Keynote on the 24.03. @Fourth Conference on Good Economy in Zagrep Croatia organized by ZMAG Green Network of Activist Groups. Sponsored by République Francaise, Rosa Luxemburg, Goethe Institut & Institut ZA Politicku Ekologiju.
Article about the keynote published in Croatian newspaper: http://www.vecernji.hr/gospodarstvo/napustamo-eru-konkurentnosti-i-ulazimo-u-eru-kolaborativnosti-1158925
PlatformCoops: Wider Context & Focus on UBER Predators & Underdogs
how they work & attempt
to embed it into a wider context
OuiShare Connector Germany
Freelancer Collaborative Economy
Illustrations by Thuy Chinh Duong
Nature of the Collaborative Economy
Evolution of the Collaborative Economy
UBER was Yesterday - Tomorrow PlatformCoops
Evaluation of Status Quo & Call to Action
I was asked to explain what platformcoops are, how they work and to give real life
examples - especially regarding the current situaction in Croatia where some cities are
quite hostile to Uber - and to embed this into the wider context of the collaborative
economy in generell and to connect this to sharing cities.
Here is what you can expect in the presentation.
In the first part, I will give you an overview of the Collaborative Economy: its orgin and
different fields, drivers, conditions and phases. The phases will refer to the development
or evolution of the objects of the collaborative economy, the what.
In the second part, I will look more into the development and evolution of the subjects
and their motivations, the who, how and why of the collaborative economy and the three
stages I have dived them into. This will lead us also to platform cooperativism which is
currently the most prominent expression of the emerging collaborative economy 3.0.
In the third part, I will further elaborate the origin and developments of the platform
cooperativism movement and give plenty of room for real life examples and challenges of
platformcoops as emerging alternatives to UBER.
In the fourth part, I will round up with some closing remarks and a call to action.
Let‘s start with regarding the collaborative economy.
We distinguish four different fields, which of course overlap & reinforce each other.
Best known and most widely spread is the field of collaborative consumption.
Less known, but likely even more disruptive to the status quo in the future are the fields
of collaborative production and collaborative finance.
In a fourth field called openness or collaborative learning, concepts like open software,
open hardward, open knowledge, open government and governance are summarized.
Aspects of this field of openness play an important role in all three fields mentioned
before. I will add a few words to each of the four fields later.
Talking about the collaborative economy we like to start with a quote of Chris Anderson,
the former chief editor of the Wired magazines, who accurately summarizes the first 20
years of this millenium in two sentences.
He says: The past decade was about finding new collaboration and innovation models on
the web. The next decade will be about applying them to the real world.
Let me elaborate on his statement for a minute.
Looking at the first decade we see platforms like Wikipedia, Linux, Wordpress, flickr,
Facebook, Youtube &Twitter popping up and growing strong and influencial.
They allow extending communities to share music, knowledge, code, picture, videos,
news with the entire world.
A whole generation, the DIGITAL NATIVES, have grown up in this online world of
collaboration & sharing. It is almost part of their natural DNA and behaviour.
What‘s next is that this behaviour and attitude of collaboration & sharing gets applied to
the real world. Thousands of platforms - like blabla car, airbnb or food sharing -
examples used in the illustration - are emerging everywhere, enabling people to access
and share not just digital goods online but real world assets.
What we are seeing is a merging of the online & offline world.
To summarize this development, we can distinguish four phases:
Phase 1 We connect to share information
Phase 2 We connect to each other to form social networks
Phase 3 We connect to share bits
Phase 4 We connect to access and share atoms
In a nutshell: sharing & communal use reaches new dimensions through new technology
and new experiences.
What is driving this collaborative economy? We see four main drivers at work.
No.1. Rapid expansion of technological innovation and digitalisation through Internet &
No. 2 A longing for community & participation after decades of autistic materialism.
