Platforms2share Travels to New York City to Present Research Results at This Year’s International Platform Cooperativism-Conference

In his role as research fellow for the New School’s Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy, Jonas Pentzien will travel to New York City for this year’s edition of the platform cooperativism-conference called “Who Owns the World?”. At the conference, he will present first results of his comparative study of legislative obstacles for platform cooperatives in the United States, France, and Germany.

What is the current state of platform cooperativism? Who are the ‘young lions’ of the international movement? What are the challenges that platform coops face all across the globe? And, how are these challenges tackled? These questions (and many more) will be discussed by more than one hundred fifty speakers from over thirty countries at this year’s platform cooperativism-conference under the heading “Who Owns the World?“. As part of a German delegation consisting of founders of platform co-ops, ecosystem activists and researchers, platforms2share will travel to New York City in order to share insights on the current state of platform cooperativism in Germany.

Convened by Trebor Scholz, the Director of the newly founded Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School, this year’s conference is the most international gathering of its kind. Between November 8th and November 10th, New York City will be bustling with people from all over the world that are highly motivated to learn about topics such as worker power in the platform economy, antitrust, misogyny and racism in co-ops, ecological sustainability, best practices for cooperation including the allocation of startup funding, the potential of platform co-ops for data trusts, data co-ops, new models for distributed governance, and data sovereignty.

Jonas Pentzien will be part of this international gathering, presenting preliminary results from his comparative study of legislative obstacles for platform cooperatives in the United States, France, and Germany. As part of his presentation (scheduled for the afternoon on November 10th and live-streamed here), he will shed light on the following questions and more: Why do German co-ops have it difficult to access to loans of the country’s national development bank? How does Article 20 of the French Loi LOM make it nearly impossible for platform workers to be considered permanent employees? And is it really true that Worker’s Compensation Statutes in the U.S. inhibit the growth of the country’s platform co-op ecosystem?  

This year’s conference wants to go beyond academic presentations and declarations challenging current enterprise structures. Concretely, its aim is to advance existing and near-future alternatives. To do so, the conference will bring together people from numerous domains, such as community activists, researchers, founders and members of platform co-ops, cooperative banks, accelerators and many more. Collectively, these people will engage in theoretical reflections, witness artistic provocations and share insights from their experience with building a platform co-op ecosystem from all over the globe – all with the aim of pushing the idea of collective ownership in the digital economy further.

From Germany, Jonas Pentzien will be joined by Felix Weth from Fairmondo eG, Claudia Henke from Rethink:Coop and Ela Kagel from the Berlin-based Supermarkt association.


Thursday 7th – Saturday 9th November 2019 | 6p.m. till 6p.m. @ The New School, New York, NY, United States. Find out more about the program here.

The entire conference can be livestreamed here.

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