Public Engagement

General Public

Who Owns the World? The State of Platform Cooperativism

Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

University Center 63 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Around the globe, we are starting to build an alternative economy that benefits the many, not just the few. Our passions, research, and projects challenge platform capitalism and chart a more democratic future. We show that an inclusive economy is not only necessary but possible.

When starting a platform co-op, we have a much better chance at success if we rely on the support of our communities, established co-ops, incubators, co-op banks, unions, foundations, researchers, lawyers, technologists, and policymakers. “Who Owns the World?” is about building connections between these groups, finding the much-needed support, and learning from each other. For the first time, this event will bring together many of the most active players in this movement worldwide to share updates and insights, instigate initiatives, make new friends, lift each other up, plan next steps, and find new business partners as well as funders.

Celebrating 10 years of digital labor conferences at The New School, “Who Owns the World?” will feel the pulse of platform cooperativism, worldwide.

We may explore topics including:

  • Platform co-ops: formation, capital conundrum, and operation

  • Green platform co-ops fighting climate change

  • Against misogyny and racism in co-ops

  • Advancing youth employment through platform co-ops

  • Data co-ops and governance

  • Measuring non-monetary value creation

  • The decentralized internet: from cryptocurrencies to protocolary co-ops

  • Antitrust strategies, the "Silver Tsunami," and conversions to worker ownership

  • An alternative business school model that supports equitable enterprises

  • Intersectional solidarity of allies fighting for economic justice

We'll hear global movement updates and showcase the young lions of the movement. We'll introduce policy proposals and reports by the Research Fellows of the New School's Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy. In addition to a "coopathon," we'll offer a public sci-fi visioning session, film screenings, and a forum for young scholars! You'll also have a chance to start participating in the Platform Co-op Development Kit.

This conference is convened by Trebor Scholz (Director, Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School ICDE) with support from Michael McHugh, ICDE’s Assistant Director.

Please Note
Public activities will begin at 6:00 PM on the evening of Thursday, November 7. We will conclude on Saturday, November 9 in the early evening.

Support for this Event
To learn about the organizations that have taken a stand for the future of cooperatives in the digital economy by joining the PCC Circle of Cooperators as members, please click here.

Presented by the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) and Media Studies at the Schools of Public Engagement

Event Type

Conferences and Symposia


General Public


Media and Technology, International and Global, Intellectual Culture and Big Ideas


Schools of Public Engagement


Economics, Social Justice, Technology, Climate Change


$5 General Admission, Free to New School community members (ID required at the door)

Additional Details

Public activities will begin on the evening of Thursday, November 7. We will conclude on Saturday, November 9 in the early evening. The coopathon will be hosted on Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7 preceding the conference, also at The New School. Please write to us at if you are interested in participating in this coopathon. More details will follow.

Recent Activity

Getting Here

Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.

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This event requires registration.