(this is the announcement of a course held in November 2017 in Barcelona, now translated to English in order to stimulate collaborative development, at an international level, of such courses elsewhere).
In November 2017 the First Course on Platform Cooperativism (Cooperatives for Digital Platforms) was launched by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI) and the Dimmons research group.
The term “Platform Cooperativism” defines a “cooperative and democratically governed business model, which is based on protocols, websites or mobile applications to facilitate the sale, or at least the offer, of goods or services”.
Knowledge of Platform Cooperativism can be an opportunity both to build new alternatives to monopolistic platforms based on uncontrolled extraction and exploitation of their users’ personal data, and to transform existing cooperatives, putting them in a position to exploit all the opportunities of the Digital Commons.
The course prepared by FKI and Dimmons consists of sixteen total hours, plus a personalized in-depth session. The course explores key concepts such as Digital Commons, differences between the “corporate” collaborative economy Uber- or AirBnB-style and the cooperative-based one, and the various forms of platform cooperatives. As part of the course, concrete cases are analyzed that facilitate the understanding of those concepts. The visions, proposals and practical activities in the same fields os the individual participants are shared and analyzed.
Practical examples show the basics needed to develop sustainable but open business models, managed collaboratively, also through the Internet. Study and discussions of the same examples provide the practical notions for restructuring collaborative projects using digital platforms.