Platform Cooperativism Unconference 2016

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Civic Hall

156 Fifth Avenue

2nd Floor

New York, NY 10010

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Unconference, Day 3: Platform Cooperativism: Building the Cooperative Internet (Days 1 and 2 are an invite-only summit capped

(Days 1 and 2 are an invite-only summit, this Unconference is designed to open up the conversation to a broader audience)

We will wrap up the conference with a participant-driven meeting. In an unconference, the attendees set the agenda, codesign the topics to explore, deliver the content, and facilitate the working sessions.

We hope this convening structure will allow participants to dig into topics raised in the first two days, explore themes that haven't been represented, and open the dialogue to new communities not present at the New School earlier in the weekend.


About the conference.

Platform Cooperativism: Building the Cooperative Internet

Almost unnoticed, in the gaps and hollows of the digital economy, a new economy is emerging that follows a different ethical and financial logic. Platform cooperativism, as it has come to be called, is an emerging movement for democratic governance and collective ownership on the Internet and a fairer future of work. It is a concrete, near future alternative to the on-demand economy; it reclaims humane principles like mutuality, sympathy, and solidarity by bringing together the rich heritage of cooperativism with 21st-century technologies.

The pieces are coming into place. Freelancers are forming cooperatives to find clients and pool insurance through platforms of their own. Uber drivers are leaving the mothership, organizing in co-ops, and designing their own taxi apps. Photographers are offering their work for fair prices on a platform where they're in charge, and journalists are crowdfunding news portals co-owned with their audiences. New decentralized networks are enabling people to share their data with each other without relying on a corporate cloud. Contrary to the rules of the dominant algorithmic gatekeepers, platform cooperativism puts the online economic infrastructure into the hands of the people who depend on it most.

The cooperative platform economy can become one of the counterforces to the defects of the on-demand economy. It is a strategy for reversing wealth inequality, gender inequity, environmental degradation, and systemic racial injustice. The experiments now already underway show that a global ecosystem of cooperatives can stand against the concentration of wealth and the insecurity of workers that yields Silicon Valley's winner-takes-all economy. They show that the Internet can be owned and governed differently.

Since the “Platform Cooperativism: The Internet, Ownership, Democracy” event in November 2015 at The New School, conferences and community meetings about the cooperative platform economy have taken place in Berlin, New York City, Florence, Bologna, Weimar, Melbourne, London, Brussels, Boston, Budapest, and Philadelphia. A new book, Ours to Hack and to Own, gathers many of the rationales and experiments that are driving the movement forward. The Platform Cooperativism Consortium will launch at this event, creating a global network of institutions to support this eco system of businesses. The vision is spreading. A year later, we need to keep the momentum building and continue forging the critical connections necessary to make this vision even more a reality.

On November 11-13, 2016, “Platform Cooperativism: Building The Cooperative Internet” will take place at The New School and Civic Hall in New York City.

On Day 1, we will bring together an international group of policymakers to discuss regulation and investment in alternative models. In the afternoon, we’ll think through the legal and design implications of the cooperative platform economy.

On Day 2, discussions will focus on global opportunities for convergence among worker resistance, unions, and cooperatives. How can online co-ops meet some of the platform economy's challenges that the labor movement has struggled with?

On Sunday, Day 3 at Civic Hall, an unconference will allow for an open stream of project proposals for the platform co-op space.

Building the basis for a popular movement in support of a fairer cooperative digital economy requires countless people, projects, inventive organizations, publications, and events around the world. “Platform Cooperativism: Building The Cooperative Internet” will be part of this effort. Join us online and in person.

Date and Time

Location

Civic Hall

156 Fifth Avenue

2nd Floor

New York, NY 10010

View Map

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