Inspire. Learn. Collaborate.

September 9 – 10, 2017

Bram & Bluma Appel Salon,
Toronto Public Library



Disrupting the Disruptors is a conference dedicated to understanding and accelerating platform co-operatives in Canada. This event offers a practical exploration of a more equitable digital economy by using co-operatively owned digital platforms. Can co-operative ownership solve the challenges we face from platform monopolies? Let’s explore the possibilities of building a sustainable platform economy that benefits entrepreneurs and people.

This event will showcase the latest tools, technologies, as well profile the projects at the forefront of this sector.

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Add to My Calendar 2017-03-03 9:00:00 2017-03-05 16:00:00 Eastern Standard Time Platform Cooperatives Toronto A multi-day conference on and the development and deployment of platform cooperatives in Canada. Toronto, Ontario Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada bdenovan@canada.coop


Welcome message

Welcome to participants from a special guest speaker TBA

09:00 AM

Nora Young, opening keynote

by Nora Young

Nora Young introduces some of the known problems emerging from technology and innovation disruption that affect our lives, careers, and businesses in the digital economy.

9:15 AM

Panel Discussion moderated by Nora Young

Panel on Platform co-operativism with Nathan Schneider, Trebor Scholz, Brianna Wettlaufer, and Evan Henshaw-Plath discussing the developments and evolution of platform co-operatives.

9:30 AM

Networking Break (Prologue)

10:15 AM

Presentations: (Epic Hall) Modo Co-op, Stocksy United, Savvy Co-op, FairBNB, SMart EU

Existing models illustrate the diversity of the model and also the opportunities and challenges: 15-minute presentations followed by a Q&A.

10:30 AM

Lunch (Prologue)


Networking space: Co-op values and principles – (Prologue)

Q&A about co-operative values, governance, structures/models, and principles: [Worker/Producer/Multi-stakeholder/Fairshares]

12:30 PM

Breakout Session 1: (Epic Hall) Start up and Scale up

What does sustainable funding of start-ups look like for a co-op model? How can founders receive a fair return while respecting co-operative principles?

1:00 PM

Breakout session 2: (Novella Room) Co-operative Solutions in the Gig Economy

Presentations and panel discussion. Digital labour & policy. What new models allow people to do meaningful work with reasonable stability?

1:00 PM

Networking Break (Prologue)

2:30 PM

Co-operative Sector partnerships to Accelerate Member Owned Platforms:

Credit Unions and Caisse Populaires are examining partnerships in Fintech. Should they be looking at the gig economy and considering their partnerships to build membership with co-operative service offerings for freelancers?

2:45 PM

Closing keynote: Evan Henshaw Plath, Affinity Works (Epic Hall)

Evan Henshaw-Plath is a technologist who explores the intersection of product, engineering, and the political systems in which they exist. His passion is in the space of new emerging start-ups and making the world a better place through civic technology projects.

4:00 PM

Closing Remarks

4:45 PM

Networking Opportunity: Coffee & Pastries

8:30 AM

Welcome and introductions

What questions do you want to answer today?

9:30 AM

The platform co-operative ecosystem

by Nathan Schneider

The Internet of Ownership (ioo.coop) and the diversity of projects globally. The role of the Platform Co-operative Consortium and Internet of ownership in platform co-op development.

9:45 AM

International Platforms and National Legal Frameworks

by Margaret Vincent

10:45 AM

Co-operative Governance and Platforms

by TBD

An overview of the tools, methods, and lessons to date? What questions do you want to answer today?

11:30 AM

Buffet Lunch

12:30 PM

Financing a co-operatively owned platform

Figuring out how to finance a more democratic, values-centered online economy.

1:30 PM

Looking forward

Future research, possible partnerships, and co-op development opportunities.

2:30 PM


Learning about sustainable platform businesses
We’re pleased to present experts who are pushing hard to balance ownership and equity in the digital economy. Platform co-operatives are an alternative to venture capital funded platforms because they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most — workers, users, or stakeholders. Co-operatively owned digital platforms can help entrepreneurs succeed and build a sustainable and profitable platform economy.

The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon is a versatile and engaging space flooded with natural light. It offers a contemporary modular design and is comprised of three rooms which can be used separately or in combination.  It features two outdoor terraces, a full catering kitchen, a built-in bar and private washrooms.

The pre-conference academic gathering, on September 8, will be held at the University of Toronto DCS Innovation Lab.

Some Questions

Can co-operative ownership solve the challenges we face from platform monopolies in the sharing economy?

Will blockchain technologies make co-operative and democratic ownership of the web possible?

What would an Uber owned by its drivers look like? Would a Twitter governed by its users make it more sustainable?

How can public policy spur and protect co-operative platforms? What kinds of financing and legal support do they need?

This is a networking and learning opportunity for coders, entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, academics, and change makers

To build international momentum toward more thoughtful and sustainable platforms, we will be creating opportunities to socialize and build relationships with the Platform Cooperativism movement.


We have taken great care to make this event affordable. If you feel you have good reasons to request free admission, please contact us.

September 8
Pre-Conference Academic Gathering
Researchers and Academics from across Canada and internationally will meet for an unconference style day. To register, please email: alex.szaflarska@gmail.com


September 9
Disrupting the Disruptors
Presentations and keynotes about the co-operative opportunities in an expanding digital economy. The logic, reasoning and examples that point to new and more sustainable digital platforms.


September 10
Platform Co-op Workshop
In depth analysis of the investment models, technological solutions, governance innovation, legal frameworks, and partnerships that can advance platform co-operative development and support a Canadian and international ecosystem.


Thank You To Our Partners

Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get to the venue?

The map and Contact details are listed within the contact information.You will also receive a confirmation email with location map.

What about accommodation?

The cost of the hotel accommodation and travel is not included in the event fee. For  accommodation rates, please see our list of hotels near the venue.

What payment types do you accept?

All payments are processed via Eventbrite. You may also pay at the time of the event. But please reserve your seat by contacting us directly.

Can I get a refund on my tickets?

All tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled by us, in which case we will make a full refund.



Bram and Bluma Appel Salon

16 Asquith Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8

Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM




+1 613 238 6712 extension 206


If you have any questions about the event, please contact us directly.



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