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How Food Assembly Created a Sustainable, Community-driven Food Sharing System in Europe

August 1, 2017 - 13:09

The first "Ruche," or Food Assembly, took place in La Fauga, France, near the city of Toulouse, in September 2011 and took off from there. It was a space where consumers could meet food producers and pick up produce that they had previously ordered online. Since then, it has grown into a robust network of independently operated farmers' markets organized via an online platform. The timing for the launch of Food Assembly was ideal.

Categories: Economics

How Food Assembly Created a Sustainable, Community-driven Food Sharing System in Europe

August 1, 2017 - 13:09

The first "Ruche," or Food Assembly, took place in La Fauga, France, near the city of Toulouse, in September 2011 and took off from there. It was a space where consumers could meet food producers and pick up produce that they had previously ordered online. Since then, it has grown into a robust network of independently operated farmers' markets organized via an online platform. The timing for the launch of Food Assembly was ideal.

Categories: Economics

Future of Work: Seats2Meet's Innovative Model for Freelancers to Connect and Collaborate

July 31, 2017 - 13:16

Back in 2014, I stood at the entrance to Seats2Meet's flagship coworking space in Utrecht, Netherlands, and stared at a flat panel display showing all the names of all the people working there and their skills in real time. Ronald van den Hoff, Seats2Meet's president and co-founder, explained that anyone could work for free in a Seats2Meet space as long as they agreed to help other people in their network. The fuel running the network is social capital.

Categories: Economics

Future of Work: Seats2Meet's Innovative Model for Freelancers to Connect and Collaborate

July 31, 2017 - 13:16

Back in 2014, I stood at the entrance to Seats2Meet's flagship coworking space in Utrecht, Netherlands, and stared at a flat panel display showing all the names of all the people working there and their skills in real time. Ronald van den Hoff, Seats2Meet's president and co-founder, explained that anyone could work for free in a Seats2Meet space as long as they agreed to help other people in their network. The fuel running the network is social capital.

Categories: Economics

How BlaBlaCar is Revolutionizing the Way Carpooling Works Around the World

July 31, 2017 - 09:09

It started as a simple idea: Entrepreneur Frédéric Mazzella was trying to visit his parents home in the French countryside in 2003, but he was unable to buy a plane or train ticket. He decided to drive there instead with his sister, and noticed en route that most people were driving alone. Could there be a way to connect all those empty seats with people like himself, who needed a ride?

Categories: Economics

How BlaBlaCar is Revolutionizing the Way Carpooling Works Around the World

July 31, 2017 - 09:09

It started as a simple idea: Entrepreneur Frédéric Mazzella was trying to visit his parents home in the French countryside in 2003, but he was unable to buy a plane or train ticket. He decided to drive there instead with his sister, and noticed en route that most people were driving alone. Could there be a way to connect all those empty seats with people like himself, who needed a ride?

Categories: Economics

LIVESTREAM: Transition US National Gathering Keynotes

July 28, 2017 - 06:42

This weekend, community organizers from around the globe will convene in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the first Transition US National Gathering.

Categories: Economics

LIVESTREAM: Transition US National Gathering Keynotes

July 28, 2017 - 06:42

This weekend, community organizers from around the globe will convene in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the first Transition US National Gathering.

Categories: Economics

How Schools in Canada Successfully Engaged Kids in Participatory Budgeting

July 27, 2017 - 10:35

Chelsea is a small municipality located in the province of Quebec, Canada, about 20 minutes drive from Ottawa. In 2015, Chelsea implemented the first school participatory budgeting (PB) project in North America that involved three elementary schools and a community center. The Meredith Community Centre allocated a small portion of its budget for this pilot project, and the schools mobilized the students to deliberate and make decisions on how to allocate those funds.

The Chelsea schools' participatory budgeting is unique for four reasons:

Categories: Economics

How Schools in Canada Successfully Engaged Kids in Participatory Budgeting

July 27, 2017 - 10:35

Chelsea is a small municipality located in the province of Quebec, Canada, about 20 minutes drive from Ottawa. In 2015, Chelsea implemented the first school participatory budgeting (PB) project in North America that involved three elementary schools and a community center. The Meredith Community Centre allocated a small portion of its budget for this pilot project, and the schools mobilized the students to deliberate and make decisions on how to allocate those funds.

