Mary Watson

I’m Mary Watson from the New School in New York City, and I’m here at the Platform Cooperatives Consortium Conference because we are the academic host of the Platform Cooperatives Consortium and the Institute for Platform Cooperatives at the New School. I’m here to discuss the critical importance of platform cooperatives in higher education. In the United States, the most popular major for undergraduate and graduate students is business. However, there is a significant gap in business education concerning the platform cooperative model. This gap is problematic because to advance the use of platform cooperatives, students must be educated about them and understand the importance of worker rights.

My academic work focuses on human rights and global fashion. I teach fashion design students at the Parsons School of Design, which is part of the New School. In these courses, we address the challenges of supply chain labor and the issues related to not owning the benefits of one’s labor. Platform cooperatives, like those in the garment industry here in Kerala, offer a promising way to improve the conditions of workers worldwide. However, higher education must progress by integrating this type of curriculum into its requirements for educating all students. We are proud at the New School to home Trebor Scholz, who is the founder of this conference, and I am very pleased to be here in Kerala today.