The Gig Work project explores the evolution of work. The core question being explored is this:

How is the institution of work evolving to reflect our networked and technological society?

This question will be examined through the lens of the gig economy from the perspectives of the worker, the employer, and the overall economic system. The gig economy (a.k.a. gig economy, on-demand economy, and sharing economy) refers to a structural shift in the work experience away from “jobs” and toward “projects” or “gigs.” Such work is typically volatile and networked in nature and the experience of gig work extends to traditional full-time (W-2) positions as well.

Gig.Work is produced by LushProduction, fiscally sponsored by the Innovation in Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and funded by the Knight Foundation.


  1. SURVEY existing research and data sources to identify gaps in information. This will include analyzing what existing data sets, in combination, can tell us about the state and trends of the gig economy.
  2. PRODUCE and publish (online) a series of essays and blogposts that explore the implications of the gig economy. This will include proposing interventions that communities and cities can test to take advantage of the gig economy and protect practitioners from the downsides.
  3. CONDUCT workshops and gatherings to formulate and get feedback on possible platforms and programs that will help communities to take advantage of the project economy and protect practitioners from the downsides.
  4. DEVELOP tools that will help communities to understand how their residents are coping or taking advantage of the shifts created by the gig economy.
  5. INTERVIEW residents from local communities to understand the opportunities and needs created by the project economy.
  6. COMPILE the essays and the research into a white paper meant to inform further research and policy.

Planned Financials

FUNDING % 45,000
Knight Foundation 100.00% 45,000
EXPENSES % 45,000
Project Lead 53.33% 24,000
Data Scientist 16.00% 7,200
Admin Support 11.11% 5,000
Supplies and Materials 4.44% 2,000
Community Collaborators 10.67% 4,800
Financial Processing 2.22% 1,000
Miscellaneous 2.22% 1,000


John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (funder)
Innovation in Milwaukee | The Greater Milwaukee Committee (fiscal agent)

Project Team

Diana Luepke: Enrich
Larry Brown: BD Inc, LLC
Nelson Soler: Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute
Tim Syth (lead)LushProduction
Virginia Carlson: Data Rubrics

Planned Production Schedule

JULY 1, 2015 – SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
Create operations infrastructure and processes (website, survey tools, supporting documents), confirm subcontracts, begin publishing and data research.

OCTOBER 1, 2015 – APRIL 30, 2016
Continue publishing and data research, run workshops and workgroups.

MAY 1, 2016 – JULY 1, 2016
Conclude subcontracts and data research, continue publishing, compile final documentation.