We’ve had an interesting week of conversations here at EdgeRyders. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has changed our immediate daily lives but it will likely have lasting effects, too.
An interesting story in The Atlantic this week explores how pandemics have previously impacted society and economies. It talks about how the Black Death that swept across Europe between 1347 and 1350 resulted in a huge loss of lives - particularly among children.
This inevitably led to a shortage of labour and farmers in Northern Italy began to increase their wages to attract workers. A middle class began to develop and the region became more affluent.
Like previous pandemics, Covid-19 will change our societies and economies. While we won’t see some of these changes until further down the line, others are more apparent.
Perhaps one of the more obvious is the move to remote working. While many companies and employees were beginning to adapt to this model in recent years, they still made up a small proportion of the entire workforce.
With the pandemic, employees based in offices have been forced to work from home, and those who were more cautious to this style have seen its merits. The crisis has propelled a definitive move to remote working for many; even major tech companies that were previously ‘office-centric’ are now fully committed to the model.
EdgeRyders has operated as a remote workplace since launching eight years ago. We have an entire section of our website dedicated to distributed collaboration here and have put together a book on how to establish a remote business or organisation, which you can find out more about here.
With more people working from home and logging onto the internet to access their work network, it is likely that issues surrounding internet governance are more pressing than ever.
We have been discussing what the future of the internet looks like and one of our members wrote an interesting suggestion on this thread, saying that CMU researchers have suggested IoT gadgets should have privacy labels (that look pretty similar to an energy label that would comes with an electrical product a consumer may buy.
It’s not just work and our new behaviours surrounding the internet that will change because of the pandemic. The crisis has also shone a spotlight on inequalities - and in cases exacerbated those inequalities - in our societies. People are demanding change to these old unfair systems on which our societies have been built.
There have been conversations on EdgeRyders about how we can support the movement for racial justice in the US. This week, some of our members have added to that conversation and highlighted that Europeans are quick to condemn the States for its racist systems and behaviour but are less critical in analysing our own systems of inequality. Please join in the conversation
Food for thought
We are organising a coworking summit that will be further delving into topics discussed in this newsletter on 21st July. While on 22nd June we have a pre-summit session, where we will be talking to higher educational experts, policymakers, unionists, human rights defenders to discuss challenges facing those working in academia.
In case you missed it
One of our members is looking for a senior developer to take over as Chief Technology Officer at an edtech start-up. If you’re interested, take a look here.
Video art: Morpho Towers: Two Standing Spirals by Sachiko Kodama