On 16-17 February, Open 2017: Platform Cooperatives will bring the discussion about platform co-ops to the UK, in an event that will gather thinkers, practitioners and new ideas around the digital economy.
Organised by the Open Co-op LLP, a partnership between United Diversity, Focal Point Marketing and Events and Defacto Design, Open 2017 includes speakers Brianna Wettlaufer (co-founder and CEO of Stocksy United) and Emer Coleman (founder of disruption Ltd, and technical engagement at Coop Digital).
Also speaking at the event is Trebor Scholz, the author and academic who first coined the term in 2014 in an article criticising sharing economy firms such as Airbnb and Uber for their poor treatment of workers. Mr Scholz called for democratically controlled co-operative alternatives that “allow workers to exchange their labor without the manipulation of the middleman”.
“Just like traditional co-ops, platform co-ops are organisations that are owned and managed by their members,” says the Open Co-op’s Oliver Sylvester-Bradley. “While traditional co-ops are normally based around a physical community of members, platform co-ops live online and are normally populated by online communities of members.”
Sessions throughout the two days will look at subjects such as the commmons, unions, open data and the open app ecosystem. Delegates will be able to take part in practical sessions such as how to incorporate a co-op, open manufacturing, collaborative decision making, crowd funding and designing your own platform.
Education is also a strong theme: Simon Borkin (Co-operatives UK), Constance Laisne (AltGen), Dr Richard Hull and the Co-operative College’s Simon Parkinson and Cilla Ross will explore the importance of co-operative education, training and information in increasing public understanding of co-ops.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will be there to discuss what governments, local authorities and councils can do to enable platform co-ops to flourish with Dirk Holemas (co-founder and director of Belgian thinktank Oikos and a green city councillor in Ghent), Karin Christiansen (chair of Open Knowledge and former general secretary of the Co-operative Party) and Matthew Brown (cabinet member for social justice, inclusion and policy at Preston City Council).
Throughout the two days the conference will include open spaces for sessions co-created by delegates on the first day.
- To find out more about the event, and for the full programe, visit 2017.open.coop.
- Buy your tickets now and get our 10% Co-op News discount.