Imagine a transparent, democratic and decentralised economy which works for everyone. A society in which anyone can become a co-owner of the organisations on which they, their family and their community depend. A world where everyone can participate in all the decisions that affect them.

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This is not a utopian ideal, it is the natural outcome of a networked society made up of platform cooperatives; online organisations owned and managed by their members. By providing a viable alternative to the standard internet business model based on monopoly and extraction, platform cooperatives provide a template for a new type of organisation – forming the building blocks for a new economy.

Open 2016, the first event of its kind in the UK, will explore how collaborative software and cooperative ownership models are being combined to create this new economy. Bringing together Businesses, NGOs and Civil Society, Open 2016 will showcase the latest tools, technologies and projects at the forefront of this growing movement. With presentations from co-operative development experts, legal practitioners and software developers, Open 2016 will focus on the practical steps needed to set up platform coops and accelerate their growth.

Day 1 – Vision
Speakers will present the vision of an open, networked society and how the co-operatively owned Internet is becoming a reality. Featuring case studies from existing platform cooperatives, and practical advice on ownership structures and collaborative working, Day 1 will demonstrate how Businesses, NGOs and Civil Society can increase the effectiveness and productivity of their organisations by funding and using the collaborative technologies of platform cooperatives.

Day 2 – Progression
Software developers and systems architects will present their work on enabling platform cooperatives. Featuring case studies and demonstrations from people working on software projects and the ‘open app ecosystem’, Day 2 is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the tools and technologies which are empowering the development of platform cooperatives.

Open 2016 presents an opportunity to meet and discuss the structure, challenges and opportunities of a truly collaborative economy. If you are interested in co-creating our collective future register your interest above.

Open Co-ops 2016 is being developed by the teams behind UnitedDiveristy, Defacto Design and Focal Point.