When the City Council of Barcelona asked democracy activist and researcher Mayo Fuster Morell for policy recommendations regarding the sharing economy, she suggested that the councillors take a different approach: Rather than relying on an expert to dictate policy from the top down, why not use a collaborative process to build a sustainable set of institutions and practices that would draw strength from the grassroots?
Last year, LabGov, a think tank and action platform focused on the urban commons that's based in Rome, Italy, asked us to provide feedback on the draft of an opinion report on how to regulate the collaborative economy. The effort was spearheaded by Benedetta Brighenti — vice mayor of Castelnuovo Rangone — for the European Committee of the Regions.
With a broader understanding of the solidarity economy in Brazil in mind, testimonials from participating entrepreneurs themselves show the real advantages of this kind of work, from circumventing market exclusion to creating new kinds of spaces where women are reimagining the divide between domestic and productive spheres.
In the face of social and ecological peril, there's a movement that continues to build and resist. This podcast will take you into the heart of it.
"I can't accept the death of my imagination on a daily basis," Caroline Woolard told us when we visited her at her studio in Lower Manhattan. "I'd rather have less money and work for something that I believe in."
Caroline is an artist who co-creates projects and institutions for and within the solidarity economy.
We recently came across an inspiring video report by Agence France-Presse about a honey cooperative run by women in Afghanistan. It offers a glimpse into the life of an Afghan mother of seven who runs a beekeeping enterprise. She is just one of an estimated 200 women in the Bamiyan province working in honey production jobs.
In her 30 years of working in the sustainability sector, Sandra Slater has learned quite a bit about human behavior, including the idea that just giving people information doesn't inspire a change in behavior.
"If you just go in and say, 'Let's lower your carbon footprint,' it's a nonstarter," Slater says. "You have to go in with other motivators." She says people are looking for social connection, meaning, purpose, safety, and efficacy.
Why do some community spaces thrive while others struggle or fail? A lot of it comes down to how people are welcomed. Last April, I joined a group of activists and academics in Madrid, Spain, to build software that helps communities self-organize. This group was part of the P2Pvalue project, a three-year research initiative that looked into what makes peer production sustainable.
Last year the platform cooperativism movement — the concept of collectively owning digital platforms — made great strides. One of the highlights was the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC), which was launched at the Second Platform Cooperativism Conference at The New School in New York City last November.
When one stops to consider Rio's hundreds of favelas for their plurality, with a lens of recognizing assets instead of just highlighting problems, one common thread is clear: In the face of public neglect, favela residents are expert at doing things for themselves, many times coming together to do so collectively.
One of our New Year's resolutions is to introduce readers to fun and inspiring events that showcase how people are sharing all kinds of resources. Whether you're interested in learning more about the new economy, platform cooperatives, alternative community currencies, cohousing communities, or some other aspect of the sharing movement, we've got an event for you.
At a time when corporate sponsorship and ownership of city spaces, buildings, and events continues to grow at lightning pace, it's more important than ever to rethink our cities as shared entities that belong to all of us.
In his recent speech at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, researcher, activist, and author David Bollier argued that urban enclosures, which he says is the "privatization of shared wealth," create jam-packed cities by commodifying shared resources.
For many, replacing a broken object with something new is often the faster and cheaper alternative to fixing it, but a group of neighbors in the small borough of Willimantic, Connecticut, decided it didn’t have to be that way. Three years ago, they started a program to keep salvageable goods from landfills by harnessing the community’s collective skills to fix them.
With the holiday season winding down, people are setting out plastic bags filled with used paper plates, napkins, and utensils, for landfill trucks. To reduce such waste, residents of Palo Alto, California, have worked with their city officials to create a sharing alternative — the Zero Waste Party Pack.
Imagine that the next time you need space for a community event, you just book a room in a local public building. This is the vision that city officials in Amsterdam are working toward for an upcoming project that has been described as the Airbnb of municipal buildings.
For generations, many have worked towards the quintessional American Dream, in both the idealistic and materialistic senses. But chasing the American Dream has left numerous people deeply in debt, with an abundance of stuff that's hardly used and a deep feeling of isolation.
How has activism in Spain produced new political platforms that are victorious in municipal elections? Are there stories, lessons, methods or tools that can be shared or translated to other contexts? How might these support the growing movement in France?
As 2016 comes to a close, we’d like to take a moment to thank YOU for being part of the Shareable community. Whether you read our stories about the sharing movement, share our how-to pieces with your friends on social media, use our digital tools to bring sharing initiatives to your neighborhood — or all of the above — you are part of the Shareable family.
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Working at a nonprofit can be a pressure cooker of stress and unhealthy habits that can lead to burnout. Burnout is defined as a “state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that occurs when we feel overwhelmed by too many demands, too few resources, and too little recovery time.”