Ongoing Autonomy research streams:

A progress dashboard for green transitions

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: Lukas Kikuchi, Will Stronge and Ryan Bellinson of IIPP

Length: 6 – 8 months


IIPP and Autonomy have been awarded funding from UCL Grand Challenges through the Green Recovery from COVID-19 theme to continue working with Greater Manchester as the city-region is Building Back Better from the pandemic.


For GMCA to achieve the ambition set out in its mission and succeed in delivering a green recovery after the impact of COVID-19, new ‘mission-metrics’ are needed that can monitor and evaluate progress. Through this funding award, IIPP will design new evaluation tools that can measure the dynamic efficiency of GMCA’s mission and be used to track progress through a public facing ‘mission dashboard’. GMCA has recognised the need to develop new approaches to assess the progress of their mission that are more robust than the current static, linear key performance indicators but need support with the knowledge and capabilities to do so.


Supported by: UCL Grand Challenges and Environment Domain funding

Universal Workers' Rights

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: Phil Jones



Details to follow.


Supported by: –

A selection of previous Autonomy projects:

Work 2050

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: whole team

Length: 1-3 years


A three-year, collaborative research, consultation and policy project to envisage and build towards the achievement of good work and good working lives across the next three decades.


Work as we know it stands at a crossroads, both in the short-term (Covid) and in the longer-term (e.g. ecological collapse). Other trends of automation, labour market polarisation and decline in worker voice are also set to worsen in the absence of significant intervention. Yet, facing these crises also represents an opportunity for significant change and a better future for workers.


Our advanced data research, analysis and policy proposals, combined with a thorough consultation process with a range of actors will provide the foundations for interventions that lead to a better world of work.


Supported by: Alex Ferry Foundation

Project on targeting advertising and its effects on democracy

Status: completed September 2021

Researchers involved: Duncan McCann, Will Stronge, Phil Jones

Length: 3 months


The model of online advertising that dominates the market today is tracking-based advertising, where adverts are placed in front of individuals based on personal data provided by the website and any adtech partners with whom they are working. This can be seen as troubling: from the way it invades personal privacy, to the way it might feed disinformation or damage national security.


This report explores concerns surrounding the practice of tracking-based advertising today and examines in detail the most significant trends in the adtech market: from the rebirth of contextual advertising to new proposals by Google, Microsoft and others. The report concludes by looking into the potential impact of a ban on the use of personal data in online advertising, both on the issues that we raise in Section 3 as well as on some of the key entities that currently rely on the practice for the operations.


Supported by: EU Greens

Read the report here

Transform Your Work (toolkit)

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: Common Knowledge and Autonomy team

Length: 12 months


Understanding your workplace is a key step in the journey towards changing it. This toolkit is a collection of approaches, step-by-step guides and historical examples of worker organising. You can use these tools to create knowledge about your own work, power hierarchies, class relations, and capitalism more broadly, all from your own perspective. The goal is not just to describe your working conditions, but ultimately to transform them. 


Supported by: the Amiel Melburn Trust

Visit the online toolkit here

The Shorter Working Week: beyond borders and industries

Status: completed December 2020

Researchers involved: Rob Jump, Will Stronge, Julian Siravo

Length: 12 months


As the discussion around a shorter working week gathers pace amongst social movements, economists and politicians, more robust data and analysis is required to inform the debate – beyond speculation and beyond international and historical comparisons. This project seeks to deploy a hypothetical scenario – a four-day week across industries and regions in the UK – in order to ‘stress test’ working time reductions as policy. With these data, robust sectoral and national policy proposals will be produced – moving the debate on by answering not just why shorting working hours are desirable, but how such a situation could be achieved concretely.


Supported by: the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

Read and download the resulting study here

The Future of Work in the Valencian Community

Status: completed Feb 2020

Researchers involved: Julian Siravo, Kyle Lewis, Will Stronge and Mat Lawrence

Advisory: Danielle Guizzo, Nick Srnicek and Helen Hester

Length: 8 months


Autonomy is collaborating with the Valencian Employment and Training Service, Labora, to jointly develop a strategy to improve the quality of work in the Valencian Community.


The objective of this work is to design a strategy to improve the employment policies that improve the quality of working conditions and facilitate an adequate response to future challenges such as automation, ageing populations, wealth inequality and climate change.


Funded by: the Generalitat Valenciana

Read the full report here

The Ecological Limits of Work

Status: complete

Researchers involved: Philpp Frey

If we were to reduce our working hours to stay within our available CO2 budget, how long would the working week have to be?

Read and download the study here

Employability in the New Economy

Status: completed Sep 2019

Researchers involved: Phil Jones, Matt Phull

Length: 3 – 6 months


What is ’employability’?  Over the past two decades the term has taken on a practical significance both for those looking for jobs and for those doing the hiring. However, it remains relatively absent from current debates on the state of work today. In this report, we unpack what ’employability’ really means for our working lives.


Read the full report here:

'Working to Labour' report

Phil’s blog that accompanied the research:

Part One of Phil's blog
Part Two of Phil's blog
Part Three of Phil's blog
Part Four of Phil's blog

Supported by: CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership.

The Shorter Working Week: a radical and pragmatic proposal

Status: complete

Researchers involved: Kyle Lewis, Aidan Harper, Helen Hester, Nic Murray, Danielle Guizzo, Will Stronge, Madeleine Ellis-Petersen, Matt Cole

A shorter working week is not only desirable, but it is a practical response to multiple crises.

Read and download the report here

The Post-Work City

Status: completed April 2018

Researchers involved: James Trafford, Diann Bauer, Maria Dada, Julian Siravo, Will Stronge

Length: 3 months


A collaborative project with graphic design students and staff at the University for the Creative Arts that combined an engagement with urban planning, utopian scenario-modelling and the political economy of the crisis of work.


For the outcomes of this project please go here.


In collaboration with UCA Epsom.