Cooperatives UK - National Cooperative Devt Strategy - Platform Cooperatives

I’ve been rummaging through various documents on the Cooperatives UK website in recent days. In particular I note that they have published a thing called ‘Do it Ourselves’ - - which I understand to be largely a call to action to encourage and enable cooperatives to get active in terms of promoting the cooperative option and providing support for start-ups, etc.

Interestingly, Cotech is named second in a list of “People that are taking action now”. It reads: “CoTech is an energetic new network of technology co-operatives, sharing work and spreading the worker co-op model, with a goal of growing 100,000 jobs in the sector by 2030.”

Also named in the list of people doing stuff now is Federation: what was the hopeful and ambitious Co-op Digital ecosystem (which now looks more like a co-working facility).

I’m also aware that within the published strategy it talks about three targeted sectors: “Early actions and partnerships will include three sectors of the future UK economy around which ambitious new co-operative solutions urgently need to be found.” One of these sectors is "New digital ventures, or ‘platform co-operatives’, using new technology for shared ownership services. I understand that some sort of pilot project is being plotted within the corridors of power at Holyoake House.

Getting to the point of all this: does anyone in CoTech know anything more about this stuff, as I’m interested in the potential for CoTech to work with Cooperatives UK, and potentially Federation/Co-op digital, as well as others, to get involved in this project and take it forward.

Anyone else here who’s keen?

Hi Graham

I know a fair bit about this I think - the simple version is that I think there are two main projects underway (that I’m aware of), relevant to tech coops.

The first is an attempt to create a much simplified way of starting a cooperative, for people from different sectors. I’ve been working on this with Coops UK over the last couple of months, we have held a design workshop a couple of months back with some CoTech members among others, and just starting to put together a prototype process now. Hopefully will be something to share in coming weeks - but happy to discuss more with anyone interested. Certainly it will benefit from input from the wider CoTech network once we have something testable.

The second project I’m aware of is an accelerator program for platform cooperatives that Coops UK are running with Stir to Action. There was a meeting about this towards the end of last year at Space4, I believe the conclusion was that they have identified a set of current platform cooperatives who they are going to support as the first tranche. But not as involved in this one so others may know more.

Hope thats helpful? Let me know if any more detail useful. There may be other things going on also I’m not aware of, of course.


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