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Collaborative economy: an opportunity for cooperatives - new study released

Collaborative economy: an opportunity for cooperatives - new study released

Monday, 5 September 2016

Cooperatives Europe, in collaboration with LAMA Development and Cooperation Agency, are releasing today a new publication, titledCooperative Platforms in a European Landscape: An Exploratory Study”, at the International Social Innovation Research Conference in Glasgow.

The first known European exploratory study of its kind provides an overview of established cooperatives already developing innovations in the collaborative economy field and reveals the results of the online mapping study, analysing 38 cases from 11 European countries and 3 initiatives from outside the EU. In addition, the publication explores the interest, awareness, practical cases, opportunities and challenges faced, through a series of interviews conducted with cooperative associations from 9 EU Member States.

The study demonstrates that cooperatives can contribute to the collaborative economy promoting models of community based on membership rather than usership, supporting new initiatives to manage the commons, but also getting the business model transformation opportunities enabled by digital platforms and internet technologies.

The online mapping is considered only as the first step in building a comprehensive understanding of the cooperative landscape involving collaborative economy, aiming to continue the study and reach more cooperatives in the future in the EU and beyond.

Agnès Mathis, Director of Cooperatives Europe, commented: “Cooperatives and collaborative economy have much in common, yet there is a substantial amount to learn from each other as shown by initiatives carried out by cooperatives in the field and by their national associations. The cooperative movement should apprehend the emerging collaborative economy as an opportunity to promote a vision of an economy based on mutualisation of resources and increased democratic participation.”