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Supported by The Co‑operative Bank

Who are the pioneers?

people at a conference - platform co-ops

Pioneering entrepreneurs are setting up platform co-ops in a wide range of sectors across the world.

This page outlines some of the pioneers of user and worker-owned platform co-ops around the world.

Top image credit: Trebor Scholz.

Resonate: A music streaming platform

Resonate is a “stream-to-own” music platform driven by blockchain technology.

The platform is a multi-stakeholder co-operative, which means it is owned and controlled democratically by a variety of stakeholders.

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We’re on a mission to remake streaming. #stream2own means artists get paid fairly, and fans can own music again.
– Resonate – the ethical music streaming co-op

Multi-stakeholder co-operatives that bring together different interest groups can choose to have “constituencies” or different “classes” of members, and in Resonate’s case this means democratic control is given to artists (45%), listeners (35%) and workers (20%).

Through its model, it pays up to 2.5 times more than other streaming services.

Watch this video to hear how Resonate is working for unsigned artists, like Madame So.

What Resonate says:

We’re on a mission to remake streaming. #stream2own means artists get paid fairly, and fans can own music again. Resonate is run as a co-op because everyone should have a voice – not just corporations. Built on blockchain technology, our new ecosystem has fairness hardwired into its code. This is the future of culture. Join us and we’ll rewire music forever.

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Open Food Network: A food distribution platform

The Open Food Network platform makes it easy to create innovative, independent food businesses.

Food producers can create an online shop, collect payments, sell through other shops on the platform and access reduce rate courier services. Wholesalers can integrate with existing systems, manage buying groups and supply your produce through our national network of food hubs and shops. Communities can bring together producers in your area to create a virtual farmers’ market, building a resilient local food economy.

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We use tech to create transformative food systems making social and ecological benefits a priority.
– Open Food Network

The OFN community has decades of experience in running innovative food enterprises with social and ecological aims. We know that good food can transform our planet and our society. We also know that making values-driven food enterprise work takes commitment, perseverance, partnerships and support. The OFN community want to help you to make values-driven food enterprises thrive!

What Open Food Network says:

We are using tech to create transformative food systems making social and ecological benefits a priority. This model allows us to create a workplace culture and business objectives that reflect the values of our members, better shape the customer experience and positively impact the sustainability of the service.”

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Equal Care Co-op: A social care platform

Equal Care Co-op are building a new, co-owned social care platform that puts care givers and receivers in charge.

By incorporating as a multi-stakeholder co-operative, their digital product and accompanying service is owned by and accountable to the communities using and sustaining it. They arrived at the platform co-op model as a response to systemic inequities within the social care system, seeing it as a practical route to centering choice, power and ownership with the two most important people in care – the person giving and the person getting support.

The model involves ensuring that front-line care workers are paid as much as possible within existing market rates and Equal Care Co-op have set a target of a minimum wage of £20,000 per annum for new care workers (equivalent to 25% above general industry average), achieved via platform efficiencies and the co-operative and self-management approach.

With the support they have received to date, they are starting to run a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with a small group of care workers and receivers and have conducted feasibility analyses and user research, focusing on a pilot area of the Upper Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. However, they are now working towards an offer of withdrawable shares to raise the seed investment they need to build their technology and fund the development of community-led neighbourhood care in other areas.

What Equal Care Co-op says:

We are a new care and support co-operative starting in the Upper Calder Valley, UK. We have set up Equal Care Co-op to bring to the forefront and balance the interests of the people ​at the heart of the care and support relationship.”

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A case study video about Equal Care Co-op by Nesta

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