Trebor Scholz

Scholar-activist, 2020-2021 Berggruen Fellow

Trebor Scholz is a scholar-activist at The New School in New York City. His book Uber-Worked and Underpaid. How Workers Are Disrupting the Digital Economy (Polity, 2016) introduces the concept of “platform cooperativism” as a way of joining the co-op model with the digital economy. He has edited and co-edited volumes including Ours to Hack and to Own: Platform Cooperativism. A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet (listed by Wired Magazine as one of the Top Tech Books of 2017), and Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory (Routledge, 2013). His articles and ideas have appeared in The Financial Times, Le Monde, The New York Times, The Nation, and The Washington Post. He is the Founding Director of the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) and the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) at The New School, which are key hubs for the research and coordination of the cooperative digital economy. Scholz keynotes conferences and presents on the cooperative digital economy to audiences around the world. Dr. Scholz is a guest professor at Mondragon University, fellow at Open Society Foundations, and the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. At the Berggruen Institute, he will work on an activist guide to the future of the gig economy tentatively titled Own This! The book tracks and analyzes the global platform cooperativism movement through the lens of numerous case studies and worker interviews — focusing on what happens when you take the cooperative business model to the digital economy. Structured as a globetrotting tour—from the U.S., around the world, and back—meeting workers, activists, and scholars from all walks of life, encountering again and again not only the dehumanizing effects of the extractive economy, but also the dignity and unity, the vision and the principles, required to withstand and ultimately transform it.

By Trebor Scholz

Policies for Cooperative Ownership in the Digital Economy

Own This! How to Take Back the Internet

After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked