Platform cooperatives are the most exciting and hopeful business model for our collective future. Own This! is the essential, brilliant, accessible guide to this rapidly growing movement. If you are interested in work, technology, climate or the future of humanity-read this book.
Own This! How Platform Cooperatives Help Workers Build a Democractic Internet by R. Trebor Scholz (to be initially published by Verso Books in September 2023) poses the question: What if taxi drivers in New York City or rickshaw operators in Bangalore could start a worker-owned and-operated alternative to Uber with stable hourly wages? Platform cooperatives reimagine a world where domestic workers can double their income by establishing their own platform—an internet where platforms such as Twitch, Twitter, and Roblox were owned by their streamers, users, and creators. Platform cooperatives are not a figment of the utopian imagination, but rather a reality that is transforming industries today. Collectives that leverage technology offer an urgent and practical solution to shift how businesses are owned and controlled, allowing workers to make decisions together. In this book, researcher and activist Trebor Scholz explores how these new forms of business, powered by peer principles, are paving the way for a more equitable economy that benefits everyone. Own This! sets out a program that could change the ways we live, work, and organize.
R. Trebor Scholz is a scholar-activist and founding director of the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) and the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School in New York City. In 2014, he introduced the concept of “platform cooperativism” as a way of bringing the co-op model into the digital economy. Scholz’s articles and ideas have appeared in The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, Le Monde, and The New York Times, among many other publications.