Building Laterally: Labor across the Tech Ecosystem

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What can efforts to increase the sustainability of open source learn from labor organizing across the tech ecosystem?

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Labor across the Tech Ecosystem

The last few years have seen an uptick in organizing among tech workers writ large. What can efforts to increase the sustainability of digital public infrastructure learn from these movements? How do ideas of work and labor in open source intersect with those in other parts of the tech landscape? As workers, how do open source contributors to digital public infrastructure relate to employees of big tech, gig workers, or startups? What paths of solidarity are available? Which feel untread and unfamiliar?

Join a panel discussion with labor organizers and movement makers from across the tech ecosystem. Workers and organizers at start-ups, in the gig economy, and in big tech reflect on the resources and networks they draw on as they plan collective actions built on worker solidarity. Together their reflections offer new directions to push on and expand what "sustainability" means across the tech ecosystem.


Aerica Shimizu Banks is a tech policy expert and inclusion innovator. She is the founder of Shiso, a consultancy that applies an intersectional equity lens to business development, tech, and policy challenges. After experiencing the triumphs and trials of tech – building successful DEI programs at Google and then holding Pinterest accountable for its racism and sexism – she now creates systems and frameworks to elevate and restore equity in our institutions. She holds an MSc in Environmental Policy from Oxford University and a BA in Environmental Studies and Public Affairs from Seattle University. To learn more about Aerica, visit

Clarissa Redwine explores community-driven progress. While working at Kickstarter, she joined the drive for the first wall-to-wall tech union in US history as a member of the Organizing Committee. She later produced the oral history of Kickstarter United as a fellow at NYU Law. Clarissa has served as a member of the Tech Workers Coalition NYC steering committee and led several solidarity actions including a critical spoof of Amazon’s anti-union site during the Bessemer union drive. She launched an educational zine on Kickstarter outlining common anti-union statements from management and crowdsourced refutations to each union busting statement. Currently she is a core contributor to Collective Action in Tech, a platform for tech workers organizing for change. She tweets from @ClarissaRedwine.

Jennifer Scott is a gig worker who has been delivering food by bicycle in downtown Toronto for 4 years. As a worker-organizer with Foodsters United CUPW, she was part of the worker-driven campaign that successfully won the right to unionize Foodora gig workers. She is the president of Gig Workers United CUPW, the Toronto based community union organizing to win labour protections and workers rights for gig workers. Additionally she is the executive director of the Foodsters United Co-op in partnership with FoodShare TO, a Toronto based worker co-op re-envisioning the gig economy as a pathway to build ownership/sustainability for workers and drive business towards local restaurant/retail. Follow her on twitter @PalimpsestJenn.

Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya (moderator) is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and a fellow in Digital Ethics & Governance at the Jain Family Institute. Her research looks at the emergence of employee activism in the workplace and its effects on corporations. Since 2019, she has been an archivist at Collective Action in Tech, a project that has documented over 400 employee actions in the technology industry going back to the 1960s. A forthcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook on AI Governance examines the role of workers in building and upholding principles of AI ethics. She holds an MA in Sociology from Columbia University and a BA in Social Studies from Harvard College.

The event is free, open to the public, and will be recorded. Advanced registration is required. Zoom link will be shared closer to the date.

Series Description

Building Laterally: Political Imagination to Support and Sustain Digital Infrastructure is a series of virtual events open to the public hosted by the Digital Infrastructure Incubator at Code for Science and Society. The series connects the discourse on sustainability, governance, and community health in open source and digital public infrastructure to wider political horizons. Together these events draw out interdisciplinary resonances and invite participants to invest in the crafting of a political imagination to support and sustain digital infrastructure.

About the Digital Infrastructure Incubator

The Digital Infrastructure Incubator hosts a cohort of open source project leaders as they work to address a single human infrastructure challenge their projects face. Participants iterate solutions around governance models, community engagement and participation, and the building of cultural foundations to support the growth of dynamic open source across the globe. The program is part of a cohort of grant funding provided by the Ford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Omidyar Network and the Mozilla Open Source Support Program in collaboration with the Open Collective Foundation.

About Code for Science and Society

CS&S is a US-based non profit whose mission is to build community and pathways to sustainability in open source in the public interest. Join our mailing list and follow us on Twitter @codeforsociety

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