What is the Gig Economy? 10 Expert Economics Speakers to Hire for 2024

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After Dinner Sales Executive
7 minutes to read
What is the Gig Economy? 10 Expert Economics Speakers

In today’s rapidly shifting job market, the Gig Economy is redefining traditional employment. It's a realm where flexibility and independence reign, but also where complexities and uncertainties abound. Hiring expert economics speakers provides crucial context, shedding light on the economic implications and trends of this modern work paradigm.

What is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs. It primarily operates through digital platforms, enabling efficient matching of labour providers (freelancers, independent contractors) with those needing services (individuals or companies). The nature of the gig economy is inherently flexible, emphasising temporary engagements and task-based payments rather than traditional, long-term employment relationships. This model allows for adaptable work arrangements, offering both providers and clients customised and often immediate fulfilment of specific job tasks or projects, thus significantly transforming traditional business models and employment strategies.

In the UK, the gig economy encompasses approximately 463,583 individuals, representing about 1.4% of the total labour force.

Source: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, CIPD

Who are the Top 10 Speakers on the Gig Economy & Economics?

One of the easiest ways to understand what the implications of a Gig Economy are is by hiring expert economics speakers to detail their knowledge of the future of the Gig Economy. With an economy that is projected to reach a gross volume of over $500 billion in the next five years, it is vitally important to understand how the Gig Economy will impact the future of work and society.

Following verified feedback from 245 official economics-themed events, The Motivational Speakers Agency’s Senior Keynote Speaker & Entertainment Manager, Mark Matthews, has compiled his expert selection of the Top 10 Expert Gig Economy Speakers to Hire for 2024 Events!

1. Gerard Lyons

Gerard Lyons is highly regarded as an economics speaker due to his extensive expertise and experience. With over thirty years in the field, including high-profile roles in both public and private sectors, Gerard brings a deep understanding of economic forecasting, financial markets and global economic policy. His tenure includes notable positions like Chief Economist at Swiss Bank and Chief Economic Advisor to the Mayor of London. Gerard’s insight into the Gig Economy is especially valuable; he combines firsthand experience with an academic background in mathematics and economics. This blend of practical and theoretical knowledge makes him an ideal speaker to address the complexities of the Gig Economy, offering businesses critical insights into policy effects and future forecasts.

2. Jim O’Neill

Lord Jim O'Neill, with over 25 years as a leading British economist and his groundbreaking work on emerging markets, particularly coining 'BRIC', is a foremost authority in economics. His extensive experience at Goldman Sachs as Chief Economist, crafting innovative investment strategies and insightful forecasts, underscores his expertise. His academic background and government advisory roles, including as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, provide him with a unique blend of theory and practice. Jim’s profound understanding of economic trends and the Gig Economy makes him an invaluable speaker for providing insights into future economic impacts on corporate environments.

3. Carmen Reinhart

Dr. Carmen Reinhart is an esteemed economics speaker, particularly on topics like the Gig Economy, due to her profound expertise and experience. Her role at Harvard Kennedy School and affiliations with notable economic research bodies underscore her deep understanding of financial systems. Carmen’s practical experience, including her tenure as Chief Economist at Bear Sterns and at the IMF, provides her with unique insights into economic trends. Her acclaimed book, “This Time is Different”, reflects her ability to distil complex economic issues. Recognised by Bloomberg and Foreign Policy as a leading thinker, her bilingual proficiency extends her influence, making her an authoritative voice on economic developments.

4. Adair Turner

Adair Turner's expertise in economics gained from roles like Chairman of the Financial Services Authority and involvement in significant economic reforms, makes him an ideal speaker for commenting on the Gig Economy. His background in analysing the 2008 recession and advocating for unconventional economic solutions, like helicopter money, demonstrates his deep understanding of modern economic challenges. As a senior researcher at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, he's at the forefront of exploring emerging economic trends, making his insights invaluable for understanding the complexities and implications of the Gig Economy.

5. Rain Newton-Smith

Rain Newton-Smith's role as Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry, combined with her experience at Oxford Economics and the Bank of England, makes her an ideal economics speaker for topics like the Gig Economy. Her expertise in economic and tax policy, global business leadership and sustainable economics align with the complexities of modern work structures. Her background in macroeconomic forecasting and understanding emerging markets, especially China, provides valuable insights into global economic trends. Rain’s recognition as a strategic leader and her extensive experience in policy-making position her well to comment on developments like the Gig Economy.

