This open issue is published against the background of a major global pandemic. The old ‘normal’ seems far away and undesirable, as a socio-ecological transformation becomes even more urgent. The contributions featured here scrutinize the current trends in the capitalist mode of production and envision the alternative organization of our societies. They examine new configurations of work, to which capital-led digitalization is often key, and ways to resist it. Attention is also paid to a fundamental rethinking of work, economy and care. Having been written before the pandemic, the current situation has only accelerated the gravity of the phenomena the contributions engage with. Through various theoretical and practical interventions, this issue can help address ‘what is to be done’ to construct a radically different normal. The follow-up question of ‘how is it to be done’, in turn, requires more thinking and action from us all.