The Co-Op Model

Co-ops have been part of Canadian higher ed for a long time (UBC bike coop , Laval U bookstore coop


Collaborative sector solution… We can’t do it alone at individual institutions but are looking for a model that would allow have and have not institutions to address challenges common to us all. These challenges include reluctant or overstretched IT departments, FIPPA (privacy) laws and guidelines, expertise,  resources, and a need to expand ed tech platforms beyond the LMS.


Reduce effort and duplication of effort.


Explore the potential of a new model for cooperating around ed tech outside of a ‘shared services’, vendor-centric model through a platform cooperative.


Thoughts on Platform Cooperativism from Ours To Hack And To Own:

  • “First, platforms are us: Platforms aren’t just software applications and the companies that administer them. What gives a platform value, in most cases, is the community of users that employ the platform, along with the networks, data, and ideas they create. In other words, what makes platforms so valuable is what we put into them. Second, platforms don’t need to be treated as commodities.”
  • “Platform cooperatives—as a direct affront to the platform monopolies characterizing digital industrialism—offer a means of both reclaiming the value we create and forging the solidarity we need to work toward our collective good”
  • “The idea of disintermediation was central to the emancipatory visions of the Internet, yet the landscape today is more mediated than ever before. If we want to think more about the consequences of an increasingly centralized Internet, we need to start by addressing the cause of this centralizing. The Internet was colonized by capitalist platforms; centralization is required to capture profit. Disintermediating platforms were ultimately reintermediated by capitalist investors dictating that communications systems be built to capture profit …. by keeping the computational capacity in the hands of the users, we prevent the communication platform from becoming capital, and we prevent the users from being instrumentalized as audience commodity.”

The co-op framework

  • adopt multi-stakeholder governance models
  • contribute to the creation of immaterial and material commons
  • socially and politically organized around pan-institutional concerns, even if they produce locally.