A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively-owned, democratically-governed business that uses a protocol, website or mobile app to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform cooperatives are an alternative to venture capital funded platforms insofar as they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most—workers, users, and other relevant stakeholders. Proponents of platform cooperativism claim that, by ensuring the financial and social value of a platform circulate among these participants, platform cooperatives will bring about a more equitable and fair digitally-mediated economy in contrast with the extractive models of corporate intermediaries. Platform cooperatives differ from traditional cooperatives not only due to their use of digital technologies, but also by their contribution to the commons for the purpose of fostering an equitable social and economic landscape.
Platform cooperativism draws upon other attempts at digital disintermediation, including the peer-to-peer production movement, led by Michel Bauwens and the P2P Foundation, which advocates for “new kinds of democratic and economic participation” that rest “upon the free participation of equal partners, engaged in the production of common resources,” as well as the radically-distributed, non-market mechanisms of networked peer-production promoted by Yochai Benkler. Marjorie Kelly’s book Owning Our Future contributed the distinction between democratic and extractive ownership design to this discussion.
9 Working Examples of Platform Cooperatives
A two day conference on the collaborative economy
The conference happened on February 16-17 2017 at Goldsmiths, University of London
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The Internet is slipping out of ordinary users’ control. Internet technologies are transforming our workplaces, relationships, and societies. Companies like Uber, Amazon, and Facebook are capturing vital sectors of the economy such as transportation and phenomena like search and social networking. All of us who rely on the Internet have virtually no control over the platforms that affect and inform us on a daily basis.
Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC)
The PCC supports the cooperative platform economy through research, advocacy, education, co-design, legal advice, application development, the documentation of best practices, the coordination of funding, and events.
Co-operative Business Models for Sustainable Platform Enterprise
Is how we view establishing a new creative content maker’s platform.
It starts with the idea that you are able to tag your own creations on your own physical hardware or authorized “agent” that will operate on your behalf and retain on-going record of use of your content.
I know that there is a need because I live in a Cooperative Housing Community and it works. I believe in the principles.