Trebor Scholz, Associate Professor for Culture & Media at The New School and chair of The Politics of Digital Culture conference series writes

“There isn’t just one, inevitable future of work. Let us apply the power of our technological imagination to practice forms of cooperation and collaboration. Worker–owned cooperatives could design their own apps-based platforms, fostering truly peer-to-peer ways of providing services and things, and speak truth to the new platform capitalists.

I have been part of cooperatives all my life; I lived in communes, I experienced first hand how they can put people at the center of the equation. But you’d be mistaken if you think that I have an idealized view of everything cooperative. To start with, millennials might stress their individual careers over an allegiance to any given co-op, and then the problem of competition with global corporations that are rolling in money is a key challenge. And while Silicon Valley’s turbo capitalists are zipping ahead, social movements as well as regulators can be slow. For hackers, “long tail workers,” and labor activists, now is the time to step up their efforts before the network effect chisels brands like Uber into stone.

He talks about Platform Cooperativism, which I would describe as the organization’s viewpoint of how work is being done under their banner. Crowdsourcing models fit under this concept I think. Some of the models of Tapscott’s Multi-Stakeholder Networks (MSNs) also seem to fit here.

I look at it from the opposite end, the individual’s viewpoint, and their ability to do work where they want for different entities or organizations, in a state of multiployment.

Whichever view, he is correct in that there are many pitfalls that favor and heavily the organization over the people who do the work.


cc: Jeremiah Owyang, Lance J Richards, Bill Jensen, Don Tapscott
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Cross-posted from Facebook on January 05, 2015 at 01:10PM via IFTTT