The Chelsea schools' participatory budgeting is unique for four reasons:

Categories: Economics

Oxford Internet Institute Launches Interactive Map of the Global Gig Economy

July 25, 2017 - 14:39

This month, researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, part of the University of Oxford, England, released their first worker supplement to the Online Labour index, which measures the gig economy in real time.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: What is the Transition Movement?

July 25, 2017 - 10:10

In this episode we spoke with Rob Hopkins, the founder and figurehead of the Transition Movement, which is a grassroots community project aiming to increase self-sufficiency and address the ecological and economic crises currently faced by humanity. Hopkins is based in Totnes, Devon, which is a small town in the southwest of England. Totnes was the first town to begin the transition initiative, and there are now over fifty towns across the world that are part of the larger Transition Network. 

Categories: Economics

Q&A with Scholar Juliet Schor on the Striking Differences Between Nonprofit and For-profit Sharing Enterprises

July 24, 2017 - 10:52

It's easy to group all enterprises that promote "sharing" into a single category. New technology has made it much easier for people to share almost everything — cars, houses, work spaces, just to name a few. There's really no shortage of ways that people can pool resources. But there's a huge difference in the goals between for-profit sharing economy companies like Uber and Airbnb and nonprofit groups like tool libraries, time banks, and makerspaces.

Categories: Economics

New Report Highlights the Role of Sharing in Promoting Urban Sustainability

July 24, 2017 - 07:41

Over three years of research on urban sustainability at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research in Israel, it became apparent to us that sharing is an innovative and promising avenue for creating a lifestyle that is far more sustainable than our current lifestyles. Israel has experience with sharing in the rural context, through the establishment of the agricultural "kibbutzim" model.

Categories: Economics

How to Run Collaborative Projects That Don't Fall Prey to Bureaucracy

July 20, 2017 - 14:05

Today, when people call something "bureaucratic," they usually mean that in a negative sense, but bureaucracy didn't always have this negative connotation. About 100 years ago when many professional bureaucracies were being built, they were seen as a means of bringing quality control, predictability, and integrity to administrations. But bureaucracy has taken on a life of its own since its inception, and now is often viewed as self-perpetuating itself in thoroughly mediocre and banal ways. People today hear "bureaucracy" and think of the opposite of innovation.

Categories: Economics

Illinois's Cook County Helps Solar Energy Cooperatives Rise and Shine

July 19, 2017 - 13:23

In Cook County, Illinois, one of the most populous counties in the U.S., officials are taking an innovative approach to spur job growth and promote sustainable energy. Last April, they launched a program to support community shared solar power in the Chicago area and selected 15 pilot sites — public housing complexes, churches, industrial areas, and landfills, to implement community-owned solar projects.

Categories: Economics

10 Noteworthy Experiences at OuiShare Fest 2017

July 18, 2017 - 04:30

There is a growing potential for "United Cities" to replace the United Nations, according to Mark Watts, executive director of C40, a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change. This statement was quite fitting for the opening plenary of the fifth annual Ouishare Fest in Paris, France, this month. This year's event focused on the great potential of cities.

Categories: Economics

How Biohackers at Counter Culture Labs Are Trying to Make Insulin More Affordable

July 17, 2017 - 08:44

According to the World Health Organization, more than 420 million people around the world — including over 29 million Americans — have diabetes. People with diabetes are unable to naturally produce sufficient insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar in the body. Over 90 years ago, Canadian scientists discovered a way to extract the hormone from pigs and cattle and purify it for human use.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Douglas Rushkoff and Natalie Foster on the Future of Work

July 12, 2017 - 12:45

Playing for Team Human today is Natalie Foster. Foster brings a unique determination and optimism to questions surrounding the future of work. Her research as a fellow of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and as an affiliate at the Institute for the Future focuses on rebuilding the social contract for the changing landscape of labor in the 21st century.

Categories: Economics

This Massachusetts Town Shows What a Sustainable Economy Looks Like

July 12, 2017 - 12:03

For more than three decades, the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, has quietly demonstrated how grassroots, sustainable, and human-centric projects could easily become the building blocks of the next economy. One organic farm in particular has been a shining example of how economic systems that take human and environmental needs into account could uplift communities.

Categories: Economics