Alternative Data Futures: Cooperative Principles, Data Trusts, and the Digital Economy

De Filippi, P., Mannan, M., Research sprint on “Alternative Data Futures: Cooperative Principles, Data Trusts, and the Digital Economy” at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society (October-December 2021) During the fall of 2021, The New School’s Platform Cooperativism Consortium and BKC ran a Research Sprint with a cohort of early-career researchers, cooperative leaders, and activists from 8 countries across 4

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Solidarity in the Sharing Economy: The Role of Platform Cooperatives at the Base of the Pyramid

In recent years, we have witnessed growing interest at the intersection of two important phenomena: the rise of the sharing economy and long-standing interest in tackling pressing social and environmental issues at the base of the pyramid (BoP). While the sharing economy offers potential in tackling these issues, we argue on the basis of a growing body of research that its contemporary manifestations have largely failed to live up to their potential. We argue that an important reason for this is that research and practice have tended to focus on corporate forms of sharing platforms and have largely neglected their cooperative peers. In this chapter, we first distinguish corporate platforms from a nascent group of platform cooperatives before developing a typology of platform cooperatives in the BoP. This typology builds on early efforts to construct typologies of platform cooperatives in the Global North and thereby highlights various cases that show potential in overcoming the limitations of corporate platforms while offering important social and environmental benefits. Our typology helps identify areas for future applications and development of platform cooperativism and points to important areas of future research in both BoP contexts and beyond.

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