Blog article

Platform Co-ops Now! New online course – call for UK participants

Co‑operatives UK will be supporting UK participants as a local partner for the second edition of the Platform Co‑ops Now! course.

Platform co‑ops now! is a practical and theoretical online program to learn about and build platform co‑ops.

The international course will be delivered online by Mondragon University and the New School of New York and is aimed at entrepreneurs, as well as researchers and policy makers wanting to learn more about platform co‑ops and how to set them up. Read more about the course format below, or view the information on the Mondragon website

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 11:59PM. 

About Platform Co‑ops Now!

Worldwide, millions of young people will be unemployed in the course of COVID‑19. In the face of all this, how can working people organize, regain control, and participate in the building of economic alternatives?

At a moment where the concentration of big tech companies is skyrocketing, this course 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. 

The Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) at The New School in New York City (USA) and MONDRAGON Co‑op. and MTA‑MONDRAGON UNIVERSITY, Gizpuzkoa (Spain) jointly offer the second edition of Platform Co-ops Now!, an online course to introduce, incubate, and accelerate platform co‑operatives. The first edition of the course was attended by 418 students from 49 countries, supported by 47 global partner organizations.

Like the first edition of this course, Co‑operatives UK will participate as a local partner to support the activities of the UK participants.

Dates

  • Part 1: Same for all participants: October 27-November 17 2020
  • Part 2: For UK participants: November 23 2020-3 March 2021 (with a break from 10 December to January 11)

What’s in it for you and your community?

  • Peer learning about platform capitalism and the cooperative digital economy
  • Understanding the process of building a platform co‑op
  • Developing a critical understanding of the gig economy
  • Familiarizing yourself with the ecosystem of platform co‑ops
  • Connecting with hundreds of people in this global community
  • Developing a business plan and deck for your project
  • Working with local partner organizations
  • Sharing your existing knowledge and experience
  • Joining a post‑course alumni network with a monthly global meeting

How does it work?

  • This is a pass/fail certificate course
  • Time commitment 12 lectures over 3 months
  • Total hours including discussion and prep time: 66 hours
  • Lectures are offered asynchronously; you can access them flexibly on any device
  • Downloadable resources
  • Live discussions
  • Inspiring, thoughtful speakers

Who can take this course?

  • Novice and advanced entrepreneurs who want to start a digital cooperative business or convert to one. They can take Part 1 and 2. Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2. 
  • Non‑entrepreneurs (researchers, policymakers, anyone who wants to solely learn about cooperative ownership for the digital economy) can take Part 1. For them, the course ends on November 20.

Deliverables

To successfully graduate, participants will submit the following material.

  • Researchers, interested policymakers, and people with other, non‑entrepreneurial backgrounds submit a 3000-word paper at the end of Part 1. They cannot participate in Part 2, which is focused on the mechanics of building platform co-ops.
  • Novice entrepreneurs produce a 500-word essay in Part 1 and 3‑minute video for Part 2.
  • Experienced entrepreneurs produce a 1500 word essay for Part 1 and a 3 minute video about their project for Part 2.

Will I receive a certificate?

If you successfully submit the deliverables, you’ll receive a certificate.

What’s my time commitment?

  • Part 1: 16 hours spread out over 4 week (4 hours of lectures broken up into 15 minutes topical segments, 1 hour-long global zoom meeting a week, 3 hours of reading, writing, online discussion per week) 
  • Part 2: 50 hours spread out over 8 weeks (10 hours of lectures, 8 hours of Zoom meetings, 8 hours of local partner meetings, and 16 hours of teamwork). The total time commitment, including lectures, discussion, and teamwork over 8 weeks, is 66 hours.

Instructors

  • Trebor Scholz: A scholar-activist and founding director of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School in New York City. Learn more at: platform.coop
  • Jose Mari Luzarraga: Monasterio Social entrepreneur from MONDRAGON devoted to Human centre globalization through “teampreneurship.” Co‑founder of Mondragon Team Academy (MTA world) building an international community of teampreneurs and young leading change makers through the definition and implementation of a new vision of education. (ASHOKA fellow since 2015).
  • Ludovica Rogers: runs the UnFound programme for Co‑operatives UK aimed at tech founders and start‑ups looking for a different way to set‑up and run platform businesses. 

Cost and registration

For participants in the UK, the cost is US$150 (approx £120).​ Please folllow this link to register.

Questions?

If you have questions, please email [email protected]

If you have any questions about Co-operatives UK's support, email [email protected]

Feedback from the First Edition

“The PCC and Mondragon put together a truly diverse set of cooperators from around the world, creating a network of sharing and collaboration, true to the cooperative spirit. We, at SEWA Cooperative Federation, have been inspired to work harder towards including India’s informal women workers into this network.” – Salonie

“Platform Coop Now! has been an incredible opportunity to connect with dozens of practitioners, get insights, and inspiration. The course has been a rare opportunity to gather at a global level and foresee what’s ahead for platform co‑ops. This approach, that goes beyond mere lessons, is essential to overcome the common challenges that we are facing all over the world at a level of single initiatives and as a whole movement.” – Damiano

“Platform Coops Now! provided me with the knowledge and global contacts I needed to get started in the platform cooperative ecosystem. It has been a hugely valuable and inspiring experience.” – Alfred

Written by Ludovica Rogers
Updated: 22/10/2020