Never Work, Symposium & Provocation at Beneficial State Bank, 1438 Webster St., Suite 300, Oakland.

50 years ago, in May, a general strike paralyzed France for nearly a month as modern capitalism was directly assaulted by a broad cross section of society that included workers, students, and the unemployed. The streets, schools and factories were filled with people passionately raising profound social questions among them…why work? Who does it benefit? Is it fulfilling? 12,500 days of tedious employment later, we will revisit those questions in a context that has evolved with automation, human resources management, debt, pseudo participation in decision-making and surveillance technologies masking this social truth: the whole system of work as it exists today has only one purpose: to grow the wealth of our global rulers at the expense of the rest of humanity.

The community was invited to toast friends and frenemies with Molotov-style cocktails and binge on let-them eat cake.

About the Presenters:

Marina Gorbis is Executive Director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a 50-year old non-profit research and consulting organization based in Silicon Valley. She has brought a futures perspective to hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, philanthropy, and civic society. Marina’s current research focuses on transformations in the world of work and new forms of value creation. She launched the Workable Futures Initiative at IFTF with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of new work patterns and to prototype a generation of Positive Platforms for work. She has introduced the concept of Universal Basic Assets (UBA) as a framework for thinking about different types of assets and the role they play in economic security. The UBA framework also highlights at a variety of approaches and tools we can use to achieve wider asset distribution and greater equity. Marina’s book The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World explores many of these themes and draws connections between the changes in our technology infrastructure and our organizational landscape, from education to governance and health. She frequently writes and speaks on future organizational, technology, and social issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in public policy from University of California, Berkeley.


Guillaume Paoli is the author of “Demotivational Training” (Little Black Cart Books) and co-author of the Happily Unemployed Manifesto. In 2008, he was hired by the Leipziger Town Theater as a “resident philosopher” a position no one else in Europe has held so so far. In this role, he created an “External Audit for Meaning and Purpose” and ran a “philosophical office” where city dwellers would come and discuss the topic of their choice. In 2014 he ran a similar project at the renowned Berliner Volksbühne until this theater was taken over by the art market ­, provoking a huge resistance which he heartily supports. About his latest book “Metamorphosis at Night – On the Gentrification of Culture” (2017) the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: “Anyone who really wants to know what kind of times we live in and how to reflect about them should read it. Many times.” In January 2018 it was rated among the “ten best nonfiction German books”.

Isaac Cronin is one of the founders of the Situationist movement in the Bay Area. He co-translated “Demotivational Training,” which was nothing like work. He promises to reveal the secret of how he has made himself unhireable but still gets the big bucks with which he funds The Fish Tank.

This event was made possible with the generous support of Beneficial State Bank.

Beneficial State Bank is a B Corp Certified and community development bank whose mission is to build prosperity in our communities through fair and transparent beneficial banking services. We serve individuals, nonprofits, and businesses in California, Oregon, and Washington. Beneficial State Bank is owned by a nonprofit which means we have no private shareholders seeking to maximize profit at the expense of our communities our planet.

We believe that banks should nourish our communities, not extract from them, and so we commit at least 75% of our loan dollars toward a new, inclusive, and just economy. None of our loan dollars can work against our mission. Join the movement by aligning your money with your values. Visit to learn more.

Short VIDEO documentation HERE