No. 3 An increasing environmental consiousness &awareness of the planet‘s limits
No. 4 Economic constraints. Necessity as the mother of innovation
Driver 2 &3 are actually to a large extent a renaissance of traditional behaviours and
modes of connectedness.
Nevertheless in their drive to alter the status quo we can consider them to be
expressions of social innovation.
These drivers of social innovation are joining force with the drivers of technological
innovation and are therefore creating a new disruptive quality
which I suggest to call COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION
I consider this collaborative innovation - an important origin as well as engine - for the
value shift I see unfoalding.
There are certain pre-conditions to the collaborative economy.
1. Trust: Digital technology, GPS, social netzwerks are enabling collaborative
technologies like e.g reputation systemes to create trust. Mistrusted strangers become
trusted frangers or friends.
2. Belief in the commons is created by: a value shift concerning importance of property,
life styles & aims in life.
3. Idle capacity is increasingly realized and considered inefficent and wasteful (classical
example: the car 23/24)
4. Value of growing networks allow for better and better matching and transaction costs
are developping towards 0.
The more the pre-conditions are improving - and all four do - the faster and wider the
collaborative economy will extend and with it the disruption of the status quo.
We see disruption that can and do benefit just a few and increase inequalities and
negative external effects on society, democracy, economy and nature. And we see
disruption that can and do actually empower people, create more equality, benefit more
or all people and have positive societal, democratic, economic and environmental
Now let‘s have a closer look at the four areas of the collaborative economy.
First: collaborative consumption.
WHAT do we share?
(Almost) Everything can and will be shared as long or as soon as necessary pre-condition -
mentioned in the last slide - are met.
HOW do we share?
We actually are observing a renaissance of traditional marketplace behaviour like
reselling, bartering, renting, lending, etc.
We do share without or with money and with or without using technology
WHY do we share?
Even though economic considerations of saving or earning money often comes first.
Environmental and social reasons of achieving more recource efficiency and
connectivness with other people gains increasing importance.
So what are the resulting effect?
1. Access beats ownership
2. Raise of new business modells
3. Raise of new Collaborative Lifestyles/Opportunities
In a nutshell: Not just what we consume, but how we consume.
Second: Collaborative Production
Coworking spaces are doubling every 12 months for several years in the row now.
More and more people are coming together in an increasing number of fabrication labs
and hackerspaces to develope, create and produce value collaboratively.
In the past preaggregated capital & infrastructure was usually the precondition to start
Now increasingly easier and cheaper access to means of production give more and more
people the opportunity to become producers.
This can be considered a democratization of production.
Open Hardware provides people with licence free tools and components.
FabLabs & Hackerspaces gives people access to spaces and machinery.
Open Communities enables people to hook up with the right people and get free access
to valuable knowlege
Marketplaces like Kickstarter or Etsy gives everybody the opportunity to raise funds or
sell their produce
This democratization of production will also foster its (Re)localisation.
Michael Bauwens encapsulated it well in saying:
If it‘s light it should be global. If it‘s heavy it should be local.
Third: Collaborative Finance seems to be developping into another game changer.
We distinguish between crowdfunding, crowdinvesting & crowd lending.
All variants provides everybody with new opportunity to raise money & bypass banks.
The 5,1 Billion $ of wordwide collaborative finance raised in 2013 were still neglectable
peanuts for the banking industry.
The 1000 Billion $ the Forbes Magazine predicts for 2020 however will not feel like
A look at the Top crowdfunding campaigns shows that each of the hardware, video game,
or real estate projects has raised multiple millions.
Even a funny campagne to make a potato salad managed to raise 55.000 $
Fourth: Collaborative Learning or Openness.
Due to time constraints I can‘t dig into the potential of the vast disruptive force of this
fourth field of the collaborative economy.
For the sake of completeness I just want to emphasize the fact that the free online
encyclopedia Wikipedia managed to make proprietary versions - like the 200-year-old
Britannica or the highly funded Microsoft Encarta obsolete within a few years.
