Almost thirty years after the inception of the World Wide Web, platform ownership is more concentrated than ever. It didn't take Facebook's massive data compromise or Care.com's unsustainably low wages to understand that a more diversified and democratic digital economy is more needed than ever.
How can especially workers on the edge of society respond to the numerous "disruptions" on the horizon including automation and algorithmic decision making as well as unanticipated and unpredictable changes? In his keynote, Scholz proposes an economic, political, and cultural alternative that responds to these challenges by driving the economic domain into more humane and equitable directions. Four years ago, Scholz introduced what he calls platform cooperativism, an Internet based on broad-based platform ownership and democratic governance.
This activist research project supports the integration of cooperatives into the digital economy. Showcasing work with platform co-ops in India, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Columbia, Brazil, the UK and the United States, Scholz demonstrates that a democratically-owned People’s Internet is not only possible but that it already exists. Silicon Valley loves a good disruption; let’s give them one.