Platform Cooperative – Wikipedia
A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively owned, democratically governed business that establishes a computing platform, and uses a website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform cooperatives are an alternative to venture capital funded platforms insofar as they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most—workers, users, and other relevant stakeholders. Proponents of platform cooperativism claim that, by ensuring the financial and social value of a platform circulate among these participants, platform cooperatives will bring about a more equitable and fair digitally mediated economy in contrast with the extractive models of corporate intermediaries. Platform cooperatives differ from traditional cooperatives not only due to their use of digital technologies, but also by their contribution to the commons for the purpose of fostering an equitable social and economic landscape.
Platform cooperativism draws upon other attempts at digital disintermediation, including the peer-to-peer production movement, led by Michel Bauwens, Vasilis Kostakis and the P2P Foundation, which advocates for “new kinds of democratic and economic participation” that rest “upon the free participation of equal partners, engaged in the production of common resources,” as well as the radically distributed, non-market mechanisms of networked peer-production promoted by Yochai Benkler. Marjorie Kelly’s book Owning Our Future contributed the distinction between democratic and extractive ownership design to this discussion.