Bottle Bricks are a simple and accessible technology that can transform everyday plastic materials into a useful building material – plastic bottles stuffed full of trash until they are as compact as bricks.
OuiShare Fest is an international gathering in Paris of sharing economy pioneers, enthusiasts and organizers. This year’s fest, which ran May 20-22, featured panels, presentations and discussions that explored numerous aspects of the sharing economy, collaboration, technological developments, and human connectedness. Here are 10 of the top presentations, as chosen by our friends at OuiShare.
1. Nick Grossman: Bringing Collaborative Platforms to Market
On November 6-7 in Bologna, Italy, leading scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and social innovators will gather to further the discussion and movement around the urban commons.
Mass Mosaic is an online forum for buying, selling, trading, renting, or borrowing goods and services. (Mass Mosaic via Facebook)
Article and images cross-posted from CommonsTransitions.org.
Hitting zero waste on a college campus is a big undertaking, but one organization wants to make it easier. The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), based at the University of New Hampshire, was created to “help build student-led, self-sustaining waste-reduction programs at universities nationwide.” They’re now crowdfunding a platform to make sharing zero waste resources easier.
Transition Streets is a toolkit for neighborhood transformation—a catalyst for action, dialogue, and community building. A project of Transition US, Transition Streets is as simple as neighbors coming together for seven meetings to explore carbon-saving and resilience-building actions in the areas of food, water, waste, energy, transportation, all the while building relationships with each other and a stronger sense of community.
by Chiara Camponeschi and Hillete Warner
There are countless ways vibrant neighbourhoods and strong communities help people live better lives. In the age of “connected loneliness,” having neighbours to borrow that proverbial cup of sugar from is not only a way to share resources more effectively, but a great way to see the neighbourhood itself transformed into a powerful resource in its own right.
Faced with the rising rents of commercial properties in cities, one New York organization is modeling a way for people to invest in permanently affordable, commercial real estate. The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) leverages patient crowdfunding—small investments by a large number of people over time—to turn vacant municipal properties into sustainable community resources.
For years, Cindy Conner was the go-to resource for people in her Virginia county interested in organic gardening. Author of Grow a Sustainable Diet, Conner is a longtime seed saver, seed sharer, grower and teacher who was farming organically long before the word "organic" was adopted by the mainstream. It was commonplace for her to receive calls from all over the county about getting started with organic seeds and practices.
Article and image cross-posted from the Shared-Use Mobility Center blog.
The news about Getaround’s recent launch in Washington, DC is only the latest sign that peer-to-peer carsharing -- which allows owners to rent their vehicles to others at an hourly rate -- is on the rise.
Photo by Capers Rumph
On a small farm in Grafton New York, a group of people are dismantling oppressive food systems in low-income communities and getting farm-fresh produce to people with limited access to healthy food.
by Cat Johnson with input from Chris Tittle, Director of Organizational Resilience at the Sustainable Economies Law Center
For many people, going to work involves a lot of doing what the boss says. Worker cooperatives provide an alternative to this top-down model by extending ownership of a company to the employees, but there are ways to bring democracy into your workplace or organization without formally structuring yourself as a cooperative.
Tool libraries are much-loved community resources, and for good reason: they expand access to tools, save members money, and strengthen relationships between neighbors.
However, they aren't easy to start, but that's changing. New fundraising, social media, and inventory management tools are making it easier to start, promote, and manage them. Crowdfunding is emerging as a powerful way to start or expand a tool library.
In 2013, Boeing threatened to move production of its new airplane out of Seattle if it didn’t receive the government handouts it wanted. The deal, which was the largest state tax break in U.S. history, squeezes $8.7 billion in tax breaks out of the state. As one Seattle councilperson said, “The company held not only Boeing workers, but the entire state’s economy hostage...to their endless desire for profit.”
This is just one example of how economic development is broken, driven by large corporations focused on maximizing shareholder profits at the expense of all else.
Underlying the collaborative economy are a handful of very strong and general trends that are challenging the conventional business models in just about every sector of the economy—not just in the types of transactions that we usually think of as the sharing economy.
Photo: Daily Table
As Whole Foods get slammed in the press for overcharging customers, a not-for-profit grocery store is modeling a different way of selling food. Daily Table in Dorchester, Massachusetts collects excess food from a network of growers, supermarkets, manufacturers and suppliers, and offers it at steep discounts to shoppers.
TreeXOffice is designed to give back to the trees. Photo: Groundwork London
Coworking is all the rage these days, with spaces popping up faster than one can keep track of. And within the growing coworking movement, there is something for everyone. There are coworking spaces that double as climbing gyms, coworking spaces for artists, coworking spaces in houses, and now, coworking spaces in trees.
Photo by Matt Karp under a Creative Commons license.
Walking is moving fast these days.
We may think of it as a slow activity, but travel by foot is quickly being recognized as an effective prescription for health, a convenient means of transportation, a great way to meet people, a smart strategy for saving money, and a lot of fun.