El paper de les Tecnologies de la Informació i la Comunicacióen el consum cooperatiu de productes agroecològics
The doctoral thesis by Ricard Espelt, titled “Cooperatives de Consum Agroecològic de Plataforma: The Role of Information and Communication Technologies in Cooperative Consumption of Agroecological Products,” is an extensive exploration of how digital platforms and technologies shape the dynamics and efficiencies of agroecological consumer cooperatives. Conducted under the Doctoral Program of the Information Society and Knowledge at the IN3 of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and situated within the Research Group on Private Law, Consumption, and New Technologies (GREDINT), accredited as a Consolidated Research Group by the Generalitat de Catalunya, this project delves into the intersection of agroecological cooperativism, platform cooperativism, digital commons, social movements, and technopolitics.
Presented in July 2018, with the thesis defence on 28th September 2018, the research was carried out at Ideograma through the Industrial Doctorates program promoted by the Secretariat of Universities and Research of the Department of Economy and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya. The thesis committee comprised Dr. Ismael Peña-López (Director) from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Dr. Pere Losantos from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and Dr. Oriol Miralbell from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, with the tribunal consisting of Mayo Fuster Morell, Oriol Nel·lo Colom, and Rosa Binimelis Adell.
The key themes of the thesis include the adoption and impact of ICT’s in cooperative consumption, technological and knowledge policies, and the role of ICT’s in the principal axes of agroecological consumer cooperativism. The study offers a theoretical framework encompassing proximity consumption, agroecology, social market construction, social and political activism, and platform cooperativism for a collaborative economy commons. A significant part of the thesis is devoted to the analysis of data and research findings from consumer cooperatives in Barcelona, examining their management, network of producers, and the impact of ICT’s on digitalization, inter-cooperation, and links with Short Food Supply Chains, the Social and Solidarity Economy, and participation in social movements and civic technopolitical action.
This thesis, available at www.cooperatives.barcelona under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence, is a valuable contribution to understanding how ICT’s can empower and shape agroecological consumer cooperatives, highlighting the possibilities and challenges in the context of a more sustainable and socially responsible economy.