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Updated: 4 hours 16 min ago

GRIOT Circle is More Than a Community Space for LGBTQ Seniors in New York

March 8, 2017 - 13:31

At last year's Brooklyn Gay Pride celebration, members of GRIOT Circle, a Brooklyn-based community organization that serves LGBTQ seniors of color, were grand marshals of the parade. They wore rainbow sashes as they marched and waved to the crowd. What happened after the parade, however, left a lasting imprint on Aundaray Guess, the group's director of programs. Guess said that one of the organization's members took off her rainbow sash and put it away in her purse when she entered the subway station with him.

Categories: Economics

Couchsurfing Founder's New Approach to Pay Contributors and Promoters of Upcoming Book

March 8, 2017 - 08:03

More than 10 years ago, Casey Fenton had an idea that brought the world together: Couchsurfing. The San Francisco-based platform, founded by Fenton in 2003, links travellers around the world with local people who are willing to host them in their homes for free, no strings attached.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Trebor Scholz on Moving From Uber to Platform Cooperatives

March 7, 2017 - 13:08

"How do you rip the algorithmic heart of our Uber and then embed your own values instead?" This is the question that lies at the heart of scholar and activist Trebor Scholz's work on Platform Cooperativism, a concept that describes "a way of joining the peer-to-peer and co-op movements with online labor markets while insisting on communal ownership and democratic governance."

Categories: Economics

What Would a Community-Owned Food System Look Like?

March 6, 2017 - 15:49

In 2012, the Sustainable Economies Law Center along with numerous active partners successfully advocated for the passage of the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616, Gatto), also commonly known as California's "cottage food law." Thousands of small food businesses formed under the law during just its first year of implementation. However, the Homemade Food Act only allows certain "non-potentially hazardous" foods such as breads, pies, fruit jams, and other dried foods to be made in a home kitchen and offered for sale.

Categories: Economics

Tokyo's Taxi Industry Joined Forces to Resist Uber

March 6, 2017 - 13:54

In 2015, Uber, the ride-hailing giant based in San Francisco, California that's been threatening the existence of taxi companies and trampling over regulations in numerous cities, entered Tokyo. What happened next was extraordinary. Uber's tactics backfired — both the taxi industry and the residents of Tokyo rejected the ride-hailing app.

Categories: Economics

Little Free Library Launches 'Action Book Club' to Inspire Community Service

March 2, 2017 - 12:14
Anyone familiar with Little Free Libraries — the free book exchanges in cities around the world — knows the powerful, transformative impact these little boxes have on communities. They create a sense of shared space, bring people together, and promote literacy. There are now over 50,000 Little Free Libraries in 70 countries.   
Categories: Economics

A Shareable Explainer: The Circular Economy

March 1, 2017 - 10:45

In 2013, people around the globe bought more than 1.8 billion mobile phones. But now, nearly half of them are most likely in landfills or at homes, sitting there without any use, as their owners upgrade to newer versions. Imagine, however, if these devices went back to the manufacturers once their lifespan came to an end in order to be turned into new mobile phones. How much would that save the manufacturer in terms of raw materials and time? Or what would be the result if these devices didn't have to be replaced because they were easily repairable and upgradable?

Categories: Economics

Podcast: What Exactly is the Sharing Economy?

February 28, 2017 - 20:40

The concept of sharing isn't too complicated — we all more or less learned what it meant when we were still crawling around in sandboxes. But in this episode of Upstream, we discover that sharing can mean different things to different people. To some, platform applications such as Uber and Taskrabbit are part of what has come to be known as the Sharing Economy. To others, these apps fall under a different title: precarious labor. Or the gig-economy. Or Microwork. 

