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The Future of Capitalism and the Future of Work

May 4 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm


Co-sponsored by The Murphy Institute’s Labor Studies Program, CUNY and The NYC Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network

In recent years, structural changes in the labor market, skyrocketing inequality, and rapid technological innovation have sparked renewed debate and speculation about the future of capitalism and the future of work itself. This conference features leading scholars, journalists and activists’ perspectives on these issues.

The day is structured to engage three key debates:

  • The impact of technological innovation, especially robots and artificial intelligence, on workers and on the labor market
  • The vast increase in capacity for surveillance and data collection by high-tech firms and its implications for daily life as well as for the workplace
  • The impact of the ecological crisis and the political failure to address it for the future of capitalism and the future of work.

The conference has three panels, each devoted to one of these debates. Each panel includes one keynote presentation from an expert on the topic, comments from two respondents, followed by discussion with the audience.

The conference is free and open to the public. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided, and there will be a reception at the close of the proceedings.


Conference Schedule


9:30 – 10 am Welcome and Introduction

Stephanie Luce, Murphy Institute
Josh Freeman, Murphy Institute, CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College


10 am – 12 noon Panel 1: “The Robots are Coming”

Moderator: Kafui Attoh, Murphy Institute

Keynote Speaker: Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute

Respondents: Peter Frase, Jacobin
Nastaran Mohit, The NewsGuild


12 noon -1 pm LUNCH (provided)


1 pm – 3 pm Panel 2: “Surveillance Capitalism”

Moderator: Ruth Milkman, Murphy Institute and CUNY Graduate Center

Keynote Speaker: Shoshana Zuboff, Harvard Business School

Respondents: Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction
Carrie Gleason, Center for Popular Democracy


3 pm – 3:15 pm BREAK


3:15 pm -5:15 pm Panel 3: “Disaster Capitalism” and Ecological Crisis

Moderator: Sean Sweeney, Murphy Institute

Keynote Speaker: Miriam Greenberg, University of California, Santa Cruz

Respondents: Jacob Remes, New York University
Maritza Silva-Farrell, ALIGN


5:15 pm – 6 pm CLOSING RECEPTION



May 4
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


School of Labor and Urban Studies
25 W. 43rd St.
New York City, NY United States
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