Technology for Whom? Owning Our Platforms

Platform cooperatives are a strategy of political and organizational might, uniting workers in a concrete way to own the conditions of their work and to redirect technology to the benefit of average workers, not global investors.

The term platform cooperativism is relatively new, introduced in 2014 by Trebor Scholz, associate professor of culture and media at the New School in New York City. Scholz and associates use the term to describe the rapid growth of worldwide efforts to establish worker-owned platform cooperatives that are directly owned and managed by workers themselves and that use websites and mobile apps to sell goods or services. If the Uber and Lyft drivers in a particular city united to develop or purchase their own ride-hailing app, and collectively governed the use of the app and the equitable distribution of resulting revenues, this would be a platform cooperative.

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