In 2006, Dr. Richard Warner opened Colorado Recovery, a treatment facility in Boulder, Colorado to serve people with serious mental illnesses. A UK-trained psychiatrist with 30 years of experience in the public sector in Boulder, Warner wanted to create a non-hospital treatment center that focused on respectful, compassionate, and optimistic care.
“We treat every client,” he says, “as if he or she were our next of kin.”
Editor's note: J Rainsnow is a novelist. His unusual review of Bulding Co-operative Power: Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley comes from an artist’s perspective, outside of that of most co-operators, organizers, and activists. His view is large and his grasp of details surprisingly rich.
Turn Me ON is an interactive urban installation by Happy City Lab in collaboration with Federal studio and Studio Corium. (Sébastien Puiatti via Happy City Lab)
Shareable has published many stories about the gift economy and living without money. While they're often inspiring and popular, they often bring up fear of survival. People ask, “Is this really possible for ME?” or “Will I become homeless or sick and die from poverty?” Personally, I've questioned whether living in the gift economy is realistic only for privileged, healthy people.
The Dutch capital launched Amsterdam Sharing City on February 2. (amira_a/Flickr)
The results of a workshop held at the launch of Hampshire College's LEEP program. Credit: Hampshire College
In a world of worsening social inequality, climate change, and other urgent challenges, how can higher education play a more active, constructive role? A small liberal arts college known for its innovative approaches to undergraduate education aims to find out.
The People Who Share, a UK organization working to mainstream sharing, recently launched a new sharing marketplace called Compare and Share. Being touted as the world’s one-stop shop for the sharing economy, their vision is to be the go-to marketplace to share everything from sporting goods and tools, to rides, cars and houses.
The proliferation of activist initiatives calling for systemic change around the world has never been more impressive. Yet collaborations among like-minded organizations, projects and movements have been disappointingly modest. As neoliberal economics and policies tighten their grip on American society—notwithstanding the dismal misbehavior of financial institutions, corporations and the two political parties—can leading alt-economic and social movements find ways to work more closely together?
Since smartphones quicken the pace of life and work, it only seems fair that they should also help us recover from all that quickening—give us a way to wind down and brighten our moods, right? While no app can compare to time with loved ones, nature, meditation, and exercise, there are plenty that promise to boost our happiness, calm us, and make us more grateful. Here are 15 of our favorites worth trying:
1. Gratitude Journal ($1.99)
Adam Smith knows food. A trained chef who has worked in numerous restaurants, the 29-year old also knows firsthand how much perfectly good food is wasted. Smith hails from Leeds, England, but it was a year spent working on farms in Australia that inspired The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), which changed the direction of his life. A pay-as-you-feel cafe model, TRJFP intercepts food headed for the landfill and turns it into restaurant-quality meals.
An estimated 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted by either being thrown away or left to rot. Considering that 49 million Americans live in food insecure households, this is a sobering statistic. Food waste also exacts an incredible toll on the environment. Food waste in landfills creates methane, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases; it leads to the wasteful use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and it causes unnecessary energy and transportation impacts.
Imagine an online marketplace, similar to Amazon or eBay, that only sold ethical goods. Now make that marketplace a multi-stakeholder cooperative that involves sellers, consumers and the team building and running the platform along with other stakeholders. That's the vision for ethicalBay.
I live in one of a growing number of “illegal” cooperative houses (co-ops) in Boulder, Colorado. The city’s occupancy limit of three or four unrelated people effectively bans co-ops, which is in direct opposition to its stated goals of providing affordable housing and environmental responsibility.
During the 2008 financial meltdown, it became clear that we need new ways of making a living. Since then, worker cooperatives have re-emerged as a viable alternative to traditional businesses. A new short film, Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time, gives an overview of what a worker coop is, how they transform communities, and the realities of starting one.
A commons-based economy cannot thrive without appropriate institutions, especially those that represent a "partner state" approach. Professor Christian Iaione of LUISS University in Rome is a pioneer of such institutional innovation in Italian cities. I believe his work with the city of Bologna on Bologna's Regulation for the Care and Regeneration of Urban Commons is a breakthrough.
Amid government crackdown, seed libraries expand biodiversity and food access. Photo: Betsy Goodman of the Common Soil Seed Library. Credit: Associated Press
It’s easy to take seeds for granted. Tiny dry pods hidden in packets and sacks, they make a brief appearance as gardeners and farmers collect them for future planting then later drop them into soil. They are not “what’s for dinner,” yet without them there would be no dinner. Seeds are the forgotten heroes of food—and of life itself.
In a just published study, researchers investigated the motivations driving users to peer-to-peer services like timebanks. (10,000 People Blog)
Slowly but steadily, Vienna's collaborative economy is growing. Photo: Vienna Shares
In Austria’s capital city, proponents of the collaborative economy face several obstacles to widespread adoption. These include low awareness of alternative markets and sharing resources; media skepticism; and the municipal government’s focus on the "smart city" model.