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Centre for SME Development: The Preston Model Goes Digital - Let’s Own The Digital Platforms

Date and Time21 April 2021 - 2.00pm - 3.30pm
LocationOnline Event
Centre for SME Development: The Preston Model Goes Digital - Let’s Own The Digital Platforms information
Centre for SME Development

Let’s Own the Digital Platforms!

Let’s Own the Digital Platforms! Cooperative ownership of digital platforms is creating a more diverse and democratic economy. This webinar will explore how and introduce some pioneers in the North West who are transforming ‘platform capitalism’ into ‘platform cooperativism’. With plenty of opportunity for discussion, we hope the event will inspire participants to launch start-ups which use co-operatively owned digital platforms to grow the sharing economy. The pandemic has shown the crucial role technology can play in supporting our livelihoods but has also exposed how dependent we are on the big tech companies. These companies accumulate extensive power at the expense of our privacy, and extract huge wealth from our communities by undermining regulations and workers’ rights. It doesn’t have to be this way. Digital platforms can (and should) be designed to truly benefit their users and their communities. The cooperative model offers a valid alternative by putting service providers and/or users in control of their platform. In this webinar you will hear from pioneering platform co-ops putting this into practice: Jen Smith is co-founder of a platform for Deaf people to book British Sign Language translators that is owned and controlled by both stakeholder groups. Lynn Davis is the CEO of Open Food Network UK, an open source platform that enables new, ethical food supply chains. Debbie Witton is co-founder of the newly setup Chorlton Bike Deliveries Co-op, a bike delivery co-op that uses the Co-opCycle platform. We will also be joined by Vica Rogers from Unfound, Co-operatives UK's programme which was set up to facilitate the development of the UK platform co-operative sector. We hope that you are able to attend. If you have any queries, please contact the Centre at