Cooperative Strategies For an Inclusive 21st Century Economy
Aaron Tanaka – Center for Economic Democracy / Boston Impact Initiative / New Economy Coalition (moderator)
Nathan Schneider – Platform Cooperativism
Carmen Huertas-Noble – CUNY School of Law / 1worker1vote
Kristen Barker – Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative / 1worker1vote
We live in a moment of both incredible connectivity and deeply entrenched inequality. Two exciting conferences, both being held the weekend of November 13-14, seek to explore innovative ways that cooperative business structures offer a new, more just, way forward in our connected age. The Union Co-operative Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the latest national gathering hosted by 1worker1vote and the Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative who are building a national network of unionized worker-owned cooperative businesses to overcome opportunity, mobility, and income inequality. Union co-ops are based on the Mondragon principles dedicated to growing equal share equity for workers, fomenting solidarity, and building local living economies. Platform Cooperativism in New York City, is a coming-out party for the cooperative Internet, built of platforms owned and governed by the people who rely on them. What if Uber drivers could set up their own platform, or if cities could control their own version of Airbnb? The program will include discussion sessions, screenings, monologues, legal hacks, workshops, and dialogues, as well as a showcase of projects, both conceptual and actual. This conversation, featuring organizers from both gatherings, will look at why the co-operative model offers so much potential in our current moment as well as the promise and pitfalls of (re)introducing cooperativism into the internet and the labor movement.