To sum up the first part - The Collaborative Economy is changing
NOT ONLY how we ...
... live, travel & move around
... learn, work, produce & finance
BUT ALSO HOW we
... experience our environment & communal life
... And how we think & act
The collaborative economy is on the rise and increasingly sinks into the public awareness
and affects our economic, societal and political systems.
As Charles Eisenstein, the US social philosopher says:
Every system is build upon values and a story. If you want to change the system you have
change the underlying values and the story that upholds it. The best leverage to system
Now the questions are: Which values and stories? How are they determined and applied?
And by whom and why and for whoes benefit?
Which gets us to the second part.
Dev/Evolution of the subject
of the collaborative economy
Comming ot the second part now: If we consider the subjects of or behind the
collaborative economy, e.g. the (main) players and their motivations, the following three
development stages - which I describe with the terms collaborative economy 1.0, 2.0 and
3.0. - can be outlined. There exist other terms and I dare to use them as congruent
(totally or at least partially) with the proposed stages above. Thus we can also refer to
the collaborative economy 1.0 as social sharing (reference unknown), to the collaborative
economy 2.0 as platform capitalism (coined by Sascha Lobo et al.) and to the
collaborative economy 3.0 as platform cooperativism (coined by Trebor Scholz). As
mentioned earlier I consider platform cooperativism one - and currently the most
prominent - form of the collaborative economy 3.0. For me each stage, each upgrade, is
a responds to the previous one and can be considered correlating countermotions.
Very interesting to me therefore also the reflections and determinations by Dmytri
Kleiner in chapter 12 in Trebor and Schneiders's book "Ours to Hack and to Own".
His terminology of: disintermediation - antidisintermediation and
counterantidisintermediation expresses well the successions of correlating
Collaborative Economy 1.0
Social Sharing - Disintermediation
Let's have a closer look at each of these stages.
Collaborative Economy 1.0 - Social Sharing - Disintermediation
Who are the players, drivers, innovators here? Hobbyists, activists, nerds, people sharing
the same needs, passions or interests are coming together in and creating networks,
platforms and value in form of information or products.
And what are their motivations? A wide range of forms of self realization, community
building, passion for contributing to the common good, helping others, or for social or
ecological reasons. The motivation might also be economical, but generally not
predominantely or exclusively.
To sum it up: the focus of the collaborative economy 1.0 was more on collaboration than
on economy and a way of organising and creating value and commons around peer to peer
relationships fulfilling each others needs directly - by-passing traditional state or private-
Examples are: Wikipedia. Linux, Couchsurfing, Carpooling (sharing costs & company)
Yochai Benkler expressed it at the culture symposium in Weimar last year as follows:
"Now what you get are social interaction. ... It used to be harder to explain this, when I
first wrote sharing nicely in 2004 I couldn't just point at airbnb etc.)..., but at that time I
could also point unproblematically at things that were happening that were genuinely
social opposed to essentially an overlaying market."
Benkler's description of this overlaying market marks well the beginning of the
collaborative economy 2.0. Entrepreneurs notice the innovation, dynamism and
disruptive qualities of the collaborative peer-to-peer approach. Adopting them to
business thinking, they create new business modells and with their success attract
venture capitalists realizing the potential of not only creating and distributing value, but
especially extracting value fast and big. So the players, drivers, innovators are the VC
sponsored startups and with increasing involvement of venture capital and an their
insatiable drive for profit maximisation, the motivation becomes predominately or
exclusively economical with a mindset of rapid scaling, dominating markets, destroying
competition, achieving monopolies in order to reach high evaluations and ROI.
Michel Bauwens expressed it during the first PlatformCoopBerlin Event last year as
" Think about Google, Youtube, flickr, Uber, airbnb -all companies which do no longer pay
anyone for creating content and services but enable us to do this and then they have a
vacuum cleaner an suck the value out of our exchange system. .... 100% of the market
value is privatized, captured and is not reinvested in the capacity of the user to
contribute. This is the real problem."
