This contribution by Olivier Fournout and translated by Ian Monk is part of the special issue of the Pervasive Labour Union zine on the Entreprecariat. Read it here and download it for free as PDF or EPUB.
To gather material about the future of work, the members of Futur Lab, a think tank charged with imagining the world of 2050, attend symposiums, read books and articles, consult web pages, then smooth them out into a discourse. They recycle them into a documentary slam, an inner monologue, a Flarf poetry file. It can be seen as a collage of fragments of reality. It extracts phrases from different media, producing a diatext of ideas that have been received, read or heard in the public space. It filters out a sample of the world’s prose.
In our digital society, plenty of chances are on offer to create new opportunities. We’re all becoming our own entrepreneurs. IT is revolutionising the world – with its speed of calculation, storage, treatment, of course, but also thanks to the personal computers at the tips of our fingers, under our skins, behind our eyelids, in the slightest interstice of our lives. Computers which are accessible to everyone, and which form networks from every point of our bodies, minds and world, make for an upheaval. The large number of the plugged-in connect together to cooperate, collaborate and invent. This is the revolution of empowerment, the power to act for everyone, which is a political vision that concerns us all. How do people with no access to funding from a bank now manage? They go to crowdfunding. The generalised web gives power to the powerless. Technology creates opportunities for us to express ourselves, set up a company, or sell ourselves. We have more means than our parents ever dreamed of, thousands of opportunities for all of us, which we just have to seek out. If we’re not happy with our integrated smartphone, which doesn’t suit our way of life, then we just have to change it, launch our own brand, generate our own technology. We’re revolutionising business. We’re creating our tools. We’re publishing our own words live and broadcasting them worldwide. Bill Gates is past it. How far can we go? It’s up to us to decide… there are no limits. There are so many different choices on the market. It’s up to us to grasp them, or create them. Social networks give us this power – the power to enter into contact with just anyone. The Web is an address book for people who don’t have one. Production is now decentralised, on request, tailor-made, clothes solidify at a bullet’s impact, we have neuro-coaches who act on our cerebral waves, making us positive, inciting in us a real passion for work, stimulating our risk-taking with messages that are positive, ad hoc, in a blink, in a glow, turning us towards the future, making us more competitive, more intelligent, creating a mood of positive growth, pushing us to transcend ourselves, innovating, aiming at excellence, improving constantly, not criticising, not condemning, not moaning, taking an interest in other people sincerely, congratulating, encouraging, encouraging sincerely, we’re in the society of self-employment. We have a fee-in-cash package, objectives which are individual, adapted, personalised, an individual journey, which is adapted, personalised, we’re constantly using information and communication technologies, we are ourselves an information and communication technology, we sell the bandwidth of our bodies, our time, our energy, our activity, a content based on atoms, molecules and pheromones. We’re autonomous, we’re into self-help, collaborative self-employment, employee-sharing, job-sharing, crowd-employment, self-management, in a multi-centrality of existence, with several selves, ad hoc, in a blink, in a glow, involved in collective, familial, artistic, affective, professional, associative commitments, we get recognition, and meaning in our work, our expressive expectations are met, we’re fulfilled digital nomads, we’re all our own fulfilled, committed digital entrepreneur in multiple interactions, cascading intra-actions, we’re positive, enterprising, fulfilled, enhanced workers, projects are a meeting point for people constructing new ways of being together, ad hoc, in a blink, in a glow, co-created, in a digital, cooperative nomadism, making deals in networks, in a cascade, in and out of an organisation, in online micro-work, in the extreme, in externality, in travel, in distancing, by thinking outside the box, for as the poet said “he knows nothing who does not go out”. We network with others to form an identity, small hives, self-organised structures, in a recognition between peers, with values that are ad hoc, in a blink, in a glow, an entrepreneurial, creative, valorising talent, we live several lives at the same time, we give space to our personal lives. Individuals bear expectations, they’re not just in a situation to adapt, they’re plastic, mobile, armed, they negotiate the way they want to work, they have the power to take their destinies in hand, if they’re positive, if they’re not defeatist, if they incite in themselves a real passion for work, if they give the lie to the precept “I can approve only those who search and moan”. The new generation doesn’t drive on highways like their parents did, but on big motor roller coasters. In the big motor roller coaster of modern life, two attitudes are possible. Either you smile, or you’re scared. Those who see the future positively live better, longer, succeed more often, believe in their destiny, are open, they’re shakers and movers for others, they’re trusted –all forms of research have shown this. The smile is the marker of 21st century artisans. They build companies where people are happy to work, which are companies who do better on the stock market, says Alex Edmans, from the Wharton Business School. As the poet says, every way you look at it you win. All-is-groo-vy. That’s the key, getting rid of negative ideas. Plugging your iPod into some music that boosts you up. Smile. Smile with sincerity. See the future with confidence. Commit to it with the certainty of finding your place, your interest, your identity, in a co-construction with others, in co-leadership, in distributed leadership. Incite a real passion for work. Stimulating risk-taking with positive messages, ad hoc, in a blink, in a glow. Being competitive. Creating a mood of positive growth, in a cascade. Liking what makes us transcend ourselves. Innovating. Aiming at excellence. Recognising success. Putting generosity into all our actions. Always improving. Not criticising. Not condemning. Not moaning. Avoiding controversies. Congratulating. Encouraging. Encouraging sincerely. Being yourself, ad hoc, in a blink, in a glow.
Also published on Medium.