Attachment is no longer desirable. In a progressive age where all relationships are fluid, the uprooted know that there is no direction home. We crave constantly to use our skill, wits and keenness to weave impermanent bonds that are slack enough to prevent suffocation, but tight enough to provide security.

The habitual sources of solace are less reliable. Our deepest wish is to stop our relationships from curdling and clotting. This contradiction between freedom and security tears us apart. In everything we do, we try to build a liveable balance between the two.

But if we tilt the balance too far to freedom, we find ourselves desperate for love and eager to re-connect to people, work and community. This does not mean that liquid moderns wish to return to an old suffocating security. We want a contradiction- to be free and to be safe at once; something that would make the work of Sisyphus easy.

The work of a liquid capitalist is eternal and consumes imagination. We jabber into smart phones, addictively texting, leaping incessantly in non-linear directions from one chat to another, dating using Apps knowing that we can delete- without pain or peril.

The liquid modern is forever replacing quality of relationships with quantity. The messages themselves do not decide who we are because they are of no significance anyway. Rather, the real message is the circulation of messages- the sense of safety created by being cocooned inside the mesh.

Once we realize that all we have to lose are chains, we find freedom. Unshackled from managers and corporate norms 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe have left the confines of corporate life to be independent contractors. Much of this new freedom and growth around knowledge-intensive industries and creative occupations reflect the advent of task-oriented platforms like Lyft.

In a fresh report by McKinsey, these businesses are described as the fastest growing segments of the freelance economy. But this shift is more about differences in attitudes than in changes in jobs.  The price of such freedom is a shakiness that only subsides slowly. The uneasiness about money and reputation never decreases. What is at stake is identity. So you become your work. If you don’t produce you perish.

The nouveau embrace is tight but tentative. Firms no longer want to manage defined benefit pension plans. They want talent dedicated to a defined task and expect it to roam freely once the job is done. The curricula vitarum of gig workers are beautifully unstable – replete with short stints and amazing projects. Lifelong unions with a single employer are fading.

Project-specific hiring to drive innovation without over-committing resources to health insurance and pensions is trending. In the West Indies a sense of unsettledness and unbelonging has manufactured a mind-set that jobs must provide a “holding environment” that buy a stairway to a heaven bejewelled with retirement “benefits”.  The Bureau of Labour statistics reported that 18% of private workers in the US were covered by these plans in 2011, down from 35 % in the 1990s.

Creatives are searching for “liberating connections” as they shadow the advice of Gustav Flaubert: “Be regular and orderly in your life…so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Their parents on the other hand remain in one job labouring out of fear about the quality of their post-work lives.

Gig workers care about being “at work” and are “into their work”. Discipline and sustained productivity are a constant struggle against the erosions of distractions and distress. There is no buffer of a “holding environment” created by a permanent appointment. Inside the holding environment paradigm, tales of success are coloured in tones of security and poise. Within the new architype, gig workers must convert anxiety into fonts of creativity, and opportunities for growth, that sustain their output.

Regardless of how bad it gets, they are convinced that they have the power to change the world and to overcome any situation. They create and work from a place of choice, not a position of need. They pursue a type of success that comes from feeling present, authentic and alive in one’s work.

Companies with open innovation systems find gig workers brimming with new perspectives. Worldwide gig economy platforms like Freelancer and Toptal make it easy for talent to find work. Innovation is not geography-constrained so these platforms give companies access to talent from anywhere in the world. Refreshing “outsider” perspectives become flambeaus inside companies committed to innovation. Companies faithful to long-term innovation benefit from a sustained infusion of bloom.

Open innovation platforms like IdeaScale allow them to collect a broad range of ideas and to evaluate, rank and prioritize them.  Additionally, the right idea is connected to the right decision-maker to maximize the probability of moving rapidly from porotype to production.

Furthermore, education systems are no longer outside future-proofing the workforce. Education systems today explicitly aim to produce entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators. Workers who are themselves factors of production. Innovators who create new products that are valued in one or more cultural setting, who find new markets, and who constantly find new sources of raw materials.