Digital Economies, Digital Connectivity, Digital Margins

*Paper Sessions for the 5th Global Conference of Economic Geography in
Cologne*

Mark Graham, Nicolas Friederici, Mohammad Amir Anwar, Sanna Ojanperä
(Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford)

People, places, and processes are becoming digital, digitised, and
digitally-mediated at an astonishing pace. A majority of the world’s
wealthy have long been connected, but it is the world’s poor and
economically marginal that have only relatively recently been enrolled into
digital networks. In 2017, for the first time in human history, over half
of the humanity can be considered to be internet users. At the same time,
hugely transformative changes are occurring in the global economy. First,
an ever-increasing amount of economic value creation is affected by the
digitisation of goods, processes and services. Second, places in every
corner of the planet aspire to become centres of digital production and
entrepreneurship.

Our two sessions seek to bring together scholarship that directly addresses
issues of changing connectivities and the effects that those changes have
on, and in, economic margins (i.e., across the Global South or economic
peripheries within the North). They seek to move beyond over-simplified
narratives about whether digital tools and technologies are a panacea for
development.
Session I: Development, Entrepreneurship, and Inequality

The first session hopes to bring together papers that explore the nuanced
ways in which digital technology shapes opportunity and value creation in
economic peripheries. In other words, the session wants to unpack the
complex economic changes that digital connectivity has inflicted upon
economic actors (people, organizations) and contexts (institutions,
infrastructures, etc.) at global margins.

Papers could address some of the following themes:

   - The contribution of digital connectivity to economic inequality (at
   any level)
   - Innovative ways to measure digital economies, especially local
   development effects
   - Changes to rural and urban economic geographies arising from digital
    connectivity
   - How value creation and digital production processes are anchored in
   peripheries
   - Interplay between analog and digital in value creation and
   entrepreneurship processes
   - Effects of digital technologies on clustering in peripheries
   - Processes and practices of digital entrepreneurship and
   entrepreneurial ecosystems
   - The nature, origins, and roles of human capital and skills for
digital entrepreneurship
   and production
   - Demographies and biographies of digital entrepreneurs and highly
   skilled freelancers

Session II: Digital Labor and Production Networks

Our second session seeks to bring together scholarship that directly
addresses issues of changing connectivities and its effects on digital labour
and production networks. We are defining digital labour to include a wide
variety of work practices, which, both at individual and
organisation-level, can be outsourced through the internet including but
not limited to web development, graphic designs, software development,
transcription, editing, article writing, proof-reading, data entry, virtual
assistant, customer support, etc.

This session hopes to bring together papers from a variety of theoretical
and empirical perspectives that explore the nuanced ways in which
digital labour
in economic margins is incorporated into the global production networks. In
doing so, it aims to explore what the changing connectivities mean for
economic geography of work and its implications on labour in economic
margins, particularly for economic inclusion, exclusion, upgrading,
downgrading, etc.

Papers could address:

   - Divides and positionalities in digital or digitized value chains and
   production networks (incl. digital production and online labor)
   - The nature, origins, roles and formation of human capital and skills
   in digital labour
   - Demographies and biographies of digital workers, entrepreneurs, and
   freelancers
   - Articulation of previously disconnected labour forces into the global
   markets
   - Development implications of digital economies and connectivities on
   digital labour
   - New labour market segmentation, regulation, institutions, rural-urban
   [re]structuring of labour markets
   - Labour standards, social upgrading, labour control, alienation,
   workers’ agency, collective organisations and collective actions, etc. in
   new digital production networks

Please submit your abstract directly through the GCEG website, any time
between 15 November 2017 and 15 March 2018: https://www.gceg2018.com. If
you have questions, feel free to contact Mark Graham (mark.graham@oii.o
x.ac.uk), Nicolas Friederici (nicolas.frieder...@oii.ox.ac.uk), Mohammad
Amir Anwar (mohammad.an...@oii.ox.ac.uk), or Sanna Ojanperä (
sanna.ojanp...@oii.ox.ac.uk)

-- 
Nicolas Friederici | Postdoctoral Researcher, Oxford Internet Institute
@friedema | https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/nicolas-friederici |
http://cii.oii.ox.ac.uk/author/nicolas |
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ictnicolas

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