In a hybrid format, about 80 people meet live – under appropriate Covid security measures – and several hundred participate in the additional online formats the following week.
Under the motto “The New Common Sense”, the Platform Coops Conference this time focuses on the digitalization of the world of work.
The diversity of the coops participating this time already shows regional as well as global visionary alternatives to the current concentration of global economy in multinational corporations. They ask questions about social change and provide innovative, sustainable and social answers in practice.
Participants include: Mondragon Cooperation Cooperative, Spain’s largest coop and seventh largest company with over 100 associated businesses; Fairbnb, a sustainable alternative to Airbnb, each giving 50% of their compensation to social projects in the region; Polypoly.coop, who have developed a system for processing and storing data on digital systems that allows end users* to regain sovereignty over their data; coopcircuit, a regional organic food shopping coop with a growing number of sites in France; Art.coop, a newly founded solidarity-based umbrella for solidarity economy in art and culture; The Mobility Factory, which shares and adapts software and app for electric car rental to its growing number of partners; Resonate, a community owned music network; Saluscoop, a cooperative project from Barcelona that self-determines the health data of its members; or DisCO.coop from Berlin, a solidarity economy and feminist development of the blockchain-based DAO concept.
To what extent do cooperative solutions involving digital innovation offer alternatives to new forms of exploitation and alienation? How can Blockchain solutions ground decentralized non-hierarchical decision-making processes? Is there an alternative payment system, comparable to Bitcoin, that is founded on social exchange parameters? (Spoiler: Yes, it’s being built in Berlin right now!) One of the big topics at the conference was scalability: on the one hand, the scalability of cooperative projects – can they sustainably grow to have a systemic impact on the current economy – on the other hand, the scalability of democracy itself in the age of digital work. Corona has changed the world. However, the universe of Platform Coops once again demonstrates the innovative and yet visionary potential:
Another world is possible.
Report: Sabine Kock