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Coopathon - The Cooperative Hackathon

Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (Kerala, India)

29 – 30 Apr 2018

Announcement for Expression of Interest to Participate





Platform cooperativism[1] is a growing international movement that builds a fairer future of work. It’s about social justice and the bottom line. Rooted in democratic ownership, co-op members, technologists, unionists, and freelancers create a concrete near-future alternative to the so-called extractive sharing economy[2]


Making good on the early promise of the Web to decentralize the power of apps, protocols, and websites, platform coops allow households with low and volatile income to benefit from the shift of labor markets to the Internet. The model is poised to vitalize people-centered innovation by joining the rich heritage and values of co-ops with emerging internet technologies. Countless platform co-ops and initiatives supporting them have developed rapidly over the past few years. This ecosystem challenges the practices of the “sharing economy” and the ‘win-at-all-costs’ culture. The co-operative platform ecosystem ranges from alternative financing models, labor brokerages for nurses, massage therapists, and cleaners, to co-operatively owned online marketplaces, and data-protection platforms for patients.




The multi-stakeholder group of organizers is pleased to announce the International Conference on ‘Co-operatives in the Changing World of Work’ from April 29 – May 1, 2018, at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (India). Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society in association with International Co-operative Alliance Asia and Pacific, International Labour Organization, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, and others, is organizing the conference. It is co-funded by the ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operatives in Development: People Centered Businesses in Action and supported by the ICA Domus Trust. The conference will also feature a 48-hour long co-operative hackathon (or a Coopathon) to allow vibrant minds to work on solutions (based on the co-op model) to tackle some of the 21st century challenges facing the co-operative platform ecosystem.




A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects. The goal of a hackathon is usually to create usable software. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, or the subject and the demographic group of the programmers. In other cases, there is no restriction on the type of software being created.



The captioned Coopathon is a 48-hour-long hackathon where the proposed 20 participants from across the region will work on addressing challenges facing the regional cooperative movement. The idea is to have four multi-stakeholder teams of up to five members each (academicians, researchers, policy-experts, co-operators, incubators, technology enthusiasts etc. on each team) deliberating on the shortlisted problem statements.





The coopathon comes as an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss and deliberate, on a multi-stakeholder platform, the need to develop-promote-advocate concepts towards:

  1. activating social financing for social & solidarity economy space;
  2. sharing knowledge and data for replication of good practices;
  3. scaling up partnerships and working relationships in the context of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development




The coopathon will produce the following outputs:

  1. A final report of the event
  2. Solutions prepared by participants
  3. Network of stakeholders that will serve to promote the outcomes of the coopathon


Documentation and the Language of the Coopathon


The documentation of the Coopathon will comprise of relevant outcomes and documents related to the topics of the sessions. The working language of the meeting will be English. Documentation for the meeting will be provided in English.



There is no registration fee to participate in the coopathon. However, one needs to pre-register by filling the online form. Local accommodation & meals will be provided by the organizers to all registered participants.


About the Organizers


Cooperatives Unit of International Labour Organization


The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.


ICA Asia and Pacific and the EU partnership


The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA or the Alliance), established in 1895 and currently headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) is the global umbrella organization that represents, unites and develops co-operatives across diverse sectors of economy influencing 1 in every almost 7 humans on this planet. The ICA represents 300 plus apex level federations and leading sectoral co-operative enterprises from over 100 countries. ICA Asia and Pacific, the regional arm of the Alliance was established in 1960 in New Delhi (India), services 96 Alliance members from 30 countries in Asia and the Pacific. The ICA AP regional board comprises of 11 elected members nominated by national co-operative movements across the region, and 1 co-opted member each from the Asia-Pacific Committees on Youth, and on Women. ICA is the custodian of the International Co-operative Identity Statement (Definition of Co-operatives, Values and the 7 Principles). In March 2016, the ICA and the European Union signed a Framework Partnership Agreement to implement a development programme aimed at benefitting and advancing co-operatives worldwide. The ICA AP implements the programme in collaboration with Alliance members and partnerships with co-operative actors in the region. The ICA-EU partnership is envisioned to strengthen the institutional aspects of the Alliance viz. members and movements across the world.


