Platforms, Cooperatives, and the Sharing Economy

This photo by Unkown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

The Platforms

In the 21st century, Platforms, such as,,, and similar have disrupted several industries.  Platforms help “match” supply (seller) with consumption (buyer). Meaning if I have an extra room to rent, Airbnb will “match” my room to people who want to rent my room.  The problem is these platforms don’t share!

By sharing, I mean, they earn billions in “value” off our stuff and we get nothing.  Sure we earn money for use or work, but not the “multiplication of value.” According to Shoshana Zuboff, (the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita – Harvard), they use a concept called Surveillance Capitalism to spy on us and extract our behavioral excess and they sell that value to the highest bidder for a profit which they keep.


Nathan Schneider, professor, journalist, and author of Everything for Everyone – The Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy [Amazon] says, “Serious business people nowadays tend to regard any alternative to the investor-owned corporation as aberrant or impossible.  But the alternatives [cooperatives] actually proceeded the models [corporations] that prevail today.” [Emphasis added].  Nearly 1 in 6 people in the world do business with a cooperative, yet most people have never hear that word.

The Sharing Economy

In my book, Escaping Economic Slavery – A Journey from Scarcity to Abundance through Sharing Capitalism [Amazon], I develop how cooperatives can use platforms and specifically The Commons Platform (TCP) to match business owners and consumers (buyers and sellers) as members in a cooperative in a way that the members can actually participate in the Sharing Economy.  I call this Sharing Capitalism™ which enables members to cooperate and share in the profits that are generated within their community.  This is a game changer and power is being removed from the hands of a few giant businesses and placed back in the hands of the many (the crowd).

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