An inquiry into technology and the future of work

In Summer 2014, the Open Society Foundations invited Turnstone to join a group of fellows in their US programs, contributing to their Inquiry into the Future of Work. Specifically, we were invited to look at technology and the future of work.

Watch “Let’s Get To Work”

The transcript and reference materials are available as additional resources below. A subtitled edition is also available on request.

Not a paper, but a film

Somewhat resistant to exploring more Silicon Valley innovation, I reinterpreted the brief, choosing to examine the relationship between reproductive technologies and the future of freelance work. I also opted not to write a paper, but to draw a film. Of course, in the end, a film needs a script: I ended up doing both.

A timely narrative

Coincidentally, by October 2014, during post-production, several major US corporations (both tech firms, as it happens) announced that they’d offer egg freezing as an employee perk to retain their junior women executives.

This short film unpacks why this is, as Susan Faludi framed it,
“Submission disguised as liberation”,
and suggests that there is an alternative more empowering story we could be telling women about this field of advancing medical science, with profound implications for individual personal and professional life trajectories, families, the workforce and society in general.


A creative collaboration

Rigorously, tirelessly researched by Kate Nicholson (School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation MFA program), filmed, produced, animated and edited by the super-talented, independent filmmaker, Yvonne Jukes and written, illustrated and directed by Turnstone’s Rachel Abrams, this is Turnstone’s latest and most fully fledged demonstration of how effectively drawings communicate complex, significant stories. Turnstone is taking on new drawing projects all the time: If you have one in mind that we can contribute to, tell us all about it.

About the OSF’s Inquiry into the Future of Work:

This project is supported by the Open Society Foundations’  U.S. Programs Future of Work inquiry, which is bringing together a cross-disciplinary and diverse group of thinkers to address some of the biggest questions about how work is transforming and what working will look like 20-30 years from now. The inquiry is exploring how the transformation of work, jobs and income will affect the most vulnerable communities, and what can be done to alter the course of events for the better.


Project details

Client Open Society Foundations' US programs
Turnstone's role Fellow, writer, illustrator, director
Credits Yvonne Jukes, producer, editor, animator
Kate Nicholson, researcher
Year 2014

Additional resources