Digital. Volume 3(3) pp 164-171.

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Network effects, economies of scale, and lock-in-effects increasingly lead to a concentration of digital resources and capabilities, hindering the free and equitable development of digital entrepreneurship, new skills, and jobs, especially in small communities and their small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”). To ensure the affordability and accessibility of technologies, promote digital entrepreneurship and community well-being, and protect digital rights, we propose data cooperatives as a vehicle for secure, trusted, and sovereign data exchange. In post-pandemic times, community/SME-led cooperatives can play a vital role by ensuring that supply chains to support digital commons are uninterrupted, resilient, and decentralized. Digital commons and data sovereignty provide communities with affordable and easy access to information and the ability to collectively negotiate data-related decisions. Moreover, cooperative commons (a) provide access to the infrastructure that underpins the modern economy, (b) preserve property rights, and (c) ensure that privatization and monopolization do not further erode self-determination, especially in a world increasingly mediated by AI. Thus, governance plays a significant role in accelerating communities’/SMEs’ digital transformation and addressing their challenges. Cooperatives thrive on digital governance and standards such as open trusted application programming interfaces (“APIs”) that increase the efficiency, technological capabilities, and capacities of participants and, most importantly, integrate, enable, and accelerate the digital transformation of SMEs in the overall process. This review article analyses an array of transformative use cases that underline the potential of cooperative data governance. These case studies exemplify how data and platform cooperatives, through their innovative value creation mechanisms, can elevate digital commons and value chains to a new dimension of collaboration, thereby addressing pressing societal issues. Guided by our research aim, we propose a policy framework that supports the practical implementation of digital federation platforms and data cooperatives. This policy blueprint intends to facilitate sustainable development in both the Global South and North, fostering equitable and inclusive data governance strategies.