ILO’s message for the Platform Cooperativism Symposium in Tokyo

ILO Cooperatives Unit Manager sent a video message to the Platform Cooperativism Symposium organized by the Japan Co-operative Alliance in Tokyo.

News | 30 September 2019
Participants at the Platform Cooperativism Symposium in Tokyo
The Japan Co-operative Alliance (JCA), in collaboration with Shin Mizukoshi Lab of the University of Tokyo, held a symposium on “What is Platform Cooperativism?: Exploring the potential of cooperatives in the digital economy” in Tokyo on 21 September 2019.

The concept of platform cooperativism aims to describe the use and adaption of the cooperative business model in the digital economy, or more specifically, the cooperative management and ownership of digital platforms. The symposium was the first attempt to introduce the concept to key stakeholders in Japan. It brought together over 120 participants from trade unions, the cooperative movement, academics and the media.

Trebor Scholz, Director of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy
Professor Trebor Scholz, Director of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy, made a keynote speech on the concept and examples of platform cooperativism. The ILO Cooperative Unit Manager Ms. Simel Esim contributed to the event through a video message. She noted the emergence of new digital technologies that are changing the way work is organized and governed and reflected on the potential of cooperatives in strengthening voice and representation of workers in the platform economy. She introduced emerging examples of cooperative platforms owned and governed by workers to ensure better working conditions and emphasized the importance of an enabling environment for cooperatives in general and for new types of cooperatives, including worker cooperatives, in particular.

Video message from Simel Esim, Head, Cooperatives Unit, ILO
The following panel discussion with Professor Scholz, Professor Shin Mizukoshi, Mr. Kenichi Hamachi at Consumer Co-operative Kobe, and Mr. Osamu Nakano at JCA and Japan Workers' Co-operative Union (JWCU) explored possible adaptations of platform cooperativism in Japan.