Indian Institute of Management - Kozhikode (IIM-K)


The conference is being held at Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), Kerala, India. IIMK is one of the top ranked management institutes in India established in 1996 by the Government of India in collaboration with the Government of Kerala. It offers Post graduate programmes in Management for students, working executives and has a vibrant doctoral research programme. IIM Kozhikode is located at Kozhikode, Kerala, the ‘God’s Own Country’, and is 15 km from Calicut Railway Station and 38 km from Calicut Airport. The Institute Campus has been developed in the scenic ambience of lush green hillocks in the Kunnamangalam locality of Kozhikode. The panoramic view from the hilltop is a visual delight and conducive for learning and contemplation. The design of the Campus is aimed at preserving the existing ambience, and incorporates the strong architectural traditions of Kerala.


Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM)


(KSUM) is the implementing agency of Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in Kerala. KSUM was formerly the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), a society under the Travancore Cochin literary, Scientific and charitable Societies Registration Act XII of 1955 and started the incubation programme in the name of Technopark Business Incubation Centre (TBIC) in 2002. TBIC had been incubating IT & ITeS companies starting from 2 seaters. In 2005, Technopark set up Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), with the support of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt.of India for incubating technology startups in various thrust areas like Electronics, ICT and Mobile Technologies. KSUM is also the implementing body for the Kerala Technology Startup Policy that supports startup ecosystem by means of 9 components such as Infrastructure, Incubators and Accelerators, Human Capital Development, Funding, State Support, Governance, Public Private Partnership, Scaling Existing and Establishing New Incubators and Startup-Bootup-Scale up model for moving fast from ideas to IPO.


Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS)


The launch of daily laborer’s co-operative society at Uralungal, a remote village in Malabar, in the third decade of the 20th century was truly a path-breaking move. As said earlier, the inspiration to initiate the less traversed course came from none other than the great Guru, who himself had migrated to Karakkadu near Uralungal to meet the requests of his disciples. Vagbhatnanda strove for social transformation through his disciples, who were mostly daily wage laborers. Some of them lived in abject poverty and didn’t even own a piece of land. The doctrines of Vagbhatananda inspired them to find new opportunities through the co-operative society. Understanding that co-operative sangams were part of a long chain that could help in achieving the vision of Vagbhatananda, many laborers agreed to put their hand together, some half-heartedly, to build up the society. Another cooperative society named Uralungal IKEA Nanaya Sangam registered on Feb 02, 1922 provided them the guidelines to move ahead. That decision resulted in the formation of one of the biggest co-operative societies in Asia today. In short, the initiative commenced on Feb 25, 1925 literally rewrote the history of laborers, as time proved.


UL Technology Solutions (ULTS)


ULTS is a fast growing solutions provider for leading Enterprises in both Public and Private sectors. We provide support to organizations and help them solve high impact challenges in their pursuit to achieve operational excellence. The Company is promoted by Uralungal Labour Contract Co-Operative Society Ltd. (ULCCS Ltd.), a Co-operative giant in the civil construction domain. ULTS was started as an IT initiative by ULCCS to maintain a balance between traditional and modern technologies. We help our clients optimize their performance and efficiency by way of strategic solutions supported by cutting edge technologies, employing creative and innovative methodology. The Company offers a unique mix of traditional values and modern technological insights in its services and offers to formulate and implement comprehensive solutions for its clients. In a short span of 2 years, the Company was able to diversify its product range to e- Health, Consulting, Enterprise GIS Applications, Logistic Management and Turnkey Solutions for E-governance. The list is ever expanding in a rapid and stable manner.





Event start date:
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Event end date:
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Venue: IIM, Kozhikode (Kerala,...