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Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet



Original Language: English | 252 pp. | January 2017

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French and Nordic Rights.


Our data is increasingly the province of large corporations, while “sharing economy” apps that we use may not have our best interests at heart. Schneider wants to rethink the internet by making it more co-operative, taking a page from co-operative farms, the Associated Press, electric co-ops, and lots more. He essentially wants the internet’s platforms to work with us in mind. What would this new internet look like? Well, not all that different from the internet of today, just less focused on cutthroat capitalism. — Innovation Hub

The book is more a manifesto than user guide. “Ours to Hack and to Own” offers a glimpse at what we can do if we apply the principles of the open source way to society and to the wider world. — Open Source

If ‘we the people’ own and democratically control the platforms we use we all get a better deal. — Resilience

Real democracy and the Internet are not mutually exclusive.

Here, for the first time in one volume, are some of the most cogent thinkers and doers on the subject of the cooptation of the Internet, and how we can resist and reverse the process. The activists who have put together Ours to Hack and to Own argue for a new kind of online economy: platform cooperativism, which combines the rich heritage of cooperatives with the promise of 21st-century technologies, free from monopoly, exploitation, and surveillance.

The on-demand economy is reversing the rights and protections workers fought for centuries to win. Ordinary Internet users, meanwhile, retain little control over their personal data. While promising to be the great equalizers, online platforms have often exacerbated social inequalities. Can the Internet be owned and governed differently? What if Uber drivers set up their own platform, or if a city’s residents controlled their own version of Airbnb? This book shows that another kind of Internet is possible—and that, in a new generation of online platforms, it is already taking shape.

Included in this volume are contributions from Michel Bauwens, Yochai Benkler, Francesca Bria, Susie Cagle, Miriam Cherry, Ra Criscitiello, John Duda, Marina Gorbis, Karen Gregory, Seda Gürses, Steven Hill, Dmytri Kleiner, Vasilis Kostakis, Brendan Martin, Micky Metts, Kristy Milland, Mayo Fuster Morell, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Rachel O’Dwyer, Janelle Orsi, Michael Peck, Carmen Rojas, Douglas Rushkoff, Saskia Sassen, Juliet Schor, Palak Shah, Tom Slee, Danny Spitzberg, Arun Sundararajan, Astra Taylor, Cameron Tonkinwise, McKenzie Wark, and Caroline Woolard.