Platform cooperatives, democratically governed alternatives to traditional business models, could outperform ‘Death Star’ platforms like Uber. In the true spirit of a sharing economy, platform co-ops offer a fairer model, distributing wealth among those who make them valuable. They provide an alternative to the winner-takes-all model of platform capitalism, which concentrates wealth in the hands of a few.

The Internet of Ownership project has mapped over 200 platform co-ops worldwide, showing that this model can work across sectors. They’re not just a utopian vision, but a reality that’s growing in size and strength. Platform co-ops are gaining momentum, with several initiatives helping them to grow and compete, such as, a new accelerator that invests in co-ops.

The challenge for platform co-ops is to scale up and compete with established platforms. They need to combine the best features of the co-op model with the best of the platform model. The key is to maintain the democratic governance and equitable distribution of wealth characteristic of co-ops, while also offering the convenience and network effects of platforms.

The potential of platform co-ops is huge, but they need support to realise their potential. The movement needs patient capital, legal support, technical skills, strong leadership, and a supportive public policy environment. With these elements in place, platform co-ops could create a real sharing economy that benefits everyone.

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