To sum it up: the focus of the collaborative economy 2.0 is more on (extractive) economy
than collaboration now.
Let's take a quick look at the two flagships of the collaborative economy 2.0
You know UBER? The online transportation network from Silicon Valley - or more spimply
and precisely a mobile App which connects passengers with private freelancer drivers.
Last year UBER was operating in about 450 cities in 66 countries (continously there are
more added or dropped at times as they occasionally get prohibited to operate in certain
cities). UBER has collected billions of $. So the war chest is well stuffed. Nevertheless
money gets also quickly burned above all for marketing, lobbying, lawyers and lawsuits.
According to a study by the labour economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger the close
to 400.000 UBER driver in the USA could constitute around 2/3 of all gig economy work.
In addition to the enormous evaluation of more than 62 billion $ this circumstance also
contributes to the high visibility of UBER.
The second flagship of this category is airbnb. I guess it is not necessary to describe
airbnb further. Both are mentioned here just as pars pro toto for a certain generic term.
Often pitches of startups of this category start with: "We are the airbnb or UBER for X"
Heard that before? Where X can then represent an arbitrary industrie, area of life or
Alongside house and car there are still many realms in which thousand of platforms
operate. There are different attempts to comprehensive overviews. One of the most
known ist the Honeycomb of Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies. Here the latest
edition 3.0 released March 2016 with their various categories and hundreds of startups
picked as examples.
The realms, industries and startups might have been multifaceted and the ideas and their
implementation creative. Nevertheless when it comes to governance and ownership
models, creativity and diversity quickly dies out.
The term Uberisation does not only translates into a description of the technical aspects
of a platform, a mobile app, to enable Peer-to-Peer transactions between customers and
providers, but also into a narrowing of pathways of design and action to those of the
neoliberal, libertarian Silicon Valley. They predominately look like this:
- Search and implementation of a marketable idea
- Attraction of plenty of VC capital
- Scaling and striving for monopoly positions in order to
- achieve rapid and lucrative IPOs to take in high ROIs.
-> everything else is - at the most - just subordinated to this logic - at the latest when the
VC capital and with it the inherent constraints of it have taken over the helm.
The presence and the impression of "success" names like UBER and Airbnb - as well as the
company models and philosophies they prepresent - have left in the media, in the heads
of young entrepreneurs and profit oriented investors, are enourmous.
It would seem that Margret Thatchers TINA: "There is no alternative" still reverberates
strongly. But I guess you are smelling where this goes. This is not the end of history.
But before we get there let's take a look at the status quo of the collaborative economy.
Now we are getting to the collaborative economy 3.0 as a countermotion and search for
alternatives to the increasing commercialisation, exploitation, dependency, surveillance,
manipulation & usurpation of the collaborative economy 2.0.
It is increasingly understood and felt that it is not enough that a platform just creates
access. Sharing and collaboration has to be taken one step further and has to extend to
governance and ownership. Only this can safeguard against the above described negative
effects and ensure that external entities can not unilaterally and exclusively extract
values, concentrating them in few hands and thus producing even more inequality and
dependency. At least this is the approach of platform cooperativism and its alike.
3. Platform cooperativism: movement & examples on emerging alternatives to UBER.
First of all: What is platform cooperativism?
The term consists of two words and concepts.
First the notion of a platform. A platform presents the idea of a space that something
new can evolve from. In this case the collaborative economy and its potential for
disruptive and exponential dynamics.
Second the notion of the cooperativism with its 180 year old tradition and history.
In the term 'platform cooperativism' are meeting and hopefully merging two
developments and movements that had - up to date - nothing - or almost nothing - to do
with each other. Nevertheless, this is changing rapidly - or at least it should.
And how to define platform cooperativism?
At the first Platform Cooperativism Conference in NYC in Nov. 2015, Trebor Scholz
expressed it as follows: "platform cooperativism is about cloning the technological heart
of online platforms and puts it to work with a cooperative model, one that puts workers,
owners, communities, and cities in a kind of solidarity that leads to political power."
But how to go about it? How to challenge the UBERs of the world, or the deaths stars as
Neal Gorenflo described these giant platforms in his shareable article in November 2015.
A story, that happened not long ago, to start with ...
Back in 2015/16 Uber and Lyft had spend several millions in campaning and threating
heavily against city regulations in Austin, Texan. When they didn't get their way, both left
Austin and shut down their services in the city in Mai 2016. And as the Austin Tribune
wrote under the headline: With Uber and Lyft Gone, Ride-Hailing Startups Swarm Austin:
"They thought they were sending a message to the Austin City Council and other local
governments looking to regulate them. Instead, their departure may pave the way for a
revamp of ride-hailing in Austin that could draw the notice of other cities. At least six
new companies have launched in Austin, all emerging from the ashes of the proposition 1
election that left the capital city without the two industry giants in vehicle-for-hire
The following companies and initiatives filled the gap.
Wingz Inc (Austin). Fare LLC (Austin). InstaRyde Inc. (from Toronto), zTrip (subsidary of
TransDev), Fasten (from Boston), GetMe LLC (from Dallas). Most of them are private
profit-seeking companies themself, but still with notable differences to the UBER style
approach. And there are others like Arcade City, a blockchained based decentralized
UBER killer as they describe themselves and Ride Austin, a community driven non-profit
TNC created by the Austin community claiming that their way will be how cities of the
future will embrace the ridesharing movement. So politicians and cities should not fear
big corporates or even a pull-out as it might create quickly an even more diversified,
sustainable and resilient ecosystem involving also bottom-up, locally rooted and civic
engaged initatives. Most likely - and in the long run - better for the city, better for the
citizens, better for the local economy and thus better for the politicans promoting it
UBER - under attack
from four sides
Big Rival Predators
Smaller, Cuter Carnivors
Resistance from Cities & Citizens
What does it tells us? It shows another side of the vulnerabilities of the UBER goliath.
To my understanding UBER is endangered and increasing attacked from four sides:
1. By big private competitors from the collaborative eocnomy 2.0 context, be it the US-
American Lyft, Curb, Gett, Latin American Cabify or Asian competitors like the Grab, Ola
and Didi Chuxing.
Singapore based Grab (*2012 350.000 cars - 2016-07),
Bangaloe based Ola Caps (*2010, value 2015-09: 5 Billion $, car 2015: 200.000). Maybe
interesting to add is that Ola Caps was founded as an online cab aggregator which might
be a good strategy for bringing to live ride-hailing systems in the future that are based on
platform coops or other representatives of the collaborative economy 3.0 generation.
Bejing base giant Didi Chuxing (*2012), according to Wikipedia the world's largest ride-
sharing company with more provided rides in 2015 alone than UBER in his whole live-time
since 2009. After DiDi announced that it acquired Uber's China unit on August 1, 2016
after UBER had burned about 2 Billion $ in China, Didi Chuxing is estimated to be worth
Interesting also to note that an alliance between Didi, Ola, Grab and Lyft in order to rival
UBER has formed.
2. New smaller private UBER competitors as partially presented in the Austin case above.
Or some more examples: shofor.net www.goarro.com for hailing regulated city yellow
cabs in some US cities. www.betterride.io in NYC that doesn't charge a commission but
flat monthly fee. New flat platforms trying out new approaches, niches and value
3. City and State regulations, as well as resistance from the citizens (e.g. #deleteuber
campaign et al.). Interesting topic, but I will not go into it at this point.
4. New UBER competitors from the collaborative economy 3.0. (I titled one of my talks to
business university students: UBER predators and UNDER dogs, that might also be an
appropriate title here.
