PCC Event

​How to Build Platform Coops

  • Nov 11, 2016 3:50–5:45PM

  • The New School<br />
    Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts<br />
    Wollman Hall<br />
    5th floor
    65 West 11th St
    New York,
    United States

Platform cooperativism has generated intense interest over the last year, and there is a growing number of platform coop start-ups. Most start-ups in any sector fail, and that’s fine but unfortunately, a lot of the resources for platform development are being wasted on proprietary code and outdated product design approaches that are very, very likely to fail for completely avoidable reasons! In this session we’ll gather a group of world class software developers, designers, and cooperativists to talk about both normative and pragmatic reasons for the platform co-op movement to embrace free software, lean product development, and community-led design. We’ll address common fears and misconceptions about free software (‘won’t someone take my code and start a competitor?’ ‘It’s too much work to make our code useable by others!’), lean product development (‘Isn’t that just meaningless business jargon?’ ‘I already know exactly what features we need!’ ‘How will I know what my org is gonna get for the money if we hire someone to do lean product development?’), and community-led design (‘that sounds nice, but what does it really look like in practice? What do I need to do to make community-led design successful?) You’ll walk away convinced that free software, lean development, and community-led design are the future (or at least, you’ll have a clearer idea about which of your concerns are real and which are ungrounded fears).


  • David Carroll Co-founder, CEO of Glossy.io

  • Una Lee Vermont-based Design Practitioner, Collaborative Design Facilitator, and Community Organizer, Consentful Tech

  • Paola Villarreal Systems Programmer & Fellow at the Open Documentary Lab at MIT's Comparative Media Studies, at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and a Data Science Fellow at the ACLU of Massachusetts

  • Micky Metts Worker/Owner, Agaric

  • Evan Henshaw Plath Independent Consultant and Research Affiliate, The Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab

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