Initiative co-led by IDRC and The New School receives $1M Google grant

 

Friday, June 1, 2018

OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Center (IDRC) and New York’s The New School's Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) have received a Google.org grant of $1,000,000 for their joint project supporting platform co-ops.  

The grant supports the economic development of cooperatives in the digital economy. It focuses specifically on creating a critical analysis of the digital economy and designing open source tools that will support platform co-ops working in sectors such as child care, elder care, home services, and recycling​ in the United States, Brazil, Australia, Germany, and India. Platform co-ops are web and app supported organizations that are owned and democratically governed by workers and/or users. The initiative is jointly led by PCC founder Trebor Scholz at The New School with Jutta Treviranus, who leads OCAD U’s IDRC. 

The partnership is centered around developing the Platform Co-op Development Kit, a platform to help interested people start platform co-ops. The Kit will include a map of the ecosystem, a resource library about platform co-operativism, as well as tools that can ease the legal process for these startups, help democratic decision-making, and a customizable labor platform. By making these tools freely available and open source, The Platform Cooperative Consortium aims to lower the barriers to entry for co-ops.

“Platform co-ops offer a powerful way to counter economic exclusion and corrosive disparity — a global challenge the Inclusive Design Research Centre has been tackling for 25 years,” said Dr. Treviranus. “This inspired partnership between the Platform Cooperative Consortium at The New School and the IDRC at OCAD U will empower individuals and groups that are currently economically marginalized to co-design a more inclusively prosperous future.”

“This grant is a big win for the cooperative movement and for platform co-op pioneers all over the world," said Scholz. "This kit will make it easier to start and run platform co-ops. It will also provide an interactive map of the co-op ecosystem and essential community-edited resources.”

“Google.org has provided funding to develop the kit, which will combine the research of the PCC and the practical knowledge of the thriving platform co-op community with the inclusive design and development strengths of the IDRC,” explained Scholz. “But to build out this critically important and timely project into further territories and sectors, additional funding will be needed.”

The grant will also allow the PCC to engage other leading organizations committed to creating jobs with fair pay and good working conditions for diverse populations working in the digital economy. By applying the cooperative model to digital labor, the Platform Co-op Development Kit offers a compelling alternative to the otherwise extractive and on-demand digital economy.

 

Portrait of Peter Milligan
Philanthropist, lawyer, advocate for Canadian contemporary artists and friend of OCAD U Peter Milligan passed away at age 69. Milligan and his wife Dorene MacAulay Milligan, an OCAD U alumna, were tremendous supporters of the university since 2003.
l-r: Dr. Sara Diamond, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Dr. Marie Wilson,MPP Chris Glover and Dr. Bob Phillips
Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University, welcomed Dr. Marie Wilson as the first keynote speaker in the 2018-2019 President’s Speaker Series. An award-winning journalist and Commissioner of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), Dr. Wilson discussed the lessons learned from the TRC and how Canadians can chart a way forward in the context of reconciliation.
President Sara Diamond, left, and Dr. Alia Weston (photo courtesy: Toronto Star)
OCAD U is conducting research tied to Sidewalk Labs’ proposal for a “smart city” that would be built on a 12-acre site known as Quayside. In mid-September, ten research grants were made available to faculty members at post-secondary institutions and three of these grants were awarded to OCAD U researchers. The initiative is funded by Sidewalk Labs, Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto Foundation.
Pitch competition winner, Abid Virani, receives prize cheque from Cassels Brock’s Aly Somani. Photo courtesy, Valerie Poon.
OCAD University’s newest entrepreneurs from the Imagination Catalyst squared off at the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition on September 27, competing for $5000 in start-up funding.  Abid Virani, co-founder & COO of Fable Tech Labs, took the top prize, out-pitching their colleagues from OCAD U’s business incubator. 
Ryan Rice, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School with participants. Photo by Martin Iskander.
OCAD U’s Ryan Rice, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, formerly Delaney Chair, along with The Inuit Art Quarterly/Inuit Art Foundation (IAF), hosted a meet-and-greet with partners of the Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project.
Couzyn van Heuvelen, Duke Redbird, Sara Diamond, Jaime Watt and Gabriel Rojas Ruska
OCAD University’s historic George Reid House has officially re-opened following a dynamic renovation of the building, including the addition of Indigenous artwork created by Inuk artist Couzyn van Heuvelen.
Opening reception: Imago Mundi — Great and North. Photo: Henry Chan.
More than 300 people attended the opening night of Onsite Gallery’s latest exhibition, Imago Mundi – Great and North. Presented for the first time in Canada, the exhibition includes more than 700 works by artists, writers, designers and architects from across Canada.
King George School
OCAD University is exploring offering classes at a new Hamilton-based community and culture hub. At a recent Hamilton City Council meeting, councillors unanimously approved Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green’s motion to transform the former King George School into a community hub. 
Platform Co-op Funding Graphic
Platform Co-op team at work
Platform Co-op staff at work
Friday, June 1, 2018

OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Center (IDRC) and New York’s The New School's Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) have received a Google.org grant of $1,000,000 for their joint project supporting platform co-ops.  

The grant supports the economic development of cooperatives in the digital economy. It focuses specifically on creating a critical analysis of the digital economy and designing open source tools that will support platform co-ops working in sectors such as child care, elder care, home services, and recycling​ in the United States, Brazil, Australia, Germany, and India. Platform co-ops are web and app supported organizations that are owned and democratically governed by workers and/or users. The initiative is jointly led by PCC founder Trebor Scholz at The New School with Jutta Treviranus, who leads OCAD U’s IDRC. 

The partnership is centered around developing the Platform Co-op Development Kit, a platform to help interested people start platform co-ops. The Kit will include a map of the ecosystem, a resource library about platform co-operativism, as well as tools that can ease the legal process for these startups, help democratic decision-making, and a customizable labor platform. By making these tools freely available and open source, The Platform Cooperative Consortium aims to lower the barriers to entry for co-ops.

“Platform co-ops offer a powerful way to counter economic exclusion and corrosive disparity — a global challenge the Inclusive Design Research Centre has been tackling for 25 years,” said Dr. Treviranus. “This inspired partnership between the Platform Cooperative Consortium at The New School and the IDRC at OCAD U will empower individuals and groups that are currently economically marginalized to co-design a more inclusively prosperous future.”

“This grant is a big win for the cooperative movement and for platform co-op pioneers all over the world," said Scholz. "This kit will make it easier to start and run platform co-ops. It will also provide an interactive map of the co-op ecosystem and essential community-edited resources.”

“Google.org has provided funding to develop the kit, which will combine the research of the PCC and the practical knowledge of the thriving platform co-op community with the inclusive design and development strengths of the IDRC,” explained Scholz. “But to build out this critically important and timely project into further territories and sectors, additional funding will be needed.”

The grant will also allow the PCC to engage other leading organizations committed to creating jobs with fair pay and good working conditions for diverse populations working in the digital economy. By applying the cooperative model to digital labor, the Platform Co-op Development Kit offers a compelling alternative to the otherwise extractive and on-demand digital economy.