Fellowship call from the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy

'Our goal is to create a body of knowledge that advances platform ownership and democratic governance for both workers and all internet users'

The Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE), based at the New School in New York City, is seeking applications for its 2023/2024 cohort of fellows that will focus on the nexus of the climate crisis, the digital economy, and co-ops.

The non-residential programme, now in its third cohort, is accessible to activists and academics (often Ph.D. students) from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds, including economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, business and labour studies.

The Institute is also seeking two artists to join the fellowship cohort and use their creative practices to investigate the nexus of art, environmental justice, and co-operatives.

The programme runs for one year, beginning on March 15, 2023, and will provide fellows with a stipend to attend the 2023 conference, which will probably be held in India.

The institute says it is “committed to building a diverse and inclusive global community and actively solicits fellowship applications from individuals who can enrich the cohort’s diversity”.

Founded in 2019, the ICDE is the research division of the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC), and investigates business models and strategies that encourage co-operative ownership and democratic governance in the digital economy.

It says its work “is particularly urgent given the rapid changes occurring in the digital economy. Advances in artificial intelligence, automation, and data processing are shifting responsibilities from workers to machines. It is essential to understand and address these disruptions in order to navigate the challenges they present and create a fair future of work.

“To navigate these disruptions, we need research that imagines, builds, and explores new visions of fair work. One potential solution is the adoption of co-operative principles in the digital economy.”

The ICDE says the co-operative digital economy needs more research in the fields of anthropology, political science, sociology, history, and economics. “This emerging field is closely linked with labour studies and co-operative studies. In business schools, this field of study is situated in the areas of finance, entrepreneurship, and organisational studies. In law schools, the pertinent areas are governance and corporate structure.

“The Institute is committed to filling these research gaps by providing platform co-operatives with applied and theoretical knowledge, education, and policy analysis. We are dedicated to building a fair future of work based on relevant research and imaginative proposals. Our goal is to create a body of knowledge that advances platform ownership and democratic governance for both workers and all internet users.”

It adds that fellows will “become part of our community, which provides access to affiliated faculty and centres at the New School, former fellows, PCC Council of Advisor members, hundreds of former PCC conference speakers, and platform co-op pioneers from around the world.

The fellowship includes monthly online gatherings, contribution to the annual PCC conference, and other opportunities to connect with the ICDE’s global network of researchers and coopreneurs. 

For more details of expectations from fellows, research topics and how to apply, click here. The timeline for the process is as follows:

  • January 5th to 31st: Applications are accepted
  • February 1st to 15th: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by our team and PCC Council of Advisors, and finalists are selected
  • February 16th to 28th: Interviews of finalists are conducted
  • March 1st: Offers are extended to successful finalists
  • March 3rd: Selected fellows confirm their acceptance and are onboarded shortly thereafter.
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