Young Scholars Programme, ICA Cooperative Research Conference, 12-15 July 2022, Athens, Greece

29 Jul 2022
YSP Athens

As part of the activities of the ICA Cooperative Research Conference held within the framework of the ICA CCR 2022 European Research Conference with the main theme: “Rethinking cooperatives: From local to global and from the past to the future” was held a workshop specifically for the Young Scholars' Programme (YSP).  

It was an invaluable opportunity to connect with others who face similar challenges in conducting research in this growing inter-disciplinary field and one that is growing more urgent. It was organised by the ICA-CCR Young Scholars Programme and had the support of the Young Scholars Initiative Working Group on Cooperatives and Cooperation of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Since we are experiencing the increasing entanglement of production and social reproduction with the digital realm, resulting in the transformation of economic, cultural, and labor practices, the workshop focused on digital and platform cooperatives. In particular it looked at topics such as, enabling inclusive, participatory and horizontal governance through digital means, new financing strategies through the employment of blockchain and crowdsourcing technologies, the role of digitalization in the reorganization of cooperative labor, intersections of cooperative initiatives with the platform, sharing and gig economies, and inequalities regarding access to digital tools and skills: emerging issues of exclusion and discrimination.

The session was opened presenting two case studies from practitioners. The first was by Dr. Francesca Martinelli, from the Italian CentroStudi Doc, a platform cooperative on research, who discussed ‘The impact of digitalisation on cooperatives, risks and opportunities’. The second one by Antonis Faras from the Greek cooperative Sociality that work on digital technologies who talked about ‘Digital Cooperatives, an alternative model to the gig economy?’. It was concluded by Prof. Maria Daskalaki, a well-known scientist from the field of Cooperative science with a keynote final speech entitled ‘Alternatives to digital capitalism: Organising Platform Cooperatives for responsible and inclusive (work) futures’.

These interesting case studies and theory provided the information and inspiration for the joint discussion among the 40 participants in the Young Scholars Program to develop key points that were then presented during the final plenary session of the main conference with other researchers of the field to expand the space for debate and constructive discussion.

Asia Guerreschi