What’s new at Platform Coops Germany:
When Ela Kagel & Thomas Dönnebrink started off the #platformcoop meetups at SUPERMARKT three years ago, the initial group of participants was not only smaller, but also more consistent. Today, it turns out that the platformcoop-topics speak to many different people from all walks of social justice, financial activism, open source engineering, commons building and alternative economies at large.
There is a growing number of projects that strives at creating critical infrastructure on people’s own terms, such as ICT trainings for women in South Sudan (r0gue _agency for open culture, for instance) or Telecommons, a group of activists that is working towards changing the world of telecommunication. The Hostsharing Genossenschaft is offering IT services, such as web hosting or shared server infrastructure, which follows principles of digital sovereignty and transparency.
Other projects are all based on providing access for those who do not meet the market’s requirements for participation: Unite Coop for instance enables access to financial services, the Open Source Ecology network builds industrial machines for a fraction of commercial costs, and during the meetup we also got to know Jakob Kolb from a newly founded sports cooperative that provides access to sports facilities all over Berlin. Gerard Roscoe attended the meeting on behalf of Cosum, a local platform which enables shared ownership of resources.
Besides representatives of cooperative projects, which are currently emerging all over the city, there were also quite a number of activists that belong to networks such as OuiShare, WeChange, Green Net Project, Wandelbündnis, or Fearless Cities.
Manuela Bosch, who has created the Collaboration Incubator series, presented the outcome of the latest events and talked about the need for spaces & social tech in order to incubate human relationships and build strong networks. Rashid Owoyele is working in a similar direction: with the Society of Owners, he is striving at bringing people together for designing and building cooperative organizations.
Peter Harris from the music streaming collective Resonate pointed out, that a real platfom coop is not just focusing on delivering a certain business idea, but creates network effects that have effects on the industry at large. It might be unfair to compare Resonate to industry giants such as Spotify, but there might be a time when customers are finally ready to support a music ecosystem that is actually fair, transparent and culturally diverse.
The main topic of this meeting was networking, synergies and collaboration. Before we were even able to talk about any strategic questions, as outlined in the invitation, it was clear that most people tried to find ways of reaching beyond their communities. There is a great need for joining powers!
Peter Hartmann from Green Net has created a platform coop group on the WeChange-community portal, so that we can slowly move away from other social media channels: https://wechange.de/project/platform-cooperativism-project-1/
If you have any news, articles, job openings or events to share, please create a profil at WeChange and help contributing to our shared pool of resources.
Upcoming events related to platform coops in Berlin:
Society of Owners: web launch, May 25th, at SUPERMARKT
cosum.de, kickoff & open space, March 15, at Baumhaus Berlin
Collaboration Incubator, May 2-5, 2019 in Berlin. Contact: https://vanillaway.net/
Organize! Best Practices, j-ev. https://j-traenk.de/ April 4th
Coops Viadrina: A research-oriented seminar, April 29th, 15-18 hrs at SUPERMARKT
Digitaler Salon: Platformcoops. Wednesday, March 27th, 18.30-21 hrs at Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Foto: Markus Kollotzek, Green Net Project