Event/Team Ride Pooling
Open Source, Commission Free Hack
One possibility to look for alternatives to UBER is checking out http://alternativeto.net/
software/uber/# . The app search engine comes up with 43 alternatives (from Lyft to Gett
to BlablaCar etc. Most of them Taxi Apps. Nevertheless there are also some interesting
recommendations to look into that apply more to the collaborative economy 3.0 nature
describe before. For example apps like:
www.takescoop.com: a commercial carpooling ap that matches you with co-workers and
neighbors who have similar commutes.
www.caroster.io: an app to carpool your event or group like associations, week-ends,
parties, vacations, clubs, friends, families, teams, tournaments.
www.libretaxi.org: A free and open-source alternative to Uber and Lyft under the MIT
license, with minimal tracking that relies on Telegram. All devices supported, multi
languages available. Get the source, hack and tune it for your city. Add features specific
fee for intermediaries. As the founder, Roman Pushkin, says: "LibreTaxi gives flexibility to
passengers and self-employment to drivers. People, not corporations, should have control
over how a taxi service works!"
Another possibility to look for alternatives is to check out the directory of the internet of
ownership website - www.ioo.coop by Nathan Schneider, coinitiator of the platformcoop
movement. Just on January 29, 2017 Nathan posted the blog: "After You #DeleteUber, Get
a Co-op" where he uses the #deleteuber campaing as an opportunity to write: "Uber’s
recent “strikebreaking” during New York protests against Trump’s anti-immigrant policies
is nothing new. It’s only the latest feat of bad behavior for a company whose business
model is built on sidestepping basic rights that workers have fought for for centuries. But
Uber’s disruption has paved the way for a new generation of worker controlled taxi
alternatives, alongside older ones." and the lists of alternative examples from the
Internet of Ownership directory "for filling the missing spot in your smartphone" - as he
writes "Some are co-ops, some share equity with drivers, some are union shops, some are
managed by democratic municipalities, and some are just interesting concepts in
development." Here a quick run-down the list. For more information check out https://
Yellow Cab Cooperative:
Yellow Cab Co-op:
Green Taxi Cooperative:
Union Cab PDX:
ATX Co-op Taxi:
Union Cab of Madison
Taxi Coop Montreal:
Sociedad Cooperativa de
Autotaxis de Madrid:
As sharing platform are listed:
Arcade City: promoting itself as "peer-to-peer everything — with networks built by
communities, not corporations. A decentralized marketplaces owned and operated by the
participants themselves. Their global app launching in March 2017
La'Zooz: A blockchain-based decentralized transportation platform for ridesharing owned
by the community and utilising vehicles` unused space to create a variety of smart
transportation solutions. By using cryptocurrency technology La`Zooz works with a “Fair
Share” rewarding mechanism for developers, users and backers. La`Zooz platform will
synchronize empty seats with transportation needs in real-time, matching like-minded
people to create a great ride-sharing experience for a “Fair fare”.
Still conceptual: www.lazooz.org
commune: "a distributed ownership model for urban transport infrastructures".
Still conceptual: www.commu.ne
covoiturage-libre: A French Community-governed, nonprofit ridesharing platform
Juno: A rideshare app that is not a cooperative, but the factor that 50% of shares a set
aside for drivers and that it is aimed at just taking 10% of commission instead of the
current bite of 20-28% UBER takes out, makes this NYC based approach also an interesting
case and hybrid. Especially given that it is initiated by the Viber Founder who has sold his
company for 900 million $ showing that he possesses the funds, connections and talent to
pull this off. www.gojuno.com
Listed as an open company is:
Swarm City: "Decentralized, Peer-to-Peer economy, enabled by the SWT token, running on
the ethereum blockchain" - still conceptual.
