The Internet we’ve been waiting for is now available for pre-order—or, at least, a book about it. For the past couple of years, New School professor Trebor Scholz and I have been working the support and build a movement to develop more democratic, fair, and accountable ownership models for the online economy. We organized a conference, traveled the world, and mapped the ecosystem. We also edited a book, with about 60 phenomenal contributors, from Harvard’s Yochai Benkler and Boston College’s Juliet Schor to filmmaker Astra Taylor and Frontline star Douglas Rushkoff. It’s not quite out yet—I’m dealing with the page proofs this week—but it’ll be shipping by next month from OR Books, a publisher that has built a platform-monopoly-busting business model in its own right.
Momentum is building. Just last week, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn issued a manifesto that explicitly calls for creating platform co-ops. We hope that this book will help show that online democracy is both a live option and a moral necessity.
I’ve been continuing to follow a bunch of different leads along the cutting edge of economic democracy. In The Nation this week, read about Denver’s 800-driver taxi cooperative vying to turn Uber’s disruption into a push for worker ownership. If they keep
Meanwhile, in the September issue of Vice, I return as economics columnist with a report on Enspiral, a remarkable co-working network based in Wellington, New Zealand, which shows how trust can become not only a cooperative advantage, but a competitive one. If you missed it, also, I recently reported for Vice about the latest on ColoradoCare, the controversial ballot proposal poised to bring cooperative, universal medical coverage to all the state’s residents—now, with the help of Bernie Sanders.
Upcoming talks and trips:
- 2016.09.29: Alma, MI – Alma College
- 2016.09.30: Grand Rapids, MI – Aquinas College
- 2016.10.06: Omaha, NE – IGNITE at Creighton University
- 2016.10.12: Quebec, Canada – Collaborative economy session at the International Summit of Cooperatives
- 2016.10.20: Boulder, CO – MALfunction with the Media Archaeology Lab
- 2016.11.02: Austin, TX – HHHI HComp plenary
- 2016.11.11-13: New York, NY – Platform Cooperativism conference at The New School
- 2016.12.08-09: Cambridge, MA – Harvard Religious Literacy and Journalism Symposium
- 2017.02.09: Nashville, TN – Belmont University Faith and Culture Symposium
- 2017.04.06: Santa Barbara, CA – UCSB Community Matters lecture
You might have noticed that I’m writing from a different email address. Over the past few months I’ve pivoted from a public self-presentation heavily weighed toward modes of transportation: nathanairplane, The Row Boat, etc. As much as I enjoy transportation, I’ve decided to reorient my self-presentation around the name my parents gave me when I was born. So now this is where you can find me and my stuff:
And watch out, because I’m still playing around in various ways, like for instance with a shorter form of the URL; both http://ntnsndr.in and firstname.lastname@example.org work right now but we’ll see if it really seems worth keeping. In the meantime, see y’all there!