Many people associate co-ops with farmer markets or off-the-grid hippie communes somewhere deep in the forest. While this may not be false, there are many successful cooperatives that are well known around the world in just about every industry imaginable.
Are you a football fan? FC Barcelona is a cooperative and Bayern-Munich is owned by 84% of its fans.
Unimed is a Brazilian medical work cooperative and health insurance operator. It is considered the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 105,000 affiliated physicians, 386 branches, and more than 15 million beneficiaries. (Wikipedia)
CO-OP Foods has 3,819 supermarkets in the UK.
Okay, so now what is a co-op?
Cooperatives are people-centered enterprises owned, controlled, and run by and for their members to realize their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
Cooperatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. Whether the members are the customers, employees, users, or residents, cooperatives are democratically managed by the ‘one member, one vote’ rule. Members share equal voting rights regardless of the amount of capital they put into the enterprise.
Driven by values, not just profit, cooperatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through cooperation. Putting fairness, equality, and social justice at the heart of the enterprise, cooperatives around the world are allowing people to work together to create sustainable enterprises that generate long-term jobs and prosperity.
Cooperatives allow people to take control of their economic future and, because they are not owned by shareholders, the economic and social benefits of their activity stay in the communities where they are established. Profits generated are either reinvested in the enterprise or returned to the members.
In recent years, platform cooperatives have started to pop up all over the world offering gig workers a better way to do business. Companies such as Fairmondo, Stocksy, Fairbnb, and NYC Drivers Cooperative are starting to make headlines as more platform co-ops emerge every day.
Online education is a booming industry with an expected growth of $350 billion by 2025. These figures were estimated before the pandemic and are now suspected to grow much more than that.
As online teachers, we are more than familiar with the practices of online learning platforms. Whether it be low pay, employment discrimination, being “fired” for little to no reason, lack of students, high fees, harsh rules, lack of peer support, or allowing students to sexually harass and expose themselves to teachers. Some companies are better than others, but all of them are making huge profits off your labor and none of them care about their disposable teachers.
Humans are constantly fighting for equality and justice in societies around the world. Why should we not demand the same in our workplace?
MyCoolClass is changing the future of online education by challenging “business as usual” and offering teachers around the world something to call their own and invest their future in.