2020 Research Reports by the Fellows of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy

Morshed Mannan

Today, we celebrate the reports by our inaugural 2020 ICDE research fellows. You can read them here:

Amelia Evans ”Redefining the Concept of an Ethical Business” PDF

Morshed Manan ”Everything Old Is New Again” PDF

Min Sun Ji ”Platform Worker Organizing:” PDF

Luciana Bruno ”Collecting Dignity: Recyclables Waste Pickers of Brazil” PDF

Jonas Pentzien ”The Politics of Platform Cooperativism” PDF

Please join us in welcoming our incoming 2021 ICDE research fellows:
Louis Cousin, Erik Forman, Salonie Muralidhara Hiriyur, Denise Kasparian, Shaked Spier, Vera Vidal, and Rafael A. F. Zanatta.

Louis Cousin is a Ph.D. student at Laval University (Canada) and Paris-Saclay University (France). He has been a cooperative entrepreneur and researcher for almost 10 years. Cousin designs, coordinates, and studies innovation projects contributing to the development of cooperatives around the world. Cousin’s ICDE research report will focus on the role of cooperative associations in the development and adoption of information technologies. Following an organizing vision perspective, he will identify the factors influencing associations in advancing strategies aimed at guiding their members when making decisions about technology that are compatible with their cooperative identity. More specifically, the research will focus on technology solutions that are based on “Solid,” a new project about data ownership and open standards led by Professor Tim Berners-Lee at MIT. Solid aims for universal and decentralized interoperability of data, which could play a significant role in bringing the 6th cooperative principle (cooperation among cooperatives) to the digital economy.

Erik Forman is pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He teaches at the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies and Fordham University (United States). Erik uses participatory action research methods to help workers develop knowledge to gain the power to change their reality through collective action. He is co-Founder of The Drivers Cooperative, the world’s first driver-owned rideshare app, launching early in 2021 in New York City. His fellowship research will use participant-observation of the first year of operations of The Drivers Cooperative to create a toolbox for scaling the model globally.

Salonie Muralidhara Hiriyur is a Senior Coordinator at SEWA Cooperative Federation (India), where she leads the Research team. The Federation works as an Enterprise Support System, providing support services to women’s cooperatives and collectives, including digital inclusion. Hiriyur also holds an MSc. in Gender, Development, and Globalization from the London School of Economics. In the past, she has also worked with the Research Department of the International Labour Organization. Salonie Muralidhara Hiriyur’s research focuses on cooperatives of women workers in India’s informal economy. For the ICDE fellowship, she will analyze the digital transformation of cooperatives in the agriculture sector through the lens of a case study of the Farm2Table platform that is being piloted by the SEWA Cooperative Federation.

Denise Kasparian is a researcher of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council and a professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Kasparian’s research focuses on traditional cooperatives, worker-recuperated enterprises, and platform co-ops in Argentina. Her research for the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy will focus on the opportunities and challenges for the expansion of the co-op network and digital infrastructure provider CoopCycle in Argentina.

Shaked Spier is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethics and Technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente (Netherlands), and a member of the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology. Before his Ph.D., Spier studied Library and Information Science and Gender Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). He also published the book Collective Action 2.0: The Impact of Social Media on Collective Action. His dissertation looks at the ethical and political aspects of the digital economy and focuses on democratic and alternative models such as platform cooperatives. As an ICDE fellow, Spier will conduct comparative empirical research of cooperative and capitalist platforms’ moral and political values by analyzing how these values are embedded in the platforms’ technological design and institutional logics. This builds the foundation for conceptualizing these technological and institutional countermodels’ underlying social conflicts.

Vera Vidal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Dimmons research group at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Open University of Catalonia (Spain). As an ICDE fellow, Vidal will research multi-stakeholder governance models of platform cooperatives. She will document the conversion of Fairbnb, an accommodation booking platform co-op that promotes and funds local projects, from an Italian worker cooperative into a multi-stakeholder cooperative.

Rafael A. F. Zanatta is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). Zanatta is also the director of the non-profit organization Data Privacy Brasil. He developed projects about platform cooperativism and data protection with Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Coonecta, and Cataki. As an ICDE fellow, Zanatta will research the digital transformation of the Brazilian cooperative movement and its attendant network of agents including federal and state-level systems, innovation hubs, cooperative schools, investors, and activists.