Our Goal: Meaningful Independence

Jul 3, 2014

Last week, I had the honor of being on the opening panel of the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in Denver -- alongside none other than the freelancer in-chief himself, Bill Clinton.

David Gregory of Meet the Press was moderating the conversation and at one point asked me, “Whether it’s healthcare or a livable wage, what do you worry about most from the perspective of independent workers?”

There are definitely things to worry about for freelancers -- quality health care, stress, getting paid what you’re worth.

But it’s not “worries” that come to mind of when I think of our members. Instead, it’s what they’re teaching us all every day -- how to lead lives of Meaningful Independence.

Meaningful independence is when you have the ability to pursue your passions and your dreams, secure in the knowledge that you’re connected to people, groups, and institutions that have your back.

Freelancing’s the new normal -- that’s why we need a new economic infrastructure that supports this way of living. If you’re worried about simple stability and security, you won’t take risks and follow that innovative dream you’ve been thinking about for years.

That’s why we launched the National Benefits Platform -- to give independent workers the benefits they need to live the lives they want.

But the platform is just one important step in the do-it-ourselves economy. Meaningful Independence is also about having the time and energy to engage with the things that matter to you -- like your art, your friends, or your family.

This is what we can build when we work together. This is the essence of the New Mutualism.

So rather than asking what we should worry about, it’s time we change the frame to say, “How can we all be meaningfully independent?”

If we want stronger communities and more fulfilling, connected lives, we’re going to have to build them -- together.

Sara Horowitz

As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara has been a voice for freelancers for over two decades.