How the ICDE Is Working to Advance Platform Cooperativism: Q&A With Trebor Scholz
Despite growing awareness that the current platform economy — dominated by companies like Uber, Facebook, Amazon and Doordash — is exploiting workers and users, alongside the emergence of some platform cooperative successes like Stocksy, Up & Go, and Resonate, platform cooperatives remain mostly an idea. Today, most users around the world still cannot easily use a platform cooperative alternative for any service they rely on.
That could soon change.
New entities are creating toolkits and models for start-up platform cooperatives to more easily tackle the existing legal, financial and technical barriers to entry in the digital economy. One of the first was Platform Cooperative Consortium, founded in November 2016, which counts 17 members in its circle of cooperatives, and now has affiliates in six countries around the world.
More recently, the brand new Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE), launched this past May at the New School in New York City, where the first Platform Cooperativism Conference was held in 2015. The ICDE is focused on creating actionable research and knowledge, examining digital businesses and projects that are owned and governed by workers and users.