The Thiruvananthapuram Declaration on A New Innovation Ecosystem for Our Collective Digital Futures

The Roots of Resilience Conference, a collaborative effort by the Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (KDISC), IT for Change (ITfC), and the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) unfolded in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, from 30 November to 2 December 2023. One key outcome that emerged from the engaging discussions over these three days was the creation of The Thiruvananthapuram Declaration on a New Innovation Ecosystem for Our Collective Digital Futures.

We encourage you to express your support for the Declaration, a testament to our collective commitment and vision for a cooperativist platform economy. Your contribution is crucial in fortifying the impact of our shared goals. Additionally, if there are individuals, networks, or communities you believe would resonate with and support this Declaration, please share it with them. We're also working on producing translated versions of this Declaration in various languages, which will soon be ready for dissemination.

The wave of endorsements has already begun, and we are thrilled to witness the support pouring in. To streamline the endorsement process, we've established an accessible online form where you can register your support. For any queries, please feel free to write to us at itforchangepcc2023@gmail.com.

Declaration: 

We, the global community gathered here at the Kerala Arts and Crafts Village – Thiruvananthapuram on 2 December 2023 for the ‘Roots of Resilience’ conference, envision a techno-social order based on the principles of fraternity and cooperation.

The extractivist impulse of digital capitalism must be superseded by platform models grounded in cooperativist production principles. A radical course correction is needed. Our collective digital futures hinge on shared ownership of technological resources so that innovation ecosystems can foster inclusive, equitable, just, and creative societies. We commit to a five-point agenda that will lead us to this goal:

1. A new paradigm for innovation public goods

  • Digital public goods that are publicly financed and democratically governed are vital to galvanise people’s stewardship of the digital commons, achieve fair distribution of value, and stimulate an entrepreneurial culture.
  • Policies must promote public provisioning of connectivity, cloud services, common data spaces, digital intelligence, licensing standards, and other digital infrastructure.
  • The collective right of communities to the knowledge generated from their data and a say in the governance of their data must be protected at all times.

2. A whole-of-society approach for empowering futures of work

  • The gig economy that dehumanises workers and alienates society must make way for a feminist social contract that can promote justice, equality, and dignity in platform work.
  • A society of algorithmic exploitation is untenable. Algorithmic intelligence must be subject to people’s oversight and norms of social responsibility.
  • Worker-owned platforms must be nurtured to unlock the promise of a next-generation economy that redistributes the wealth of networks and the value of data.

3. Digital-age overhaul of cooperatives and social enterprises

  • Competitiveness and sustainability of cooperatives in the platform economy depend on new institutional mechanisms backed by appropriate legal reform. Women-and youth-led enterprises need special policy focus.
  • Tax incentives, preferential procurement, and public financing are crucial policy instruments for effective participation of producer cooperatives in the digital economy.

4. Civic intelligence and socio-political citizenship

  • The digital transition must be shepherded through a political vision to enhance democratic ideals, critical reasoning, and digital rights awareness for citizen-users.
  • State policies for education and training must prioritise cooperative principles, social enterprise models, and mentorship programs.

5. A sustainable digital transition

  • Sustainable societies are predicated on the responsible use of technologies. Policy choices for digitalisation must, therefore, go lockstep with attention to their environmental impact.
  • The AI economy must favour a regenerative, local knowledge paradigm that advances sustainable livelihoods and harmonious coexistence between the human and non-human worlds.

Issued by:
Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (KDISC)
IT for Change (ITfC)
Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC)
 

The Thiruvananthapuram Declaration is currently open to endorsements.

For enhanced outreach and increased accessibility, The Thiruvananthapuram Declaration is available in the following languages:

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