In every industry there are those who have the power to establish common business practices and those who are bound to follow them. So too in the creative industry, which consists of many small makers that often find themselves at the whims of a few big players. But what if the established way of doing business is harming its workforce? We know that common practices in our industry have inadvertently resulted in mismanagement and exploitation of workers. Imbalanced power structures lie at the root of these problems. By allowing this imbalance to endure, we risk robbing ourselves of a sustainable future.
So what are we really waiting for? Now is the time to take action and demand the much-needed changes that we all want to see. We are a group of creators that have decided to bundle our strengths and work together to find realistic solutions for better working conditions and fairer compensation for creative professionals. We are WerkPlant, and we are spearheading a bold new direction in business practices for the creative industry. We will explore alternative ways of doing business ourselves, because nobody else will do it for us. And we want to do this together with you.
The core of our approach is built around democratic principles, which we believe can help initiate projects in fairer and more sustainable ways. Therefore we’ve organized ourselves into structures where all participants have an equal vote. While working on a project there can be room for differences, but those should be agreed upon together and the participants treated with mutual respect. If we choose to cooperate, we have to commit to the idea that every participant’s output is of similar value to the product. Without our peers at our side, we can’t create the art that we love. We need to do this together, or we can’t do this at all.
Next, we believe that the spoils should be shared among everyone that worked on a project. In addition to that, any monetary investment should be regarded as of equal value and risk to the sweat and tears a worker puts in to create something from nothing. We envision a creative industry where all contributors get revenue from every part of the project that they have worked on, for every project they put their effort into. Compensation is therefore tied to the percentage of the workload that a worker carries for a project, so nobody feels the need to sacrifice more than their peers do for the same amount of work.
Reinventing our business practices is not going to be an easy task, we are not offering a utopia. We should all expect to make some sacrifices along the way, because fairness is not only sharing the spoils, it’s also sharing the losses. Only by doing both can we take the creative industry to a better and more sustainable place. We are called WerkPlant because we plant the seed that sprouts the roots of an evolution in business practices for the creative industry, in the hope that it will grow into something better than what we are used to. Will you join us in nurturing it?
Are you enticed by what you just read? Do you have some general questions? Or are you interested in shaping the future of business practices in the creative industry with us? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, or come talk to us and other creatives on the WerkPlant Discord, and let’s share ideas and plans to work towards a future where we can all harvest what we sow.