Sujith Nair

Hello, I’m Sujith Nair, CEO and co-founder of the Foundation for Interoperability in Digital Economy (FIDE). Our foundation contributes to the digital commons, focusing on design aspects. We’ve developed open specifications known as the backend protocol, aimed at reimagining how the digital economy functions. Our goal is to address inclusion, equity, scale, and innovation, fostering a sustainable and newly envisioned digital economy.

Regarding the importance of cooperative principles in today’s digital economy, it’s clear that the current system often places individuals, small businesses, and civil society groups at a disadvantage. To participate in the digital ecosystem, one typically must rely on tech intermediaries. These intermediaries, while enabling participation, also tend to extract power for their benefit, often misaligning with the incentives of users. This creates a skewed political economy. Recognizing this issue is crucial. Cooperative principles can restore agency and autonomy to users—from taxi drivers to small restaurants to tutors—allowing them direct access to the digital economy without dependency on intermediaries. These principles are vital for empowering participants and facilitating access to innovation, making them increasingly relevant in our interconnected world.