Co-ops UK & Nesta "Platform Co-ops in Practice" research project

Hi it’s Simon Borkin from Co-ops UK here - I’ve stumbled on this group and it’s my first post so do shout if this is not the forum for sharing such matters. However I wanted to make the CoTech network aware (if you hadn’t picked up already) that Co-ops UK is undertaking some work with Nesta on exploring the emerging platform co-op sector in the UK - tying in with the UnFound accelerator.

The hope is it will create wider public understanding of a key sector identified by the National Co‑operative Development Strategy, launched in 2017 to create a more participative, co‑operative economy for the UK

We’ve already undertaken a couple of workshops to gather views / share ideas and the initial findings from the research will be showcased at Co‑op Congress 2018 - so if you’re coming along, please do join our workshop on the day. We’ll be sharing our initial draft at the same time, so those who aren’t at Congress can feed in too.


I’m glad that this sector is being investigated by Co-ops UK.

I can’t help thinking that an open source co-op taxi platform would be a great way to displace Uber, with many obvious benefits including the profits flowing around the communities where the taxis operate.

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Of course, as soon as I posted I then had to know whether that kind of platform already exists. Apparently it does:

NEF just did a massive project on this.

And CabFair are also part of the platform co-op incubator UnFound, being run by Co-ops UK and Stir to Action, see


My name is Mike Healy and I work as an independent researcher focused on digital employment. At the moment, I am part of a research team, based at a UK university, looking at dignity and digital work; we have submitted a project proposal for funding and hope to hear the outcome soon. In the meantime, we are looking for participants employed through an online crowd labour organisation such as Upwork with a spread of gender, age and location and who would be available for interview. If the project goes ahead, we would be in a position to pay each interviewee about £50 for their participation. It is not possible to say at the moment the timeline of the research.

I appreciate that you might be busy but I would be grateful if you could forward this email onto people who you think would be interested in participating in this project. Thanks for any help you are able to give with this matter. Anyone interested can contact me using this email address: