19 Feb, London: Platform co-ops: solving the capital conundrum


I saw @coopsmark post this on a Loomio thread, reposting here as most people won’t have seen that:

Web-based platforms dominate our daily lives, offering new customer-friendly services cheaply and conveniently. But the standard platform business model relies on extractive financing, the monetisation of user data and often disregards privacy and workers’ rights. It’s time for an alternative.

Over the last nine months, Nesta and Co-operatives UK have convened groups of experts and pioneering practitioners to explore the potential for cooperatively owned and operated platforms to create a more equitable and socially beneficial alternative to ‘platform capitalism’.

We are now delighted to invite you to the launch of our joint research paper “Platform Coops - Solving the Capital Conundrum”.

Join us for an informal gathering of practitioners and champions from across the sector. We will discuss our research findings and share a new programme of work to establish new funding models for platform co-operatives in 2019, supported by Open Society Foundations.

Registration will open at 17:30 with the event starting promptly at 18:30. The session will finish at 19:30 with
the opportunity to continue the conversation and learn what your peers might be doing in this space until 20:00.

The event will take place at Nesta, 58 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DS facing the river, a short walk from Blackfriars station. Please note that the buildings are not numbered in a sequential order, 58 is located between 40 and 50.


If any London based CoTech people are free it might be worth checking out and reporting back regarding the answer(s) (if any) to the problem — we are never going to be able to compete with AWS without some capital to get started…

19th Feb, Platform co-ops: solving the capital conundrum - NESTA event
Space4 talking events this term - can you speak, or recommend a speaker?

If anyone is interested in participating in the public-facing
Platform 6 Development Co-operative Loomio Group, where this was
posted, then let me know and I’ll invite you or you can ask for
access at:


Everybody welcome. Already 44 co-operators co-creating a new
vibrant community of practice around co-op development.



Sharing this in case anyone is interested and can come along. Ian and I will be going along so maybe see some CoTechers there as well?

19 February, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

58 Victoria Embankment,


@aaron I just moved your post to the existing thread for this event, hope that is OK, look forward to hearing how it goes.


Will be there for Gildedsplinters/Diglife


I’d be interested to hear what you thought. I had hoped to make it myself but couldn’t in the end due to other commitments.


Good to see that there will be some CoTech representation at this event. I think this could be an important moment in the evolution of digitally enabled co-operation. It’s always been my view that CoTech could be the tech piece in the jigsaw, along with the innovation piece and the finance piece, that unlocks the potential of the platform co-operative model.


I was at the event last night, and spoke with a couple of other co-op people (waves at We Are Open and Open Coop). The report is now public - https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/Nesta_Platform_Report_FINAL-WEB_b1qZGj7.pdf

In essence there’s a suggestion for a community-shares type model to help platform co-ops secure risk capital, and the start of a £1m fund to provide seed support for UK platform co-ops. There are plans for a roadshow to raise awareness with entrepreneurs and to understand the opportunity for this model going round tech hubs and cities around the country (although a couple of us pointed out that targeting earlier stage startups might be worthwhile too). Both Nesta and Co-operatives UK made noises about growing the UK platform co-op movement although it was unclear whether there’s much resource or energy for this. Investment from Open Society Foundations towards the new fund, and in Equal Care Co-op, from their economic justice programme, might suggest future support opportunities from there…



I guess £1M is not to be sniffed at, but it does feel like a pretty small amount. Is the expectation to exit these seed investments fairly quickly and by doing so keep this pot full?


The document suggests not. It talks about patient seed funding. Is that an oxymoron?


Thanks Laura - got the 'flu so couldn’t make it…


Same for myself.

I had a ticket, but couldn’t make it along, due to my arthritis. :frowning:

Thank you for posting the link to the report.