What does it take to build thriving media organizations, accountable to the communities they serve? At a time of global platform monopolies and local newspapers struggling to survive, the future of media will depend on the kinds of business models we design today.

The Media Enterprise Design Lab is a think tank for community ownership and governance in media organizations. It creates space for researchers and practitioners to challenge the conventional norms and explore possibilities offered by neglected histories and possible futures. Drawing on diverse fields such as cultural studies, law, management, media archaeology, organizational communication, and sociology, MEDLab holds space and time for better kinds of business.


  • Collaboration with startups and established organizations alike to imagine and develop transformative business models, ownership structures, and governance practices
  • Research on under-explored strategies for organizational design, with a particular focus on models that support community wealth-building and appropriate accountability
  • Education on media enterprise design through student fellowships and collaborations, together with public events and publications

MEDLab offers consultation services and produces public events. For more information on these and more, contact us at medlab@colorado.edu.



Nathan Schneider (assistant professor, Media Studies) is a journalist who works at the intersections of technology and social change. He co-organized the New School in 2015, Platform Cooperativism, and has been a leader in efforts to develop more democratic business models for the online economy. He is the author of three books, most recently Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy, and he co-edited Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet with Trebor Scholz. His articles have appeared in publications such as Harper’s, The Nation, The Guardian, Vice and The Catholic Worker. Find more information at nathanschneider.info.

Research fellows

Laura Daley (MA student, Media and Public Engagement) is a digital arts scholar with a strong interest in the politicization of health, particularly for women and marginalized groups, and its relationship with media. With a passion for creative video production and an eye toward social justice, she hopes to create impact-driven media that challenge traditional power structures. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Writing, Rhetoric, & Communication and Spanish Language & Literature from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY.

Cassandra Dana (MA student, Media and Public Engagement) is passionate about creating exhibition opportunities for media that features traditionally underrepresented populations. Prior to beginning her degree Cassandra worked as the Production and Marketing Manager for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, and as a Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator in Providence, Rhode Island. Cassandra’s interests include queer theory, gender representation and media’s role in norm evolution. Cassandra holds a BA in sociology and film studies from the University of Colorado.

Mark Fairbrother (MA student, Media and Public Engagement) aims to build media productions and products that challenge injustice, promote civil dialogue, and inspire collective action. His interests include entertainment media, dynamic education, and sustainable development throughout the Americas. Prior to his graduate work, he enjoyed lengthy stints in Latin America (y por eso sí habla español). He holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and leadership from Central Michigan University.

Faculty fellows

Community fellows