Co-op Cabs: "a taxi service in the Toronto area for over 60 years with 900 cabs http://www.co-opcabs.com
Co-op Taxi: "a leading provider of Taxi services in Edmonton, Alberta, since 1971 with 500+ vehicles and 800+
Modo: "a locally owned member car sharing coop, driven by people, not profits consisting of 17.000 members,
700 businesses, 100 building developers and several local municipalities across the Lower Mainland and Victoria
choosing from 500+ cars - 5$/h all included.http://modo.coop https://youtu.be/C0_ZcXT9U40
From New Zealand
Auckland Co-op Taxis: the biggest taxi business in New Zealand. http://www.cooptaxi.co.nz
Partago: App-driven electric car-sharing coop based in Ghent. http://www.partago.be
Tapazz: a peer-to-peer car sharing co-op in Belgium. https://tapazz.com
Ridygo: "a real-time carpooling service for everyday rides" https://www.ridygo.fr
Alpha Taxis: App-powered taxi drivers co-op (with about 1,500 drivers) in Paris. http://www.alphataxis.fr
From the US:
People's Ride: "a rideshare Worker Co-op local to Grand Rapids, MI" http://peoplesride.coop
Yellow Cab Cooperative: App-powered taxi cooperative in San Francisco http://yellowcabsf.com
Yellow Cab Co-op: "Milwaukee's Original Yellow Cab" http://www.ycmilwaukee.com
Green Taxi Cooperative: App-powered taxi co-op in Denver, Colorado with 800 cooperative members.
Green Taxi Cooperative
Platform Coop Showcase
I would like to dig deeper into the Green Taxi Cooperative as a good showcase.
Green Taxi Cooperative is a fairly new union taxicab cooperative that is taking the
Denver/Boulder region by storm, consisting now of 800+ driver-member-owners from 37
countries having capture up to 37% of the local taxicab market and thus already
representing Colorado's largest taxicab company and the nations's largest taxicab Co-op, I
want to present this example more in detail as it might inspire and help current or future
local initatives here. Their app has not only the convenience and functionality of über/
Lyft’s, it does much more: it shares 100% ownership among its member-owners.
Therefore I would like to show you Jason Wiener's presentation at the second
Platformcoop conference at the NewSchool University in NYC Nov. 2016. His and most
other presentations of the conference, which I recommend everybody interested in the
topic to watch, are stored on livestram.com/internetsociety/platformcoop2016/videos
But before listening into his speech, I quickly wanted to draw your attention also to a link
below the internetofownership post under discussion here as it connects to an etherpad
allowing to add further examples. So you might further examples there in the future.
Here already a few more:
Colorado: Union Taxi, www.uniontaxidenver.net
Oregon: Union Cab PDX www.unioncabpdx.com (*2013)
Texas: ATX Co-op Taxi www.atxcooptaxi.org
Wisconsin: Union Cab of Madison Cooperative www.unioncab.com
Montreal: Taxi Coop Montreal www.taxi-coop.com/en
Madrid: Sociedad Cooperativa de Autotaxis de Madrid www.scat.es (*1947)
And in the final part an evaluation of the status quo and a call for action
Neal Gorenglo, editor of the Online Magazine Shareable is convinced:
"The future belongs to enterprises that distribute control and wealth rather than
concentrating it, and that's not a utopian dream, it's an increasingly practical necessity in
order to attract and keep customers in a zero margianl cost world."
Nevertheless, despite all optimism and first ethusiasm it is important to acknowledge and
underline, that platform cooperativism is still in its baby-step phase. There are still not
many platform coops, just a few of them can already speak from experience, none is
even close to be as popular, talked about or financially successful like UBER, aribnb & Co.
Nevertheless the amount of entrepreneurs and groups working on ideas of platform based
start-ups or initiatives are starting to consider to do this on the ground of cooperative
models. And first established enterprises are considering to transform into cooperatives,
or have already done so.
Or as Trebor Scholz, organiser of the mentioned Platfrom Cooperativism Conference in
said his opening speech: "Silicon Valley loves a good disruption, let's give them one."
