Think Outside the Boss: Cooperative Alternatives to the Sharing Economy

The Peer to Peer Foundation ran a brief summary of "Think Outside the Boss: Cooperative Alternatives to the Sharing Economy" ... a video recording of a panel discussion under that title held at the Solidarity Economy Civic Hall in NY City. The article on the P2P site was "Trebor Scholz et al on Cooperative Alternatives to the Sharing Economy" but I think we should remember this item by its original title.

Trebor Scholz's original article that sparked the conversation was/is wildly supportive of worker co-operatives and the solidarity economy. The panel was consistently supportive of both with a certain amount of concern about scale and this approach as a precursor to broader social change. There is a per-ccupation with such revolutionary social transformations that always seems to crop up as an enthusiasm killer thought-exercise. It is a preoccupation of the contemporary leftist to clutch their pearls in anguished recognition that they have no magic toolkit to foster this transformation. Other than that, the discussion is much more on Uber, Task-Rabbit, AirBnB types of platform plays pointing to an opportunity for similar innovations by the co-op community. I (Marty) was disappointed that they worried so much about scale and revolutionary reach without really pursuing the solidarity economy and co-co-operation as a heterogeneous scaling mechanism of potential power.

The discussion was notable in that two of the panel-members mentioned Geo Collective member Jessica Gordon-Nembhard's recent book, Collective Courage capped by a glimpse of the cover in the video.