6. Roger Bootle

Roger Bootle, celebrated for predicting the financial crisis in "Money for Nothing", is a renowned economist and Chairman of Capital Economics. His role at HSBC as Group Chief Economist and as a Treasury Advisor for the UK Government illustrates his expertise in economic forecasting. Winning the Wolfson Economics Prize and being the Economics Commentator of the Year affirm his analytical prowess. These accolades, combined with his experience in analysing market trends and economic policy, make him an authoritative speaker on contemporary issues like the Gig Economy, offering valuable insights and understanding of this evolving economic landscape.

7. Bronwen Maddox

Bronwen Maddox, with her diverse background in finance, journalism and policy, is well-suited to comment on developments like the Gig Economy. Starting at Charterhouse Capital Partners, she gained a solid financial grounding. As a journalist for the Financial Times and The Times, she developed a keen analytical eye for economic trends. Her roles as Director of the Institute for Government and Chief Executive of The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) deepen her insights into policy impacts on the economy. Her academic background in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, combined with her public speaking and writing experience, make her a knowledgeable and articulate economics speaker.

8. Professor John Ryan

Professor John Ryan is an esteemed economics speaker, chosen for his extensive experience in political economy and deep knowledge of global economic affairs. His affiliations with prestigious institutions and his advisory roles for the EU, OECD and UN showcase his expertise. John’s ability to dissect complex economic concepts, including the Gig Economy, is evidenced by his regular commentary for major media outlets and participation in high-level think tanks. His insights into economic policy and innovation make him a valuable commentator on modern economic developments, appealing to a wide range of audiences seeking understanding in an ever-evolving economic landscape.

9. Stephanie Flanders

Stephanie Flanders, renowned for her vast experience in economics, is perfectly suited for speaking on topics like the Gig Economy. Her academic prowess from Oxford, coupled with her distinguished career at the BBC and in investment banking, provides her with deep insights into economic trends. Stephanie’s understanding of market dynamics, honed through roles in journalism and as a Chief Market Strategist, enables her to offer a nuanced analysis of evolving sectors like the Gig Economy. Her ability to blend economic theory with real-world applications makes her an invaluable commentator, offering perspectives that resonate with both corporate and public audiences.

10. Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz is highly sought after as an economics speaker on the Gig Economy due to his vast expertise and distinguished career. As a Nobel laureate and former World Bank Chief Economist, he brings a deep understanding of macroeconomics and market dynamics. His work on Information Asymmetry and the Efficiency Wage Model is particularly relevant in analysing the Gig Economy's unique challenges and opportunities. Joseph’s ability to advise leaders like Barack Obama and communicate complex ideas effectively makes him an invaluable resource for audiences seeking comprehensive insights into the evolving landscape of modern economics. His authoritative perspective is essential for understanding the Gig Economy’s impact and future.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Gig Economy?


  • Cost-effective businesses – minimise costs by hiring off-site workers, reduce office space requirements and fewer employee benefits such as retirement plans and sick pay
  • Flexible labour force matching – direct link between companies and freelancers, eliminating middlemen
  • Increased worker output & motivation – inherent flexibility appeals to modern workers who value adaptable schedules


  • Reduced worker commitment – lower investment in organisations, could lead to loyalty issues or decreased motivation
  • Ethical concerns for businesses – often face criticism for casual employee practices and lack of benefits for employees, e.g. unethical worker treatment and non-competitive wages
  • Challenges for Gig workers – frequently lack benefits, so workers will have to do things such as provide fuel for travel. Workers may also experience isolation, impacting job satisfaction and mental health

Source: Corporate Finance Institute

Hire an Economics Speaker Today!

To develop an understanding of various aspects of economics, including the development of the Gig Economy, hire an expert economics speaker today! To discuss the prospect of an economics speaker at your next event, call one of our dedicated booking agents on 0207 0787 876 or complete our online contact form to begin the booking process.

This official article on the Gig Economy and 10 Expert Economics Speakers to Hire for 2024 was written by Mark Matthews.

Mark Matthews - Headshot
After Dinner Sales Executive

Since 2017, Mark has been working closely with some of the world’s most prestigious brands, including F1, Deloitte, Mastercard, HSBC and Samsung. With a degree in Business Management and Sports Science from the University of Worcester, he is a key figure in The Motivational Speakers Agency’s success, securing talent for reputable events as a Senior Keynote Speaker Executive. Working with some of the biggest names in media and sport, from Tyson Fury to Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark has formed quality relationships with countless household names. 

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