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Course Description

Worldwide, millions of young people will be unemployed in the course of COVID-19. From India, Italy, Spain, and Brazil to the United States, the virus does not discriminate, yet its economic and social impact is unevenly distributed. Workers in tourism, the arts, retail, education, and all informal workers are the hardest hit. Low-income, marginalized, working-class people and immigrants are more adversely affected. Income inequality is growing, confidence in governments is eroding, and more and more people are embracing nationalism and populism. Workers lost power and a sense of agency over their lives. In the face of all this, how can working people organize, regain control, and participate in the building of economic alternatives? 

What comes next? Amazon, Wholefoods, and Instacart workers walking out may just be the beginning. A general strike of gig workers? A student loan holders strike? We see it all over the world. In moments of crisis like this, things that had been considered impossible can become common sense:  The Great Depression gave rise to the original New Deal. We need to show possibilities for how the world could be better. Platform co-ops can provide better jobs at scale now!

At a moment where the concentration of big tech companies is skyrocketing, this course does not stop at an analysis of surveillance capitalism; it equips people to succeed as cooperative platform entrepreneurs in the fast growing gig economy. It gives learners the opportunity to analyze and get involved with a generation of young leaders that is experimenting with innovative power-building strategies that are rooted in cooperative ownership of digital platforms. Imagine an Uber owned by the drivers or Twitter owned by its users. A shift to a “shared economy” to a genuine participatory, democratically owned economy is possible.  

About this Course

For people who are: 

  • determined to launch dignified digital platforms that offer decent work,
  • members of cooperatives or startups who want to transition their enterprise to a platform cooperative.

What You’ll Learn from this Course

  • Advance your understanding of platform capitalism and the gig economy
  • Learn about worker cooperatives 
  • Develop an action plan for your platform co-op 

Who is providing this course

This course was designed by The Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School in New York City (USA) and MONDRAGON Co-op. & MTA-MONDRAGON UNIVERSITY Mondragon, Gizpuzkoa (Spain).

We are in discussion with the following prospective international partners:

Kerala (India): Agricultural Cooperative Staff Training Institute or Kerala Start-Up Mission (Kerala, India)
Brazil: OCB / Escoop
Germany: Platform Co-op Germany 
Japan:  JCU JCA/Tokyo University 
United States: Start.coop & Ampled 
South Korea: Happy Bridge Cooperative & Worker Co-ops. MTA Korea Seoul Lab
Australia: Incubator.coop
Hong Kong:  PCC Hong Kong
China Mainland: Shenzhen Maker Space, MTA China Shanghai Lab
Indonesia:   Koperasi Digital Indonesia Mandiri (KDIM) & Innovation Hub, Universitas Jenderal Soedirman
France:  La Coop de Communs
Europe:  Coops Europe
Canada: Cooperatives and Mutuals Canada 
Italy:  Lega Coop Bologna
Spain: MTA-MU Labs in Basque Country (Mondragon, Bilbao, Donostia), MTA Madrid, MTA Valencia, MTA Barcelona
Mexico: University Ibero Puebla – MTA Mexico Puebla Lab
Colombia:  University Javeriana – MTA Colombia Bogota Lab 
Kenya The Co-operative University of Kenya, Nairobi
Gujarat, India Sewa Federation