More information, experiences, advice and support with legal, organisational as well as
governance and ownership models in a cooperative context or in an environment that
wants to embed cooperative principles and put people and nature first are needed.
This understanding has also led on the 11.11.2016 to the foundation of the platform
cooperativism consortium in the context of the second platform cooperativism
conference. On the slide you see four pages of the consortiums internet representation
with the mission, the founding organisations (including OuiShare), a listing of the
contributors and the ten projected fields of activity: research, advocacy, education,
design & experimentation, application support, solidarity, funding, legal advice,
documentation & mapping, speaker bureau.
Therefore my call to action: cooperative associations, cooperatives in general and
cooperative as well as ethical banks in particular, local governments, foundations,
universities, coworking spaces and other entities of the collaborative and solidarity
economy as well as civic groups - just to name a few of potential allies - should pool their
forces and resources to start incubators, accelerators and funds in order to support the
founding and development of a series of platform coops to be integrated into a growing
network and emerging ecosystem of mutual support and strengthening of the local, social
and circular economy.
This can also be applied to the city level. Albert Canigueral, also a OuiShare connector,
will talk to you tomorrow about collaborative cities, so I will not go into details here.
Just one slide to stress that I see correlations between the current smart city approach
and the collaborative economy 2.0 as well as between my understanding of sharing cities
and the collaborative economy 3.0.
Who are the main actors and drivers of smart cities? Usually public - private partnerships
where mostly a limited and exclusive group of politicians and large corporations struck
backroom deals that at times are not even publicly accessable.
The approach and underlying world view is top - down, parternalistic, economic,
technocratic and technological. What's left for the common citizen? A passive, and
cosumeristic rolle where he and she is monitored, surveilled and kept dependent.
Much more attractive sharing cities where public-civic or public-civic-private
partnerships make sure that many are enabled to participate and contribute and
safeguard transparent procedures for the benefit of all.
The approach and underlying world view is bottom-up, collaborative, techno-social and
participatory. Here the citizens can take (pro)active roles.
And I would like to underline this with two quotes:
First by Clay Shirky, author, advisor and professor for questions around socio-economic
effects of internet technology. He says: "A revolution doesn't happen when society adopts
new tools, it happens when society adopts new behaviour."
Or similarly Saskia Sassen, socioprofessor with focus on globalisation and international
migration, saying: "It is the need to design a system that puts all that technology truly at
the service of the inhabitants - and not the other way around."
We should therefore ask ourself primarily the question why. Why are we doing what we
are doing? And then ask ourself how can we achieve it before getting busy with what?
Our growing will, the enormous potential of crowd intelligence and the multitude of
empowering tools and experiences which we have aquired over the last two decades is
increasingly enabling us - not only to imagine and to experiment, but to build new
ecosystems and new more collaborative, more sustainable, more resilient, more human
and more inclusive economies and societies based on a new common sense. And platform
cooperatives are and will be an important stept into this direction. What are we waiting
for? Let's build a good economy for all. Thank you.
Thank you !
OuiShare Connector Germany
Freelancer Collaborative Economy
+49 176 32335744
Illustrations by Thuy Chinh Duong
My name is Thomas Dönnebrink. I am based in Berlin.
My background is in education and teaching and having been the co-initiator, founding
CEO and first headmaster of the German Embassy School in Izmir, Turkey was one of my
roles in this field.
But for several years now I am working as a Freelancer on the Collaborative Economy/
Society. I am particularly interested and involved in the convergence of ideas, concepts
and movements aiming at transforming our current unsustainable economical, ecological
and social system which IMHO will need a paradigm shift based on a new common sense,
altered values and upgraded forms and approaches of thinking, doing and being, as well as
connecting, communicating and commoning.
I am one of the connectors of OuiShare, a five years old global network of people creating
and mutually supporting each other with projects and initiatives around these topics. My
current focus lies on platform cooperativism and other approaches, considerations and
experiments of the emerging collaborative economy 3.0