The British Digital Cooperative: A New Model Public Sector Institution

Executive Summary

Building a democratic commonwealth will require nurturing a new digital media commons. In place of logics of enclosure and extraction, it will require new forms of communication, distributions of knowledge, and an enhanced capacity for assembly and equality in public speech. The status quo communicative apparatus - increasingly dominated by online platforms that organise and surveill economic and social life - cannot deliver this.

To nurture political, economic and cultural democracy in the UK, we need a new British Digital Cooperative, a common property, owned collectively by all residents of the country. The BDC would be tasked with developing a surveillance-free platform architecture to enable citizens to interact with one another, provide support for publicly funded journalism, and develop resources for social and political communication.

This report sets out the contours of the BDC as a key anchor for a new ecology of media and communications, moving beyond neoliberal common sense and toward radical, expansive democracy.

This report is co-published with The Next System Project.

The full report is available to read and download below.

Dan Hind
20 September, 2019