Categories: Economics

Why Nonpartisan PAC EveryLibrary Defends the Future of Libraries

February 27, 2017 - 14:21
Every so often, a measure to support libraries shows up on my local ballot in Santa Cruz, California. Fortunately, people here seem to love libraries, so initiatives that focus on supporting and uplifting them generally pass. But getting an initiative on a ballot is no small feat.  
Categories: Economics

Q&A: Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley on New CC Search Feature

February 27, 2017 - 13:08
With more than one billion photos, videos, music files, journal articles, and more, Creative Commons-licensed works form a treasure trove of material not only for creative professionals, but people from all fields. Navigating all those works can be a timesuck though and attributing the author and source of the work is often done incorrectly.  
Categories: Economics

Five (More) Reasons to #DeleteUber — And Some Ethical Alternatives

February 24, 2017 - 17:36

It seems like not a month goes by without a major controversy about the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Uber. On Feb. 19, Susan J. Fowler, a former engineer at the company, published a blog post alleging sexual harassment and discrimination she faced during her time there. Fowler's claims prompted Uber to hire former U.S.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How 'Complementary Currencies' Support Vibrant Local Economies

February 23, 2017 - 23:34

Shawn Berry, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Scott Morris, an economist, community organizer, and social entrepreneur. Morris has dedicated his career to solving the problem of why the economy only works well for some, while others get left out. He is currently the founder and CEO of IthaCash.

Categories: Economics

10 Policy Ideas to Make Food a Shared Resource in Europe

February 23, 2017 - 14:32
The commons are generally thought of as shared resources — these include everything from the public spaces we share to the air we breathe. A new movement hopes to redefine food as a commons.  
Categories: Economics

How Neighbors in Canada Used a Gift Registry to Welcome Refugees

February 22, 2017 - 12:13

My brother taught English to recent immigrants to the U.S. He used to talk about a student who had recently moved to Salem, Massachusetts, from Turkey. She would confide in him about how much she and her family missed Turkey — in particular, their tight-knit community where neighbors looked out for one other. The family moved to the U.S. because they believed it would improve their lives, but they were so lonely that they often wished they could return home.

Categories: Economics

First Publicly-traded B Corporation Marks 'Momentous Shift' for Public Markets

February 21, 2017 - 10:30
On Jan. 31, Laureate Education, a higher education company that aims to balance profits with the interests of students and their communities, raised $490 million in its initial public offering. What makes this remarkable is that Laureate is the first company to go public as a benefit corporation.   
Categories: Economics

Meet the Couple Who Are Launching Cohousing for LGBTQ Seniors

February 21, 2017 - 10:01
After spending time with friends in a house at the beach, Pat McAulay and her spouse Margaret Roesch wondered whether they should all consider living together when they retired. The two quickly realized that living under the same roof might be a bit too close for comfort, but that cohousing — housing communities often based around common interests — might be just the thing.  
Categories: Economics

New Report Explores 'Value in the Commons Economy'

February 16, 2017 - 10:26

What is at the heart of the problems erupting worldwide? Is anything good emerging from these multiple crises? Can a new system grow from within the old one? Is it already here, visible and thriving?

Categories: Economics

Launching a Cooperative Isn't Easy — Here's a Resource to Get You Started

February 15, 2017 - 16:28

My foray into the cooperative movement began when I was a student at Indiana University doing campaign-based activism. Along with my fellow activists, I focused on putting a stop to things like the buy-out of the university-owned bookstores on campus by Barnes and Noble and the high costs of rental housing near our campus. After learning about the cooperative model — in which the users of an organization's products or services own and control the organization — our focus shifted to presenting cooperative solutions to these issues.

Categories: Economics

Kidoop: A Childcare Co-op App Takes Shape in the UK

February 15, 2017 - 13:49

Of all the problems facing parents, making sure our children have access to the highest quality childcare is one of the biggest. As studio members at Near Now — an arts, design, and innovation studio based at Broadway in Nottingham — we have been working with #RadicalChildcare founder Amy Martin to research and prototype possible alternatives to current childcare provision. Our aim: re-imagine childcare for the 21st century through new approaches built on trust, flexibility, and shared resources. We know that the current childcare system is broken.

Categories: Economics

How to Create an Accessible Bike Share

February 15, 2017 - 13:09
Cities of all sizes now have bike share systems. But many of these systems often only have one or two types of bikes, and these may not be suitable for people with certain physical disabilities. We connected with Jon Terbush from bike share provider Zagster to find out how cities can create accessible bike shares.   Cat Johnson: What's the importance of having adaptive bikes in a bikeshare system?  
Categories: Economics