Trebor Scholz, a scholar-activist and founding director of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School in New York City, gave a Ted Talk on platform cooperatives as a promising antidote to the disenfranchisement of workers in the gig economy.
As proof, he cites Up & Go, the FIRST gig platform owned by its member cooperatives, which was incubated and developed in the Center for Family Life’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP).
As Scholz explains in his Ted Talk, “a ‘platform cooperative’ means that the workers, the house cleaners, are sharing the governance and the ownership of this platform. They are deciding on wages, they are deciding on benefits, they are deciding what customers are charged.” This allows workers to earn a living wage, build business and tech skills, and have real control over their business.
We would like to thank Trebor Scholz for lifting up this work to a larger audience, and, like Scholz, we are are optimistic that economic models that promote equity will continue to spread throughout the world.
If you would like to learn more about the role platform co-ops will play going forward, the entire Ted Talk is linked to the picture below.
We are so proud of all 21 cooperative businesses that have developed through CFL, from the businesses that serve our local Sunset Park community, to Brightly, the first worker cooperative franchise of cleaning cooperatives in the United States that continues expand in other cities, to Up & Go, which now serves as hopeful example of the power of gig platform co-ops.
If you live in NYC, you can try out the platform co-ops yourself by booking a house or commercial cleaning through Up & Go’s site.
You can learn more about how the CDP works and see a full list of business that have come out of our program here.