Multi-Stakeholder Cooperatives

Businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by multiple stakeholders. This can include workers, consumers, producers, and/or community members.

Nathan Schneider, scholar-in-residence of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, views the origins of the digital platform as a direct response to the global financial crisis of 2008. This period of instability “required people to reconfigure their economic lives,” Schneider says, “and they turned towards the platform economy out of need and hope.”

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cross-posted from the P2P Foundation

Last year I went to Catalonia to conduct a field-study of one of the most interesting cooperative projects which have emerged in Europe in the age of crisis: the Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC).

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There is fresh interest in initiating and maintaining a digital commons to provide vital restbite against the wave on demand mobile apps and share economy services. This can be witnessed in tech start-ups and entrepreneurs shifting towards a co-operative business model, in what has been named as platform co-operavatism.

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Jessica Bonanno from the Democracy Collaborative and Adam Trott from the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives. The Democracy Collaborative has been doing important work around community wealth building, one of their most notable projects being the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, OH.

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As the online "sharing economy" devolves into poor labor conditions and monopolistic practices, the concept of "platform cooperativism" offers a hopeful vision for a more democratic online economy. This new wave of entrepreneurs, investors, and business developers are merging offline cooperative economics with the Internet in creative ways. We'll discuss how far this emergent movement has come, and explore some of the challenges it faces in the struggle for the future of the online platforms we increasingly depend on.

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[Editor's note: This short film documents the current state of BIOME (which also gets rendered as Viome, Vio.me, and VIOME) a cooperative and solidarity enterprise initiated by workers at a factory in Thessaloniki, Greece that was abandonded by its former owners during the financial crisis.  Workers and local community members took over the factory and managed it through a participatory process.  Today, 22 worker-owners at BIOME produce environmentally friendly cleaning products that are affordable for everyone.  While small, BIOME is proving the viability of radically

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[Editor's note: for background information about SolidarityNYC's #SolidiarityCities project, see the first article in the series here.]

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Higher education is disintegrating under misguided neo-liberal reforms. Co-operative universities, member-run and member-led, are a solution. Educators, students and support staff would run this open, democratic educational commons. Keywords: co-operative, education, university, co-ops, multi-stakeholder co-ops
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[Editor's note: this report by Pat Conaty and David Bollier presents an in-depth look at the how our often disparate movements might begin to work together more closely in order to create a more just, open and equitable economy.  David Bollier describes the scope of the report on Shareable:

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Uberfication has become shorthand for many new concepts—from the sharing economy to any significantly disruptive digital business model. But what exactly did Uber do that was materially different to earlier disruptive digital businesses? In short:

  • It created software…

  • To replace existing industry-wide operational structures…

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cross-posted from Seeds Beneath

When I first got involved in the co-op movement I didn’t do it because I thought the co-operative model was an end in itself.

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(Editor's note: This article emerged out of conversations Michael had with Terry Mollner and his thinking about creating institutions grounded in the idea the common good. We were quite surprised to find out that it turned out to be one of this most read articles on GEO: 10,500 a week or ago; almost 11,000 now. We were more than delighted when a recent article passed the 3,000 mark in page views. 1,500 is a seen as a big plus. But 11,000! We can’t explain it. However, since there has been so much interest in it, we decided to post it anew.

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