Theory Jam Sessions

These virtual roundtables, symposia, and talks are free to the public. They are academic in nature and will serve as the foundation for the sections that follow, in which these themes will be unpacked and expanded upon.


These virtual roundtables, symposia, and talks are free to the public. They are academic in nature and will serve as the foundation for the seminars that follow, in which these themes will be unpacked and expanded upon.

With one exception, events take place Wednesdays, 12:10 pm to 2:00pm (Eastern Standard Time, NYC time)

February 1
Beyond Twitter: A Look at Alternative Social Media Platforms
Are you fed up with feeling like your voice gets drowned out by the chaos of unaccountable mainstream social media? Then join us for a laid-back conversation with deep insights about alternative social media platforms. This discussion will address the issue of mass layoffs in Silicon Valley and the decline of Twitter as a privately-owned company. The recent events at Twitter, including the firing or resignation of more than half of its employees and reports of security issues, present a prime opportunity to learn how to better manage our relationships with social platforms. We’ll learn from the founder of social platform Hylo, and the architect of a strategy for transitioning to community ownership. And we will hear about the importance of avoiding over-commitment to one platform and the ways in which social media technologies can be re-imagined through low, slow, and no technology practices.

You’ll leave this conversation with a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the tech industry, the importance of avoiding over-commitment to one platform, and the existence of alternative approaches to creating more accountable and user-centric social media platforms.

Get ready to be inspired by our incredible roster of speakers: Joanne Armitage, Nathan Schneider, Tibet Sprague, and Emi Do, guided by Trebor Scholz

Register now to secure your spot!

March 1
ICDE Research Fellows Presentation
Join us at this symposium to celebrate the research reports of PCC/ICEE fellows, a group of designers, software developers, and Ph.D. students and faculty from fields including sociology, anthropology, economics, social work, cooperative studies, and law. The fellows have focused on topics such as distributed technologies, data stewardship, and municipal economic development, investigating how municipalities can support platform co-ops and use technology in ways that adhere to cooperative principles. Let us come together to envision a more cooperative research culture as we hear from the fellows about their findings and insights.

April 5
Exploring the Opportunities for Platform Cooperatives in India
**Note that this Theory jam Session occurs at a different time than the others to accommodate our community across time zones.
Time: 3.30 pm Indian ST / 6 pm Philippines ST/ 9:30 am EST
India has been experiencing a rapid increase in privately-held wealth relative to public wealth, resulting in growing inequality in terms of wealth and income. This trend is being accelerated by the platformization of everyday life, with corporations investing in monopolizing various markets. India also has a large cooperative network, which provides an alternative to capitalist-dominated markets by allowing workers to democratically control their working conditions and enforce the equitable distribution of wealth and income. The country’s cooperatives are concentrated in the agriculture, credit provision, and informal sectors. However, with platformization, these sectors are undergoing significant change. There are initiatives that aim to channel platformization in a cooperative direction, including platform cooperatives, which provide a democratic alternative to corporate-run digital infrastructure.

Readings:
Bardia, A. & Scholz, T. (2022). Platform Co-ops in India: Cases of Gujarat and Kerala. Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy. New York City: The New School.

Hiriyur, S. (2022). Designing Agriculture Platform Cooperatives With Women Farmers in Gujarat. Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy, New York City: The New School.

Kerswell, T. & Pratap, S. (2019). Worker Cooperatives in India. Palgrave Macmillan.

May 3
Platform Cooperatives in Brazil: Lessons from Rio de Janeiro
The PCC conference in Rio de Janeiro early in November 2022 was a major event focused on platform cooperatives and their potential to address economic and social challenges. It brought together experts and stakeholders from various industries to discuss the potential of platform coops in Brazil. The conference challenged conventional thinking about what types of cooperatives can succeed in Brazil and sparked a lively debate about the role of platform coops in addressing the country’s economic and social challenges. One of the standout features of the conference was the symposium on platform co-ops in Brazil, which brought together key contributors and stakeholders to discuss the role of the Lula government in supporting platform co-ops in Brazil. This symposium allowed participants to delve deeper into the topic and explore the potential of platform co-ops to address some of Brazil’s most pressing challenges. Overall, the PCC conference was a major event that generated a lot of interest and excitement about the potential of platform co-ops to drive economic and social progress in Brazil and Latin America.

Readings:
Zanatta, R. (2022) Platform Cooperativism in Brazil: Dualities, Dialogues, and Opportunities. Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy. New York City: The New School.

Portuguese version

June 7
New ICDE Research Fellows Introduce Themselves
Join us at this symposium to celebrate the research reports of PCC/ICEE fellows, a group of designers, software developers, and Ph.D. students and faculty from fields including sociology, anthropology, economics, social work, cooperative studies, and law. The fellows have focused on topics such as distributed technologies, data stewardship, and municipal economic development, investigating how municipalities can support platform co-ops and use technology in ways that adhere to cooperative principles. Let us come together to envision a more cooperative research culture as we hear from the fellows about their findings and insights.

In addition:

Music and Collection Action as part of Theory Jam Sessions
Music and Collective Action is a Platform Coop School feature in which students create a playlist of songs related to the school’s themes. Students will be invited to choose a soundtrack, explore its background and history, and record a brief narration of what they discover. Multi-instrumentalist, composer and New School part-time faculty member Daniel Blake will lead this project in partnership with the Platform Cooperativism Consortium, which will share the project publicly in March. The goal of Music and Collective Action is to get students thinking about the links between music and collective action, as well as the role music can play in shaping social and political movements.
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