Photograph & article written by Saffron Baggallay, Compiled by Tasmi Quazi
Reflecting on her experience of the Markets of Warwick Junction on 17 April 2012, Saffron Baggallay shares some very perceptive thoughts on the role of the informal economy on TomorrowToday’s blog. She writes:
“…Whilst I was wondering around this magical place, contemplating all that I was learning about myself by spending time with these remarkable vendors and their remarkable stories, I wondered what a place like Warwick represented for the future of business, most specifically big conglomerates and multi-national corporations. Warwick embodies for me the best aspects of the new world of work, in that its survival is reliant on collaboration, trust, respect, hard work, networking, team-work, good leadership, humility, creativity, innovation, market responsiveness…
…This experience illustrated so many important things for me. One of the things I thought of is the potential interplay between the formal and informal business sectors in to the future. In 2008 the world tipped from being primarily rural to being primarily urban. Cities are growing rather than getting smaller. This must mean that governments, big business and social practices generally are going to shift and change to accommodate new ways of over-populated urban living.
What Warwick illuminated for me was the need to consider now what the future holds for the informal business sector in relation to the formal business sector. I think there will come a time in the future where the formal sector will learn from the informal and I definitely think that there will come a time where they will both have to work collaboratively.
If one considers which cities are predicted to grow most in the next 15 years, most are cities in developing economies that have historically had a proportionately large informal business sector. I think that because of this historic behaviour, because of the disillusionment with big business and the system (embodied in the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall street), because of a skills deficit that the world is facing amongst the youth and because of the formal sector not being able to create jobs fast enough, the informal sector (illustrated by Warwick) will play increasingly significant roles in the global economy…”
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