after 10am on Wednesday 27 September.

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