Global Innovators: Navigating the Gig EconomySemester Course

Major Discipline(s)
Entrepreneurship, Leadership Studies, Sociology
Elective Course
Fall/Spring semester

Are you interested in learning more about what it is like to design your own future career? Do you see yourself as your own boss working independently on cutting-edge projects that helps shape the future? Join us and actually meet people who have chosen this lifestyle and are happy to share their experiences, including how they utilize opportunities and manage risks in order to navigate this career path. This course is co-taught by an experienced CEO who supports professionals in this career path, and by a researcher who specializes in the gig economy. This course provides you with an opportunity to learn from and network with professionals within many disciplines. They have one thing in common – they decided not to take on traditional fulltime employment but instead followed their passion. Learn from these professionals who now work independently on projects and short-term contracts in the vibrant gig communities of Stockholm and Lisbon.

Included Travel Component

In the travel component of this course, we go to Lisbon. The Portuguese economy is doing well, and some of the world’s largest companies are opening up new technology focused hubs in Portugal. Lisbon has been experiencing a steadily increasing influx of freelance contract workers from all over the world – possibly attracted by the nice climate and tax benefits. We will meet with different stakeholders to gain their perspectives on the thriving gig scene in Lisbon.

This trip will come at no extra cost to you but is a mandatory part of the curriculum of this course. Travel will take place over three days during the period of your semester known as the ‘Study Break.’


Petra Sundell

DIS Stockholm Semester Faculty

Petra is a serial entrepreneur and venture builder focusing on the areas of future of work, future of education, and mental wellbeing. She has a background as a business and market strategist, and a deep passion for the business development, growth and expansion phases of startups. Already at the age of 19, Petra started her first company. She’s since split her time between career-coaching and consulting startups and smaller companies on their growth journeys. In recent years Petra worked as a Community Manager at one of the first and internationally most recognized startup hubs of the Nordics, SUP46, where she supported over 100 startups. She also helped launch TheNordicHub in Sweden, and developed a sweat equity investment strategy for a venture builder concept. Currently, Petra is dedicated to build her latest company, Upbeater, with the mission to help students and startups reach success by offering ways for them to support each other's growth. During 2020, the company will be releasing a new service, the Upbeater Society, supporting even more collaboration opportunities between students and startups through connections, interactions and gigs.


Stylianos Papaioannou

DIS Stockholm Semester Faculty

Ph.D  in International Entrepreneurship, Uppsala University, 2020.  M.S. in  International Business Strategy, Linnaeus University, 2012, with double-awarded Thesis on Social Corporate Responsibility of Small and Medium Size Exporting firms. B.S. in Economic and Regional Development, Panteion University, 2010.  Associated Researcher of Uppsala University, granted with Johan & Jakob Stiftelse Research Grant, published research in peer-reviewed international scientific journals: Journal of International Marketing, International Marketing Review, Thunderbird International Business Review, International Marketing Review, and others. Co-author of Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research.