What is Shades of Blue?
Despite its importance in unraveling the complex relationships between capital and labor, labor research has often been critiqued for its inaccessibility to wider audiences.
Good Business Lab hopes to change this.
We firmly believe in taking worker issues beyond conference roundtables and onto dinner tables.
Shades of Blue seeks to do just that.
It offers a fresh way for understanding India's older garment sector and its emerging gig economy. It does this not with overwhelming figures or the coded speech of the academy. Instead, we take you through intimate and moving portraits of two workers. Portraits that are based on rigorous, evidence-based research we have conducted in the past. Portraits that are both wearing different shades of the same blue collar. Portraits of Rukmini and Aslam.
Aslam is a cab driver for a platform in a big city. Complex algorithms define a major portion of his workday. Rukmini works on the fringes of the same city. Her work day is spent on the assembly line.
Where was Shades of Blue launched?
The center was launched on January 20th, 2023 at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore where it lived till January 31st, 2023. Apart from an immersive walkthrough of Shades of Blue, the Launch Event featured words shared by Cristian, the Director of Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, GBL co-founder Anant A, and other members of GBL Leadership- Smit G (Associate Director, Research), Dia B (Associate Director, Funding & Finance, and Transformation), and Mansi K (Associate Director, Marketing and Transformation). We were also able to network with various stakeholders in an engaging high-tea session after officially releasing Good Business Lab’s first Annual Report, Research and Beyond.
The center’s closing day was marked with a productive panel on how technology can shape worker wellbeing in labor-intensive industries.
What are our ambitions with Shades of Blue?
Within the two workers whose thoughts and struggles run across the center, reside the countless Good Business Lab has surveyed over the years. Workers who are caught in the harrowing yet stimulating throes of urban life. Workers for whom health and hope are intertwined. Workers who have to negotiate with anxieties about their work, their futures, their incomes, and their wellbeing.
The intention and, hopefully, the impact behind this center is to gain insight into such structural challenges in a more accessible format. But what we are also aiming for is teaching ourselves how this practice of diving into a day in the life of a worker can prove to be an important site of knowledge for stakeholders who want to build solutions that create real and sustainable impact.
What can just one day in Rukmini and Aslam’s lives tell us about larger questions around migration, conditions of blue-collar work, and worker wellbeing? That is what we hope to answer through the center. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on when Shades of Blue goes live near you!