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Explore Creative Commons' Biggest Report Yet: State of the Commons 2016

April 28, 2017 - 07:36

Today marks another milestone for the commons: the release of the 2016 State of the Commons, our annual deep dive and celebration of the global community working to further collaboration, creativity, and access to creativity and knowledge.

Categories: Economics

Explainer: What are Open Co-ops and Platform Co-ops?

April 27, 2017 - 19:01

In the last few years, you've probably seen some articles about the flaws and failures of the what has been called the "sharing economy." Critics often cite the disingenuous use of the word sharing, and the exclusion of users as potential stakeholders or owners of the intermediary platforms. Much of the public criticism for these and other issues has been aimed at high-profile online platforms, usually Airbnb and Uber, with good reason.

Categories: Economics

Q&A With 'Age of Sharing' Author Nicholas John on the Meaning of the Word 'Sharing'

April 27, 2017 - 11:52

The word "sharing" is everywhere these days. Technology has opened up numerous avenues for us to share almost every part of our lives, from our cars to our couches. But as more and more sharing economy companies crop up around the globe, it's necessary to pause and reflect on what the word "sharing" actually means. When we hail an Uber or rent an apartment on Airbnb, are we really participating in the sharing economy? What exactly is being shared in those two scenarios?

Categories: Economics

Stop 'N' Swap Events Make New York City More Sustainable

April 26, 2017 - 08:58

When I put a Free Stuff box in the laundry room of my apartment building on the Upper East Side of New York City, I wasn't thinking about the bigger idea of holding a live swap event with the neighbors, and what that could mean for us as a community. I was simply focused on how much waste we could reduce by swapping gently used articles, silently, anonymously via a 3' x 2' x 2' box. Perfectly decent stuff would be intercepted before it hit the trash by neighbors, housekeepers, and building staff. And I would feel good that I made it all happen. Then a light bulb went off in my head.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: A Mayor's Take on How to Defend Local Solutions

April 26, 2017 - 08:16

In this episode, Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, and founder of the advocacy group, Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, joins Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR's Community Broadband Network's initiative and Nick Stumo-Langer, ILSR's communications manager for the latest episode of the Building Local Power podcast. The trio go into detail on the issue of preemption and what the state-level attacks on local sovereignty mean for communitie

Categories: Economics

Podcast: A View of Global Economic Inequalities from the English Town of Frome

April 25, 2017 - 14:31

After exploring some of the exciting inititatives developed by Frome's radical town council in last week's episode, this second episode investigates the themes of economic inequality, gentrification, and poverty within the town of Frome and also at a national and global level.

Categories: Economics

New Guide Explores History and Evolution of Participatory Budgeting

April 24, 2017 - 14:12

Participatory budgeting is a decision-making process through which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources. Such a process can engage taxpayers to work closely with their government to make budget decisions.

Categories: Economics

The Train Now Standing at Platform 3 is a Co-op?

April 24, 2017 - 09:40

Rob Hopkins spoke with Alex Lawrie about Go-op, a highly ambitious attempt to create the first co-operatively owned train operating company in the U.K.:

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How to Grow Sustainable, Local Food Systems

April 20, 2017 - 21:47

LIFT Economy partner and worker-owner Kevin Bayuk interviews Jessica Prentice, inventor of the term "Locavore" and founder of Three Stone Hearth — a cutting edge community-financed, worker-owned cooperative enterprise in Berkeley, California. Prentice takes a pragmatic view, seeing local eating as an educational exercise in "consciousness raising" rather than a necessary or sufficient solution to problems of modern food production and consumption.

Categories: Economics

6 Ideas on How Millions of Users Can Own and Govern Twitter

April 19, 2017 - 16:15

Next month, Twitter's shareholders will vote on a proposal to explore the possibility of the company turning into a partial or full user-owned platform cooperative. A platform cooperative is a website or mobile app, which provides a service or sells a product, that is collectively owned and governed by the users and members who depend on the platform — instead of shareholders.

