A practical and theoretical online program to learn about and incubate platform co-ops.
Worldwide, millions of young people will be unemployed in the course of COVID-19. From India, Italy, Spain, and Brazil to the United States, workers in tourism, the arts, retail, education, and all informal workers are the hardest hit. Low-income, marginalized, working-class people and immigrants are more adversely affected. In the face of all this, how can working people organize, regain control, and participate in the building of economic alternatives?
At a moment where the concentration of big tech companies is skyrocketing, this course does not stop at an analysis of surveillance capitalism; it equips people to succeed as cooperative platform entrepreneurs in the fast-growing gig economy. It gives learners the opportunity to analyze and get involved with a generation of young leaders that is experimenting with innovative power-building strategies that are rooted in cooperative ownership of digital platforms.
The Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) at The New School in New York City (USA) and MONDRAGON Co-op. and MTA-MONDRAGON UNIVERSITY, Gizpuzkoa (Spain) jointly offer the second edition of Platform Co-ops Now!, an online course to introduce, incubate, and accelerate platform cooperatives.
October 26, 2020 — January 29, 2021
What’s in It for Me and My Community?
● Learn about platform capitalism, the gig economy, and the cooperative digital economy
● Understand the process of building a platform co-op
● Familiarize yourself with the ecosystem of platform co-ops
● Connect with hundreds of people in this global community
● Develop a business plan and deck for your project
● Learn new skills
● Work with local partner organizations
● Share your existing knowledge and experience
● Join our post-course alumni network
How Does It Work?
● This is a pass/fail certificate course
● Duration: 3 months
● Time commitment 12 lectures over 3 months
● Total hours including discussion and prep time: 66 hours
● Lectures are offered asynchronously; you can access them flexibly on any device
● Downloadable resources
● Live discussions
● Inspiring, thoughtful speakers
Who Can Take This Course?
● Novice and advanced entrepreneurs who want to start a digital cooperative business or convert to one. They can take Part 1 and 2. Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2. Local partners may charge additional fees for part 2.
● Non-entrepreneurs (researchers, policymakers, anyone who wants to solely learn about cooperative ownership for the digital economy) can take Part 1. For them, the course ends on November 20.
About R. Trebor Scholz
Trebor Scholz is a scholar-activist and founding director of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School in New York City. Learn more at: https://platform.coop
About Jose Mari Luzarraga
Monasterio Social entrepreneur from MONDRAGON devoted to Human centre globalization through “teampreneurship.” Co-founder of Mondragon Team Academy (MTA world) building an international community of teampreneurs and young leading change makers through the definition and implementation of a new vision of education. (ASHOKA fellow since 2015).
We are offering this course in close collaboration with CICOPA and DIESIS. We gratefully acknowledge our local partners at the time of writing this:
● BCCM/Incubator.coop (Australia)
● BOPHUB SDG Centre
● FACTTIC (Argentina)
● Centro emprendimiento e incubación de economía social de Universidad IBERO – MTA Puebla (Mexico)
● Confecoop (Colombia)
● Conseil Québécois de la Coopération et de la Mutualité (Canada)
● Cooperativa Sulá Batsú (Costa Rica)
● Cooperatives UK (United Kingdom)
● Florida Universitaria – MTA Valencia (Spain)
● Industree.org (India)
● Legacoop Liguria (Italy)
● MTA China (China)
● MTA Singapore (Singapore)
● Ibero Puebla (Mexico)
● PCC Hong Kong (China)
● Platform Cooperatives Germany (Germany)
● Start.coop (USA)
● Universidade Federal do Paraná (Brasil)
● Cooperative Support Services (Nigeria)
● RedRoot Artist (Philippines)
● Cooperative University (Kenya)
● OCAD University (Canada)
● Institut Mines-Télécom (France)
- Platformes en Communs (France)
- Zuhura Innovation Africa
How Will I Know That I Have Succeeded?
To successfully graduate, participants will submit the following material.
● Researchers, interested policymakers, and people with other, non-entrepreneurial backgrounds submit a 3000-word paper at the end of Part 1. They cannot participate in Part 2, which is focused on the mechanics of building platform co-ops.
● Novice entrepreneurs produce a 500-word essay in Part 1 and 3-minute video for Part 2.
● Experienced entrepreneurs produce a 1500-word essay for Part 1 and a 3 minute video about their project for Part 2.
What’s My Time Commitment?
Part 1: 16 hours spread out over 4 week (4 hours of lectures broken up into 15 minutes topical segments, 1 hour-long global zoom meeting a week, 3 hours of reading, writing, online discussion per week) Part 2: 50 hours spread out over 8 weeks (10 hours of lectures, 8 hours of Zoom meetings, 8 hours of local partner meetings, and 16 hours of teamwork). The total time commitment, including lectures, discussion, and teamwork over 8 weeks, is 66 hours.
Why the PCC and Mondragon?
The platform Cooprativism Consortium and Mondragon U are leaders in the digital worker co-op space. We taught the first edition of this course: 418 students from 49 countries, 47 global partner organizations, and 110 new platform co-op projects.
Will I Receive A Certificate?
If you successfully submit the deliverables, you’ll receive a certificate.
Cost. How Is Such A Low Price Even Possible?
The cost of the program depends on your region. See Mondragon website for the breakdown of which region pays which fee. We offer this course at this low price because we want to allow anyone in the world to access this knowledge and network.
● economically developed countries (see list): US$150 (€130)
● economically developing countries (see list) : US$45 (€40)
What They Said About the First Edition
«The PCC and Mondragon put together a truly diverse set of cooperators from around the world, creating a network of sharing and collaboration, true to the cooperative spirit. We, at SEWA Cooperative Federation, have been inspired to work harder towards including India’s informal women workers into this network.»— Salonie
“Platform Coop Now! has been an incredible opportunity to connect with dozens of practitioners, get insights, and inspiration. The course has been a rare opportunity to gather at a global level and foresee what’s ahead for platform co-ops. After years of sporadic meetings around the globe, the platform co-op community had the chance to learn together and build solid collaborations. This approach, that goes beyond mere lessons, is essential to overcome the common challenges that we are facing all over the world at a level of single initiatives and as a whole movement.”— Damiano
“Platform Coops Now! provided me with the knowledge and global contacts I needed to get started in the platform cooperative ecosystem. It has been a hugely valuable and inspiring experience.»— Alfred
“I think that it was a great course. The experience and the enthusiasm of Trebor and his team was great. The conjunction between PCC and Mondragon is great and I hope that it can continue. The practical vision but with a solid theoretical background was most valuable.”— Anonymous
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org