On the book by Rhiannon Colvin: Imagine that it’s 2025 and the world of work has changed. Today, we do labour out of passion, not obligation. Nobody has a low-paid job or has to balance multiple jobs just to make rent. Work gives us meaning and direction, but it does not define who we are. The three day working week means we have time to spend with friends and family, to contribute to our communities and have a say in how society in run.
There is no unpaid intern working for a boss on a six-figure salary; one person is not paid ten times another. Pay is allocated equally and fairly depending on the time and skills each person has contributed that month. Holiday and sick pay are mandatory. Everybody has input into how the organisation is run. Colleagues are equal: when decisions are made they are made together. The profit a company makes gets shared between the people who make it possible – the workers, not some distant shareholders. In this labour market, competition and inequality is reduced, and so are the feelings of injustice and worthlessness felt by many.
This new economy is directed towards solving social and environmental problems rather than creating them. Companies focus on protecting the rainforest rather than destroying it, on creating renewable energy rather than drilling more oil out of the ground, on making technologies that empower communities rather than companies, on building affordable and sustainable housing rather than expensive city apartments. The creative energy of musicians, artists and designers is directed towards helping people overcome addiction, inspiring youth, exploring ideas, generating debate or building community, not towards advertising and encouraging people to buy things they do not need, or making them feel inadequate.
In 2025 work generates a fair income, enables us to do what we love and to have a positive impact. Our economy is based upon principles of democracy, equality, sharing and sustainability.
But in 2015, this seems like a utopian dream. It would require a complete overhaul of the system in which we currently live. Could our actions create such a future?