Co-operatives in the Digital Age
Ever since reading David Erdal’s book “Beyond the Corporation: Humanity Working”, I have been fascinated by cooperatives. Unlike “traditional” organizational structures, the idea behind a cooperative is to distribute the wealth of the company more evenly throughout its employee base, rewarding those who create the value as well as those who manage it.
I was honored to have the opportunity to speak to David and hear a little more about his current research interests, as well as get his thoughts on how digital sharing economy businesses are challenging or furthering the cooperative cause. Above all, I wanted to better understand what these ‘sharing’ business models and organizational structures had in common with the well-established cooperative model.
The conversation went far beyond that, and I found myself learning about early humans’ cooperative tendencies, the concept of ‘voluntary initiative’, and some of the UK’s most cooperative businesses.