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What do middle aged women in Australia and Korean 18-25 year olds have in common?

by | Oct 18, 2020 | Community Wealth Building, Gender Lens

This year we’ve had the pleasure to get to know Jose – one of the Co Founders of Mondragon Team Academy (MTA).  MTA along with The New School (New York), have convened the global Platform Co-operatives Now course.  In our recent chat, we discussed the “global trends” around Platform Co-op’s and we found the Australian data is quite at odds with the rest of the world.

jose rohan and wardy

 The Rest Of the World

Platform Co-operative’s are digital platforms that are owned by the people that use them (not just shareholders).  In the corporate world, you have and in the Platform Co-op world you have .

This type of business is really appealing to youth.  Across the world, MTA courses are usually attended by youth (18 – 25).

These students undertake a degree in Team Entrepreneurship.  This degree requires that for any individual to pass that their whole team (and co-created business) must pass.  That’s right.  You can’t pass a course in team entrepreneurship unless you all pass.

The people engaged in MTA degrees and by extension, the recent Platform Co-op’s Now courses that MTA, The New School, (and 47 other partner organisations in countries across the world) run – are mostly younger people.


Australia doesn’t have a large cohort of young people interested in Platform Co-op’s (yet).  Instead as you look across the Platform Co-operative sector, what you find is a lot of pioneering middle-aged women.

When speaking with Jose, we asked him why the global youth so eagerly engaged in the courses being run by a 70-year old Worker-owned Co-operative based out of regional Spain.  He identified:

  • Angst about the future of work;
  • Uncertainty about climate impacts;
  • Disgust in political process;
  • Lost faith in capitalism;
  • Want control of their life.
platform cooperators

Australian Women Pioneers

In Australia, there’s some men, but the enthusiasts for Platform Co-operatives in Australia include majority middle-aged women.  This list is by no means exhaustive and includes:

And there’s probably way more if we delved deeper.

The Common Denominator

Whilst the rest of the “Platform Co-op world” is being propelled by disaffected youth, in Australia, it is being propelled by middle-aged women.  This may be because they share the same concerns, hopes and experience of life at the moment.  If so, that says a lot.

The thing it clearly shows is that women in Australia are pushing the limits of digital inclusion through ownership and this is probably going to mean that we have a different and more mature outlook to the rest of the global cohort of Platform Co-op builders.  It is exciting to think what the rest of the worlds’ youth and middle-aged women in Australia will teach each other.

We won’t have to wait long.  The 2nd edition of the Platform Co-op’s Now course starts 26th October 2020.

2nd Edition of Platform Co-ops Now

More information on Platform Co-operatives