Categories: Economics

These 5 Lending Libraries Are Redefining the Meaning of Ownership

April 19, 2017 - 08:22
Libraries are no longer just places to borrow books. In recent years, libraries across the world have undergone a seismic transformation to better serve the needs of local communities. In fact, the very notion of what constitutes a "library" is being re-imagined.  
Categories: Economics

Podcast: How Residents of an English Town Took Governance and the Local Economy Into Their Own Hands

April 18, 2017 - 12:27

The stories in this series come from a small town in the United Kingdom called Frome, but the themes and topics explored are global in scale, ranging from the Americas to the Himalayas. Despite its unique setting, nestled in the sleepy countryside of southeast England, Frome is a microcosm of much of what is taking place in towns and cities around the world. The voices of Frome tell stories that will sound familiar all across the globe, and if you listen closely, you just might hear your own story in there as well.

Categories: Economics

Bay Area Nonprofit Project Equity Transforms Businesses Into Worker-Owned Cooperatives

April 17, 2017 - 12:22
There's been a lot of talk about where the Baby Boomer generation will live as they age. Several interesting, sharing-based housing alternatives such cohousing and senior villages have emerged as potential options. But what about all the businesses that Baby Boomers own? What happens to those companies when they retire? 
Categories: Economics

How Crowdfunding and Collaboration Helped Create a Vibrant Cultural Space in Buenos Aires

April 17, 2017 - 10:32

On Dec. 2, 2016, a fire tore through an artists' warehouse in Oakland, California, claiming the lives of 36 people. Dubbed the "Ghost Ship," the communal space was not only a concert venue, but also a refuge for artists, in a city mired by a housing affordability crisis. A little more than a decade ago, a similar tragedy struck Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Dec. 30, 2004, a fire broke out at the República Cromañón club during a concert, killing 194 people. Following the devastating fire, upcoming artists' spaces and cultural centers were met with stiff bureaucratic resistance.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How Millennials Are Using Business as a Force for Good

April 13, 2017 - 01:34

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Ryan Honeyman, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Andrew Baskin, executive fellow at LIFT Economy. Baskin is currently finishing his bachelor's of science in sustainable agriculture and food systems, with an emphasis in regenerative and cooperative economics, at the University of California, Davis. He represents a core constituency of millennials — young, passionate social entrepreneurs who are helping create ethical, sustainable businesses. 

Categories: Economics

12 Empowering Ways to Engage in Civic Affairs

April 12, 2017 - 12:17
It's evident that there's a growing desire among people, especially here in the U.S., to get involved in civic affairs. While online organizing can be an effective means of bringing about change, there's something powerful about showing up in person to talk with public officials and connect with others who are fighting for the same causes. We've pulled together a list of 12 ways to boost civic engagement.
Categories: Economics

A Shareable Explainer: What are the Commons?

April 12, 2017 - 07:20

Commons are often associated with natural resources like the oceans and forests — areas that belong to everyone. But commons are not just resources. They are not simply Wikipedia pages or the city grounds used for urban gardening. They comprise of a resource, a community, and a set of social protocols. The three are an integrated, interdependent whole. 


Categories: Economics

What Quebec Can Teach Us About Creating a More Equitable Economy

April 11, 2017 - 12:59

Welcome to everyday life in Quebec — Canada's second largest province with 8.2 million people. Here:

  • Business owners gather at an elegant Montreal event center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a large-scale economic partnership. The former chief of Quebec's largest bank is the guest of honor.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Author Richard Wolff on What Comes After Capitalism

April 11, 2017 - 10:46

Unemployment is down and the stock market is up. So all's well with the economy, right? Many politicians and economists would like us to think that, but in this Upstream Podcast, Richard D. Wolff, author of "Capitalism's Crisis Deepens," explains how this couldn't be farther from the truth. Not only is the recession that started in 2008 far from over, but we might actually be witnessing the collapse of capitalism as we know it.

Categories: Economics

Could Twitter Users Own the Platform One Day?

April 10, 2017 - 18:23

Could Twitter actually become a user-owned cooperative? An idea that once seemed far-fetched has suddenly fallen within the realm of possibility. On May 22, Twitter's shareholders will vote on a proposal to explore a viable path towards democratic ownership of the company. 

Categories: Economics