Professor Trebor Scholz, the founding director of the Platform Cooperativism consortium, will lead these 7 seminars about platform cooperatives. To receive the certifcate, participants in the seminars will also attend Theory Jam Sessions and Community Assemblies. The seminars will provide a space for in-depth discussions and insights on the following topics:
The history and evolution of the platform co-op model, including its roots in the cooperative movement and its relevance to the modern economy. The key principles and values of platform cooperatives, including governance, ownership, and democratic control. Case studies of successful platform co-ops in various industries, including their business models, revenue streams, and key challenges. Strategies for launching and operating a platform co-op, including sourcing and managing talent, marketing, and financial planning. Legal and regulatory issues related to platform co-ops, including licensing, insurance, and safety. Opportunities for networking and collaboration with other professionals and organizations interested in exploring the potential of platform co-ops.
12:10 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Take charge of your own learning journey
Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the program! The cooperative digital economy is increasingly important. This program will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to understand and participate in this economy. By the end of the program, you’ll have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the digital economy, and you’ll be well-equipped to contribute to its ongoing development.
Introducing the Principles and Ecosystem of Platform Co-ops
Platform cooperatives are businesses that sell goods or services primarily through a website, mobile app, or protocol and rely on democratic decision-making and shared platform ownership by workers and users. These cooperatives follow the 7 cooperative principles and offer an alternative to traditional platform businesses, which are often controlled by a small group of investors or shareholders. In a platform co-op, ownership and control are distributed among the members, who are typically the users of the platform. This democratic structure aligns the interests of the members with the success of the cooperative, leading to more equitable and sustainable outcomes. During this seminar, you will be introduced to the principles and ecosystem of platform cooperatives, including the challenges and opportunities they face. We will also explore the sectors in which platform cooperatives are active, including care, delivery, app-based taxi services, and home services. In addition, we will welcome several platform co-op founders who will share their experiences and insights. Guests: Mansib Rahman (Radish.coop), Deborah Collier (SA domestic care project in progress), and Emma Adelaide Back – invited (EqualCare.coop).
Municipal Policy for Platform Co-ops
This seminar on municipal policy for platform cooperatives discusses the benefits and challenges of using platform cooperatives as a model for delivering local services. By using a cooperative model, platform cooperatives can provide economic benefits to workers and help ensure that the benefits of the digital economy are shared more broadly among the community. However, there are also challenges to using platform cooperatives, such as the need for strong governance structures and the potential for increased competition with traditional service providers. This municipal policy seminar explores these issues and discusses ways that local governments can support the development and growth of platform cooperatives in their communities. Invited guests are Jonas Pentzien, Hal Plotkin, and Morshed Mannan.
Value Created by Platform Co-ops
This seminar will explore the various forms of value generated by worker-owned online platforms, including financial and social impact. Case studies and measurement techniques will be discussed. Attendees will also have the opportunity to share their experiences and insights. The seminar will provide a comprehensive understanding of the value of platform co-ops and inspire attendees to consider the potential of these innovative business models. Guest speaker: Vera Zamagni.
Power of Cooperative Ownership
This seminar about the power of cooperative ownership online focuses on the benefits and potential of cooperative ownership in the digital realm. Cooperative ownership, where a business is owned and governed by its members, has been shown to promote fairness, sustainability, and resilience. The seminar would likely discuss the various models of online cooperatives and their potential to challenge traditional online business models. It may also delve into the technical, legal, and financial aspects of starting and running an online cooperative, as well as case studies of successful online cooperatives. The seminar would provide valuable insights for those interested in starting or joining an online cooperative, as well as those interested in supporting the development of the cooperative movement online.
Invited guest speaker: Santosh Kumar, Simon Pek (invited)
Platform Co-op Scaling
This seminar explores the challenges and opportunities associated with scaling platform cooperatives. These organizations, which are owned and governed by their members, have gained popularity as a way to promote fairness and sustainability in the digital economy. The seminar would likely discuss the various models of platform coops and their potential to disrupt traditional business models. It may also delve into the technical, legal, and financial aspects of scaling platform coops, as well as case studies of successful and unsuccessful attempts at scaling. The seminar would provide valuable insights for those interested in starting or growing a platform coop, as well as those interested in supporting the development of the platform coop movement. Invited guest speaker: Jason Spicer
Union Co-ops Online
This seminar about Union Co-ops Online explores the unique benefits and challenges of union cooperatives in the digital economy. Union cooperatives, which are owned and governed by their worker-members, have been gaining popularity as a way to promote worker ownership and control in the face of rapid changes in the world of work. The seminar would likely discuss the various models of union coops and their potential to provide stable, dignified employment for workers in the digital economy. It may also delve into the technical, legal, and financial aspects of starting and running a union coop online, as well as case studies of successful union coops. The seminar would provide valuable insights for those interested in starting or joining a union coop online, as well as those interested in supporting the development of the union coop movement.
Guest speaker: Ra Criscitiello
1. Understand the concept of a platform cooperative and its various models.
2. Learn the key principles and values of platform cooperatives, including democratic ownership and control, social and economic justice, and sustainability.
3. Explore different types of platform cooperatives, including worker cooperatives and community-owned platforms.
4. Understand the legal, financial, and organizational challenges and opportunities of scaling platform cooperatives.
Examples of deliverables include writing letters to municipal policymakers, presentations, authoring blog posts, papers, and reports, and creating various resources.
For this course, it is essential that participants maintain a spirit of generosity, support and respect for one another. On a practical level, we ask that all participants keep their cameras on during seminars and other online sessions in order to further enrich the learning experience. We expect everyone to adhere to these guidelines and hold each other accountable to ensure a productive, engaging, and supportive learning environment.