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CURS Speaker Series (January): Dr. Alexandrea Ravenelle
The UNC Center for Urban & Regional Studies (CURS) presents a monthly thematic series focused on technology's role in transforming today's cities.

In January, Dr. Alexandrea Ravenelle (UNC) will speak on her research examining the modern gig economy, a topic she has explored in her 2019 book Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy—

"Technological innovations can lead to equitable economic growth or exacerbate inequality. But when it comes to the tension between progress and risk, there may be few technologies that illustrate this tension more than the rise of gig economy apps. While gig-based work is marketed as available anywhere, urban density -- partnered with high living costs necessitating a “side hustle” -- means that gig work is especially prevalent in cities. But some workers soon discover that this short-term solution has long-term costs.

In this talk, I'll provide a brief overview on the rise of the gig economy from its early days of idealistic "collaborative consumption" to its current interaction as a "side hustle" or more. I'll discuss the effects of gig work on spaces and places, then focus on three issues that highlight this friction between progress and risk: why workers turn to gig work; the increasing growth of gig work platforms, including shadow platforms; and the longer-term impacts of this short-term solution. I'll finish by focusing on potential solutions to reduce the negative ramifications of gig work on people and places."

Jan 25, 2023 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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