We’ve been using this diagram to help people understand where coops fit in the world as we know it. It neatly describes how coops slip in between your run-of-the-mill-profit-driven-firm and not-for-profits.
There is often a light-bulb moment around what this is really describing – that there are three different ways that value can be distributed:
- In a for-profit company, return-on-shareholders-capital is the sole focus
- In a not-for-profit, the division of value is determined by its pre-ordained mandate
- In a cooperative, it’s the members who decide how value is distributed
It also helps to makes sense of why coops are democratic organisations, where every member gets one vote, as opposed to for-profits where decisions are based on proportionate holdings of voting shares, and NFP’s where the beneficiaries typically have very little control.
We particularly like the implication that coops take the best out of both worlds!
A surprisingly well attended meeting at the Trades Hall last night given the low key publicity. Developers, designers and folk from 5 different trade unions were there. Interesting perspective on the potential power of developers to influence the shape of new tech to meet privacy-by-design and other yet-to-be-defined principles. Only one developer raising the blockchain flag as a solution in waiting. But perhaps most encouraging, the trade unions showed real willingness to engage on the issue and explore how things like platform coops can help change the balance in favour of workers from all industries – particularly designers.
When tech meets organised labour then the pendulum starts its swing back from current economic extremes.
A meeting for workers interested in collective action & unionism
We believe in workers’ rights, social justice, diversity and equality. We want to challenge corporate control over our technology.
We share a vision for an inclusive & equitable technology industry. We want to collaborate with workers and friends to build tech worker power, organise on workplace issues and create a space for educating ourselves and exchanging ideas.
Technology for the many, not the few!