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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.