Voices of the Commons

Nathan Schneider

Nathan Schneider on Cooperatives, the Commons and Ownership

This week on the Voices of the Commons, Stacco Troncoso talks to Nathan Schneider. Nathan Schneider is journalist and professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is the director of Media Enterprise Design Lab. Nathan has authored books on cooperative enterprises, the Occupy movement, and religion. He is one of the initiators of the Platform Cooperativism movement, co-editing Ours to Hack and to Own (a Platform Coop “mix-tape”) and maintaining the Internet of Ownership Directory.

In this podcast, Nathan talks about:

  • How coops address accountability crisis of the mainstream economy
  • The relationship between cooperatives and the commons
  • The vulnerabilities of the Commons when it marginalizes ownership
  • How coops radicalize workers across the political spectrum
  • The breadth and width of the cooperative economy
  • Latest trends in digital and crypto-cooperativism

The podcast was recorded on the same day Nathan Schneider taped an interview with Stacco for Boulder University’s Media Enterprise Lab. Both dialogues complement each other well as sides A and B of a record on cooperativism and the commons. You can check out Nathan’s interview with Stacco in this link: If I Only Had a Heart: Accounting for Care Work in Organizations.

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1 Comment

  1. Bernard Marszalek

    Greetings Stacco,

    Here’s the section you will like:

    The fatal error of cooperatives decades ago was to emphasize ownership in imitation of the ESOPs. Almost from the inception of cooperatives as collective economic projects in the early 19th century, they were characterized as urban commons, duplicating in those new settings the centuries old practice of rural lands held in common by an exclusive group, like the families of a village or parish. So, the operative term for participants in cooperatives isn’t owner, but member. Retail co-ops serve consumer-members, housing co-ops have members whereas condos have owners, and worker-members manage worker cooperatives.


    There are many people as confused as Nathan, unfortunately he uses his reportage to spread it.

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