This talk by one of the most active academic proponents of platform cooperativism, Rafael Grohmann, will focus on the theoretical and public policy possibilities of building platform cooperativism in Latin America. Thus, the presentation will have four sections: 1) The concept of worker-owned platforms and its place in the discussion on platform labor and platform cooperativism, in relation to the global circulation of worker struggles; 2) Theorization on platform cooperativism from Latin America, taking into account historical learnings from the region in relation to the development of technologies and work organization, and also from authors such as Jesús Martín-Barbero, Álvaro Vieira Pinto, and the current debates on Big Data & AI from the South. This means that platform cooperativism from the South cannot just be a “tropicalization” of the concept, but an effort at theorizing from below; 3) Based on these lessons learned, an invitation to imagine prefigurative possibilities of worker-owned technologies and their relationship with a wider circuit of production and consumption, connecting past, present and future; 4) Draft of a public policy agenda for worker-owned platforms in dialogue with workers, governments and policymakers.
Rafael Grohmann’s talk on platform cooperativism in Latin America will undoubtedly inspire the advancement of platform coops in the region. Grohmann is making the case for a platform coop movement that is specifically geared toward the needs of people in Brazil, taking into account the country’s distinct cultural and economic context and correctly rejecting a “helicoptering in” of organizational structures from the Global North.
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Rafael Grohmann Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)