Why We Need Co-ops in 2019

A primer on the growing ecosystem supporting platform co-ops.

Why It Matters

Platform businesses are not necessarily the financial success that their market valuations suggest, even if they have a dedicated community who use them. Now, however, networks of like-minded people and organizations are emerging to accelerate a first wave of digital co-operative enterprises.

Today, 4.4 billion people — a good 57 percent of humanity — are now online. More than 1 million people per day joined the internet in 2018. In 2016, the digital economy represented 15.5 percent of global GDP, and that share will continue to grow to 24.3 percent by 2025. That rapid economic growth is being driven in part by the “network effects” of digital platforms, including iconic brands such as Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.

The potential for positive social impact of global platforms, however, remains elusive. Platforms have dis

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