Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


Democracy, you’re on mute: A co-op alternative to Zoom

The Online Meeting Cooperative use open source software, with hardware powered by renewable energy

“ is a service provider, not a censorship body,” said Wouter Tebbens from The Free Knowledge Institute, another of’s operational members. “Our members’ calls are private and it is not our business to monitor or question who says what to who. The idea that Zoom could close your account for no specified reason clearly sets off alarm bells about privacy and censorship but also about the power of big tech, democracy and freedom.”

And in a world-first, has joined the Open Credit Network, offering video conferencing services in exchange for mutual credit. This means that any UK business that signs up to the Open Credit Network can now subscribe to and pay in credits, instead of flat currency. Businesses that subscribe in this way can save cash for essential purchases, and can use the credits they earn to spend on servers and marketing support with other members of the network.

“ is working to create a new kind of economy based on the democratic, co-operative ownership of shared resources known as commons,” says Oliver Sylvester-Bradley from the Open Co-op, a operational member.

“By accepting mutual credit we not only hope to make our services more accessible to more people but we are also indicating our direction of travel. We are part of a global movement that recognises that our present economy is no longer fit for purpose and by accepting mutual credit we are  tackling one of the root causes of the extractive economy; the way that money is created as interest-bearing debt.”

The Online Meeting Co-operative is a pioneering platform co-operative that is going some way to disrupt a traditionally lucrative sector of the tech economy. Its holistic perspective on global systems change, and the fact it is run as a  co-operative to generate profit for people and the planet means that if can attract even 1% of Zoom’s customers, it could become a real force to be reckoned with.

Added May 21, 2021