Platform Co-operatives – Solving the Capital Conundrum
This report, jointly published with Co-operatives UK, looks at what platform co-operatives are, why we need them, and what is needed for them to grow and flourish in the future.
A platform co-operative is a digital platform that is designed to provide a service or sell a product – that is collectively owned and governed by the people who depend on and participate in it.
A growing number of people manage their work and resources through digital platforms that offer boundless flexibility and independence. However, these platforms can be exploitative and monopolistic, owned largely by a small number of Big Tech corporations which enable the precarious gig economy, exacerbate systemic inequalities and facilitate data surveillance and data capture.
For platform co-operatives to grow and flourish as an alternative this report calls for:
- the establishment of a Platform Co-ops Fund, informed by the community shares model
- the development of accelerator activities to support emerging platform co-ops
- a campaign to raise awareness of the platform co-op model among the tech sector
- further investigation into how such capital models can help existing purpose-driven tech business adopt a co-op structure