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As Climate Change Threatens Food Supplies, Seed Saving is an Ancient Act of Resilience

June 8, 2017 - 13:08

On Feb. 26, 2008, a $9-million underground seed vault began operating deep in the permafrost on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, just 810 miles from the North Pole. This high-tech Noah's Ark for the world’s food varieties was intended to assure that, even in a worst-case scenario, our irreplaceable heritage of food seeds would remain safely frozen.

Categories: Economics

How One City in Spain Launched a Local Currency

June 8, 2017 - 09:18

During her 2015 campaign, Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau promoted the idea of launching a local currency in her city. Colau viewed a local currency as a way of defending independent businesses and residents from rapidly-rising rents and benefits that are disproportionately reaped by corporate chains instead of local stores. Though the community currency failed to materialize in Barcelona, the city immediately to its northeast, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, created a local currency this year.

Categories: Economics

5 Ways the Denver Public Library Supports the City's Homeless Population

June 8, 2017 - 08:09

My work at the Denver Public Library over the past year and a half has opened my eyes to the innovative ways in which libraries can play a role in addressing the needs of a city's homeless population. The rate of homelessness in Colorado is staggering, and it is unfortunately on the rise. Last year the number of homeless people in the state rose by 13 percent, according to a report by the U.S.

Categories: Economics

What Does it Mean to Unlock the Next Economy?

June 7, 2017 - 12:26

Unlocking the Next Economy is about creating access to the physical assets of historical organizations with social purpose to support local economic change. Stir To Action's year-long pilot will explore how these physical assets can be an important part of Community Economic Development (CED), and how un-and underused churches could specifically be a part of this process. 

The opportunity?

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Cheyenna Weber on the History and Future of the Solidarity Economy

June 6, 2017 - 14:30

In this episode, we spoke with Cheyenna Weber, co-founder of SolidarityNYC and a lead organizer of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC, or CEANYC. 

Categories: Economics

Mad City Breaks the Mold of Urban Planning Conferences

June 6, 2017 - 02:13

When the world turns upside down, it's time to question all your assumptions. That seems to have been the premise for Mad City, an event for urban planners I recently attended in Riga, Latvia. Conceived by Neils Balgalis and his urban planning team at Grupa93, Mad City pushed the boundaries of what is normally discussed at urban planning conferences — some of the topics addressed include marijuana legalization, drones, squatting, self-driving cars, and Sharing Cities. 

Categories: Economics

Sharing Cities: Using Urban Data to Reclaim Public Space as a Commons

June 5, 2017 - 10:30

You may have heard of smart cities that use data to improve urban networks like public transportation systems. In the shadow of this well-marketed story is another narrative around data in the city; a story where the right to the city extends to the digital realm. Here are two initiatives where reclaiming citizens' control over data has enabled practices that run counter to mainstream narratives of market-driven urban development — practices of commoning data and urban spaces, together.

Categories: Economics

An Informal Settlement in Puerto Rico Has Become the World's First Favela Community Land Trust

June 1, 2017 - 11:54

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, government, residents, and technical professionals created a Community Land Trust (CLT), known locally as Fideicomiso de la Tierra, to preserve and develop informal communities along the Martín Peña Canal.

Categories: Economics

Couple Builds Community Cupboard in One of Winnipeg's Poorest Neighborhoods

May 31, 2017 - 10:16

The idea behind the community cupboard is straightforward: If you have food or other items you want to share, put it in the cupboard, and if you need anything, just take it. Kelly Hughes and Andrea Vaile opened an outdoor cupboard in front of their house in Winnipeg's Centennial neighborhood at the beginning of June. "It seemed like something that had to be done, and we were here, so why not do it?" says Hughes, the project's cofounder.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How Employee Ownership Can be Advantageous for Your Business

May 31, 2017 - 00:09

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Shawn Berry, partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Blake Jones, co-founder and president of Namaste Solar, a 100 percent employee-owned solar electric company based in Colorado. He began his career working as a civil engineer in the oil and gas industry. He then spent time in Nepal implementing solar, wind, hydro, and electric vehicle technologies.

Categories: Economics

Why Ride-Hailing App Juno's Acquisition Points to a Need for Platform Co-ops

May 30, 2017 - 16:17

The New York City based ride-hailing app Juno was widely marketed as a different type of platform — one that values its drivers. The company went as far as to say that it would give equity to its drivers. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Juno announced in April that it was being acquired by ride-hailing platform Gett for $200 million.

Categories: Economics

Renowned Urban Planning Professor Julian Agyeman Joins Shareable's Advisory Board

May 30, 2017 - 08:42

We're thrilled to welcome Julian Agyeman, professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, to Shareable’s advisory board. Please read more about Agyeman's prolific and impactful work in sustainability and environmental justice below.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Pia Mancini 'No Shame! Towards a Cooperative Economy'

May 25, 2017 - 10:27

Playing for Team Human today is Pia Mancini, a visionary democracy activist who co-founded the Net Party in Argentina and DemocracyOS. Mancini joins Douglas Rushkoff to talk about her new project Open Collective.

Categories: Economics

Global Sharing Week 2017 Puts Social Impact in the Spotlight

May 23, 2017 - 10:25

It's nearly that time of year again when Global Sharing Week, the largest mass engagement campaign on the sharing economy co-organized by The People Who Share and Shareable, turns the spotlight on just what sharing can achieve. 

Categories: Economics

German Nonprofit Creates New Open-Source License for Seeds

May 22, 2017 - 13:46

We know about open-source software and hardware, but can the concept – decentralized development and open collaboration for the common good – be expanded to address other global challenges? The nonprofit OpenSourceSeeds based in the German town of Marburg has just launched a licensing process for open-source seeds, to create a new repository of genetic material that can be accessed by farmers around the world, in perpetuity.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Anthropologist Jason Hickel on How Capitalism Fuels Climate Change

May 22, 2017 - 13:14

In this episode, we spoke with Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics. Originally from Swaziland, Hickel's research has focused on development and globalization. He has written extensively on a number of topics, including inequality, climate change, basic income, and soil regeneration.

Categories: Economics

Q&A: David Bollier on the Potential of the Commons

May 18, 2017 - 10:05

David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger, and consultant who spends a lot of time exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. In 2010, he co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally. He was also founding editor of and a fellow of On the Commons from 2004 to 2010. He has written, co-authored, or co-edited 12 books.

Categories: Economics

How to Set Up a Community Co-op

May 17, 2017 - 08:38

Before joining the Institute for Solidarity Economics recently, I spent the last five years working for rural communities charity the Plunkett Foundation, an organization which supports the establishment of community co-operatives. Community co-operatives are businesses which trade primarily for the benefit of their community. Controlled by the community themselves, they have open and voluntary membership and, crucially, they encourage people to get involved – either by becoming a member, or by volunteering time or getting involved in another way.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Taking a Systems Approach to Designing the New Economy

May 17, 2017 - 00:51

"It's not enough to build your own company, you have to participate in building the whole ecosystem," says Jeffrey Hollender. In this episode of Next Economy Now, Kevin Bayuk, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Jeffrey Hollender, founder of Seventh Generation, the American Sustainable Business Council and Sustain Natural among other enterprises and organizations.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Why Societies Based on Equality do Better

May 16, 2017 - 13:23

You probably already know that levels of inequality have reached staggering heights in the 21st century. Perhaps you've come across Oxfam's report detailing how the world's eight richest men own as much wealth as the poorest half of the population. Or maybe you heard Senator Bernie Sanders' assertion that 99 percent of all new income since the financial crisis has gone to the top one percent.

Categories: Economics