Fairmondo checked in at #TWT2016 – The World Transformed; four days of creative space running alongside Labour’s annual Conference that is reimagining our World. The central question is how can we build a world where health, wealth and happiness are shared equitably, where no one is left behind and we respect the planet. There is no greater challenge to creating this world than in the online space so stridently colonised by private capital in the guise of Amazon, Google, Facebook etc.
#digitaldemocracy is Jeremy Corby’s emergent manifesto for transforming relationships with the digital, the online world. His is the first time that a mainstream political party has recognised the role of #platformcoops in delivering that vision:
“We will foster the cooperative ownership of digital platforms for distributing labour and selling services. The National Investment Bank and regional banks will help to finance social enterprises whose websites and apps are designed to minimise the costs of connecting producers with consumers in the transport, accommodation, cultural, catering and other important sectors of the British economy.”
Crucially, the first expression of policy recognises the importance of making funding available to “social enterprises”, those companies built to deliver benefits to their stakeholders. In the tech sector we need this #socialventurecapital to stimulate and support this sector and build viable alternatives to “business as usual”.
Fairmondo is platform cooperativism in action – come and join this retailing revolution. It is already an online marketplace (workers coop) destined to become a multi-stakeholder cooperative. Platform cooperatives turn the world upside down – the users no longer work for the platform – the platform works for its users, the users determine strategy and policy. At the moment its rocking a pay as you feel model, #PAYF – no listing or transaction fees.
There is more to the project than fairness to the stakeholders (this would be enough!) – the way we consume to meet our everyday needs impacts daily upon the planet. The ultimate prize is to build a system of creating, distributing and exchanging that works in harmony with the plant’s eco-systems. Capital is hard-wired to exploit natural resources – draw down raw materials and dump waste back in to the environment. We needs systems and enterprises that make it easy for consumers to meet their needs from producers with plant saving goods and services. Along with fellow cooperators in Germany (who fired the starting gun in 2012) we are taking the first steps to make capital obsolete by building a better alternative.
The World Transformed is peace and cooperation at its best.