2017/01/12: "If I was setting up a union today," said Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, "it would be the Union of Web Workers - organising the interests of information workers who use screens and keyboards as the tools of their trade." An interesting thought, though notably not one his or any other political party has pursued.
Others suspect that if the precarious workforce of the sharing economy start organising themselves it's likely to be via a more diffuse medium than anything resembling a 20th-century union. Joining such a traditional organisation would be deeply counter-cultural for many millennials - detached from their experience of work, with little possibility of securing collective bargaining over pay in their fragmented workplace.
If our existing unions are too shackled to the past to reinvent themselves for this task, then other pro-worker, tech-savvy, fleet-of-foot social innovators are likely to step forward. History suggests that sooner or later labour finds ways of responding to changes in how capital organises itself. Maybe that age-old dynamic is all played out - perhaps we've reached the "end of history" in terms of how workers organise.
Possibly, but it's more likely we're witnessing a painfully slow adjustment, one that will - eventually - give rise to new forms of post-industrial organisation that will usurp the old.
The second platform for SEWA will focus on organizing the cooperatives of the SEWA Federation spread out across the state of Gujarat, and additional cooperatives all across India. Distributed democratic governance is a significant challenge for many cooperatives, and given the number and diversity of co-ops within SEWA, and their geographic distribution across the entire state, SEWA needs a new online tool to help them organize, educate, and make decisions.
While new tools like Enspiral’s Loomio saw amazing uptake, distributed democratic governance remains a big challenge for co-ops worldwide. But if trained to use technology and given smartphones, the women led by village elders could co-govern the co-op from afar.
In the U.S., many long-standing, very large and wealthy cooperatives have lost the focus on support for those who need it most.
The key to SEWA’s success has been their holistic, federated approach. SEWA places poor women workers in the informal economy at the center of an ecosystem of co-ops that seeks to address their various social needs, not just economic necessities.
Nathan Schneider makes the argument that many platform coops have dynamics that already incorporate a commons and community direction
Understanding the differences between aggregators and platforms matters for companies interacting with them and also regulators considering antitrust.
Popular internet platforms that currently mediate our everyday communications become more and more efficient in managing vast amounts of information, rendering their users more and more addicted and...
Antonio Casilli, a professor at Télécom ParisTech, is considered one of the leading experts in the capitalism of digital platforms. He was interviewed by Roberto Ciccarelli. "We are the ones who make the robots, with our own labour," he says. "We make the criteria according to which they operate. And then we teach them to learn how to improve. The problem is not that robots are stealing our work, but that we continue to work more and more, and that the platforms are fragmenting and rendering invisible the labour that is necessary to make the algorithms work."
Since 'political economy' became a subject in the 18th century, the predominant political dichotomy has been framed as labour versus capital. Marx talked about 'control of the means of production' as the essential political power that the workers needed to wrest from the capitalists. A great deal of activism and political theory continues in that vein: Gar Alpowitz work What then must we do? is all about rebuilding worker-owned coops and similar institutions. We have 150 years of history testifying to their effectiveness.
A new paper titled: "Digital economy and the rise of open cooperativism: the case of the Enspiral Network" has been published in Transfer
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The role of platforms will become less important.
As "death star platforms" such as Airbnb and Uber continue their pursuit of global domination, an alternative is rising in its wake.
2017/02/10: If you're involved with the "cooperative community" on social media, you've probably heard a lot about platform cooperatives in recent years. The vision is simple: what if Uber or AirBnb were owned
<p>Con il nome di platform cooperativism si è sviluppato negli ultimi anni un intenso dibattito sulla proprietà e sulla governance condivise nel...