Hello from Oliver, a (partially) lost academic researcher


I am Oliver. I am currently a senior researcher at Lancaster University in the School of Computing and Communications and have been in research since 2011.
I’ve been interested in the relationship between Co-ops and tech for about 18 months and have more recently started looking into platform co-ops, attending events run by Co-ops UK and have been applying for research grant funding to explore the how digital tech and co-ops can help gig-economy workers with rights, representation and just work, specifically those working in logistics and mobility.

Broadly speaking I’m interested in using technology in responsible ways to achieve the following: environmental sustainable, clean energy/transport/logistics, social justice, and upholding democracy. I enjoy the teamwork aspect of my work a lot, and have a broad range of skills and experiences across design (IxD, HCI), data and data science, computer science/software engineering, ethics/GDPR, grant writing and technical teaching/mentoring.

I am currently in a wired place where I don’t think I want to be in academia anymore. I want to be actively working on solutions to social and environmental problems, not just writing grants and academic papers. I’m also struggling a bit with the environment given that I don’t want to become a lecturer and it seems that there’s no real long-term career path for someone who just wants to do research.

I’m currently trying to work out what to do next.

In terms of thinking about moving onto the next thing I’ve been looking at Co-op Digital for work and toying with the idea of either starting my own co-op or joining one as I see that there’s a massive overlap in terms of my personal values/philosophies and that of the co-operative principles.

I’m here to join the CoTech community, learn, meet likeminded people and hopefully find an opportunity to bring my skills and passion to work in a co-op.

Thanks for reading. Have a great Wednesday!




Hi Oliver
You might be interested in some of the work we have been doing and conferences we have run on platform co-ops… and our other collaborative projects, which all have similar objectives to yours… we’re always looking for more cooperators and collaborators :slight_smile:


plus, see also our latest project: https://opencredit.network/
And come along to this event if you’re interested in helping to create a global credit commons:


Welcome to CoTech @bates_oliver :slight_smile:

You’re not the only person in that position, I personally know a few.

But this forum should be a good place to keep talking to people - you might even find people to work with. It seems to be a time when people are freeing themselves from established career-patterns (or losing their jobs!) and many are forming into co-ops with others. The first step is building up a relationship with like - minded people. I guess. :slight_smile:

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