The Platform Co-op School is running 22 online learning sessions as part of its efforts to encourage the development of democratic, co-operative platforms in the digital economy.
The learning programme has been developed by the Platform Co-operative Consortium alongside more than 45 organisations from 24 countries, “to research, learn about, and build fair, cooperative digital platforms that promote accountable and fair work”.
The programme, which run from 25 January to 15 July, comprises:
- 5 theory jam sessions (short symposia and lectures)
- 4 community assemblies (which ‘allow for time to connect and have your voice heard’)
- 7 seminars
- 6 one-day business courses
The jam sessions include a session on alternative social platforms, which “will address the issue of mass layoffs in Silicon Valley and the decline of Twitter as a privately owned company”; a look at the potential for platform co-ops in India; and lessons from the co-operative digital economy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The community assemblies look at mutual aid and tech, covering issues such as shared digital infrastucture, digital commons and governance.
For the seminars, the goals are to understand the platform co-op concept; to learn the key values and principles of platform co-ops; to explore different types of the model, including worker co-ops and community-owned platforms; and to understand the challenges and opportunities of scaling platform co-ops.
Courses include a look at driver-owned ride-hailing platforms; the use of data co-ops to foster community wellbeing; platform co-ops in the arts and culture sectors; and how to leverage data platforms in the agri co-op sector.
Guest speakers include Adriane Clomax, Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) fello;, Erik Forman, Drivers Cooperative; Ra Criscitiello, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West; Jad Esber, ICDE fellow; Anita Gurumurthy, IT4Change; Denise Kasparian, ICDE fellow; Santosh Kumar, International Cooperative Alliance; Ines Lopez, Pescadata/Cobi; Nathan Schneider, University of Colorado; and Vera Negri Zamagni, University of Bologna.
The school says the programme is useful for platform workers, members of co-operatives, technologists, policymakers, researchers, disenchanted social media users, advocates and allies, and university students.
The language for Platform Co-op School is English, but for the 6 business courses, Spanish translation will be available.
PCC says its partners in this year’s school “play a crucial role in engaging their communities in the program and facilitating events and learning opportunities about the course material“. Spread across five continents, they include co-ops, co-op apexes and universities.