One of the highlights of the first day of the conference features Trebor Scholz and Ronaldo Lemos in conversation with Aline Os and Jacira Sousa. Aline and Jacira are members of Señoritas Courier, a collective that seeks to develop a delivery platform owned by women and members of the LGBTQIAP+ community in São Paulo. Jacira explains, “Traditionally, delivery services were owned and operated by cisgender men. Señoritas is changing that by providing job opportunities for queer people.” Aline echoes the sentiment, adding that Señoritas is “not only good for the LGBTQIAP+ community, but also for the companies that hire the services.” Thanks to businesses like Señoritas Couriers, the delivery industry is becoming more inclusive. As a community-engaged researcher, writer, professor, and founding director of the Platform Cooperativism Consortium, PCC, at The New School in New York City, Trebor Scholz has been very influential in shaping the cooperative digital economy as a constructive and hopeful response to platform capitalism. He argues that to build a democratic Internet, we must first create a cooperatively owned and operated digital economy as part of a broader solidarity economy toolkit. Ronaldo Lemos is a Brazilian lawyer, law professor, author, co-founder of the Institute of Technology and Society (ITS) of Rio de Janeiro, co-author of Brazil’s Internet Law (“Marco Civil”) and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet.
This conversation between Scholz, Os, Sousa, and Lemos will set the stage for the conference and provide some concrete ideas on how we can build a cooperative digital economy. Some of the key questions they will discuss include: What is a platform co-op? What are the principles of the cooperative digital economy? How can we build an ecosystem of cooperatives that can compete with incumbents?
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