Californian filmmaker Arin Crumley is based in New York, currently flitting between Europe and Asia, and is, in the traditional sense of the word, unemployed.
Or as we media types call it, ‘freelance’.
As well as being an award-winning film maker, Arin is part of a global movement towards changing the way the youth of today will view and deal with employment. In response to the upcoming event in Stockholm in collaboration with Edgeryders and Global Challenge, Arin tells us why joblessness is not the first step to a broken future, but a brighter one.
HOWTOBEJOBLESS (HTBJ): So Arin, I’m jobless. Is there a silver lining or does this just suck?
ARIN: Being jobless is a good thing. It’s the unemployed of today who will be running the world tomorrow. And they’ll still be unemployed, by the way.
HTBJ: So this crisis is permanent?
ARIN: Listen, I know it’s an upsetting and sharp change, but unemployment isn’t an “issue” society can rally together and fix. It’s a natural evolution of society away from the task-oriented slave labour model. The industrial revolution is over, so the world is moving on.
HTBJ: Towards what?
ARIN: Well, eventually towards everyone being enlightened, self-directed creative thinkers, organically swarming around new areas of life they wish to improve.
HTBJ: So the idea is that you can’t get fired if everyone is their own boss?
ARIN: Well you can fire yourself when you find something more interesting you could be doing. We live in a society that really avoids change yet we are moving towards a world of hyper change. Things keep speeding up and workloads are beginning to become more project based and less permanent.
HTBJ: So you’re talking about a world where people are mostly unemployed, but now and then temporarily employed?
ARIN: I’m talking about a world that transcends the concept of “employed”, where people are instead driven by the passion to work on things we care about.
HTBJ: This is sounding dangerously like a utopia.
ARIN: Well, I’m not against striving towards utopia and I’m sure we all know nothing we do will ever make the world completely perfect. What I’m talking about though is an inevitable shift taking place across all industries as we see fewer staff can be afforded. That coupled with an ever increasing population growth, and we can clearly see this change is here to stay.
HTBJ: Arin, I came to you for comforting words about the future! You’re killing me! Fewer staff hires, more people…WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
ARIN: Actually I think there is a huge opportunity right now to network everyone who doesn’t have a day job together and create a secondary economy that uses mobile apps to manage supply and demand of resources and labour. Then use this infrustructure to secure housing, food, clothing and the rest of your basic survival needs with no reliance on money. One example of this already starting to happen is with the website impossible.com where model and actress Lily Cole as been leading a team to build apps that do just that.
Imagine a world where instead of not having a job and wasting time looking for one, you spend that time finding out what others need and then going out and providing your skills free of charge. Maybe you spend 6 months renovating a building. Maybe you help work on a roof top garden. The more work you put out there the more people in the network will want to provide things you need, as gifting to you would look favourable on their profiles – because you are a real producer of value.
HTBJ: Rather like a return to bartering? A couch-surfing model for labour?
ARIN: Haha, that’s very apt! These sorts of socially backed digital economies could afford an individual their basic needs at which point the jobs they take won’t have to be based on what was paying the most and instead could be based on what mattered to them the most.
HTBJ: Arin, thanks for your time.
If you want to find out more about Arin and his award-winning work, he spends a worrying amount of time in his various cyber-homes:
Arin’s website: arincrumley.com