And yet they move! The rise of Digital Nomads

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And yet they move! The rise of Digital Nomads
By Alberto Lusoli • Issue #4 • View online
Hello and welcome everyone to the fourth issue of the Labora newsletter. If you are new here, welcome! If you want to help this newsletter to grow, feel free to forward this email to friends and colleagues.
This week we talk about digital nomadism.
The term “Digital Nomad” indicates a person who travels the world and works online while doing it. Unlike remote workers, who are usually salaried employees or subcontractors working for larger corporations, Digital Nomads tend to be independent entrepreneurs selling products (ranging from info-products, to SaaS, to tangible commodities) or services online.
The term “Digital Nomad” is relatively recent as it started surfacing on the Internet around 2013, according to Google Trends. The “digital nomad lifestyle”, instead, is as old as the Internet itself. In 1997 Esther Dyson in her influential book “Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age”, envisaged a digital marketplace capable of dissolving bureaucracies and free individuals from the tyrannical rules of corporate hierarchies. In the following ten years, Dyson’s vision was glamorized by books like “The 4 Hours Workweek”, “The $100 Startup” and 37 Signals’ “Remote”.
Today, digital nomads are an established community. They congregate in digital hubs such as Chiang Mai, Medellin, Berlin, Bangkok and Lisbon. They have their own conference, podcast and even a dedicated travel equipment brand.
In this issue we are going to read more about Digital Nomad, starting from an introductory Forbes article. Forbes take on Digital Nomads is counterbalanced by two excellent critical pieces: one from Paris Marx, the author of Radical Urbanist, and one from the always thought-provoking Ribbon Farm. Both articles raise relevant socio-political issues connected to digital nomadism. In particular, Paris Marx argue that “doing what you love” and breaking free from the corporate shackles might work for someone (read: western white males) but, at a societal level, contributes to reproduce systems of discrimination and inequality.
That’s all for this issue. I let you enjoy the readings. The appointment is in two weeks for issue #5. In the meantime, if you have comments, suggestions or complaints, you can send me a message using this form.
Alberto

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Alberto Lusoli

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Alberto Lusoli, Vancouver, CA. Canada