ESRC Digital Good Network


Cooperativa digital: Creating a community-run mobile app in Brazil

While most digital platforms are controlled by private for-profit companies, some digital platforms like Wikipedia are controlled by their contributing members. These types of digital platforms are part of a longstanding organisational approach called commons, specifically platform commons.

‘Cooperativa digital’ builds on a digital platform created by a Brazilian social enterprise that takes advantage of a local law that allows people to donate a portion of sales tax (i.e. VAT) to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As a platform, the mobile app matches donors with NGOs. Now that the app is operational, the social enterprise wants to transfer control to the NGOs. To support this process, the partners are translating and transforming relevant concepts from commons scholarship into methods and tools that can be used in studio experiments with the community to create the rules for this platform commons.

The project asks: How can we transform commons scholarship into usable tools that support this community to create a digital platform commons? How does the community’s approach to discussing and creating greater equity inform understanding of the digital good?


Dr Rosendy Fernandez Galabo, Research Associate, Lancaster University 

Professor Carlos de Salles Soares Neto, Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA), Brazil, Associate Professor

Justin Sacks, Research Associate – #Commonize Studio, Lancaster University

Professor Paul Coulton, Professor in Speculative & Game Design, Lancaster University

Jovemar Junior, Director of Reapp, Publicidade Jove.

Dr Li-Chang Shuen, PhD candidate, Federal University of Maranhão 

Marcella Abreu, Master’s in design student, Federal University of Maranhão 

André Gabriel Gomes, Computer Science BSc student, Federal University of Maranhão 

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