In 1998, when the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Northeast Greensboro, North Carolina closed, it created a food desert—a community without easy access to food. For years, area residents tried to get another grocery chain to come in, but none wanted to come to the predominantly African-American, low-income town.
The community finally came up with a solution—one that didn't rely on an outside company to come in. They put into motion a plan to open a food cooperative.
The technologies that undergird Bitcoin transactions have advanced to suggest other, non-financial applications. (Bitcoin Magazine)
Libraries are vital community spaces. But many face shrinking budgets. They also face an increasingly-digital landscape, which requires new approaches to stay relevant. A new toolkit aims to help librarians use design thinking to create innovative programs for their libraries.
In June, librarians at the Joseph T. Simpson public library in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania were told by state agriculture officials that their small, in-house seed library needed to comply with the state seed law. Trouble is, the law requires extensive testing designed for commercial agricultural enterprises—not neighborhood seed sharing. Being held to the same requirements as commercial seed enterprises could render seed libraries, and seed sharing in general, extinct.
The Free Farm Stand, located in the Mission district of San Francisco, distributes free food through gifting organic fruits, vegetables, and locally made breads every weekend.
Is it possible to imagine a new sort of synthesis or synergy between the emerging peer production and commons movement on the one hand, and growing, innovative elements of the co-operative and solidarity economy movements on the other?
Earlier this week, Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts announced the launch of the Leadership and Ethical Engagement Project (LEEP). The project is designed to provide a model for “integrating a deliberate focus on ethics within the academics and culture of an educational institution, with a distinctive focus on contributing to the common good.”
by Derek Davis and Argel Sabillo
A successful crowdfunding campaign led to government support for the Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (Cameron R. Nielson via Wired UK)
What began as a childcare coop in Seoul, South Korea has grown into a cooperative, urban village and sparked a national movement of urban villages.
In 2013, Ronald van den Hoff, founder of Seats2meet, introduced Shareable co-founder Neal Gorenflo to Nils Roemen. A Dutch consultant, community organizer, and sharing activist, Roemen has co-founded numerous sharing projects. One of his first was DareToAsk ("Durftevragen" in Dutch), a workshop based on tapping into social abundance by inviting people to ask each other for help.
What makes a lot of people uncomfortable about a phenomenon like Uber, when you get right down to it, is how it is owned. As in other mega-Internet companies, a small number of owners poised to take over a global industry—in this case, the taxi industry with ownership currently spread out among local drivers and operators. In response to Uber’s rise, there has been a flurry of proposals for driver-owned alternatives.
Last week, SF 132, a bill exempting certain organizations from Minnesota seed law, was introduced to the Minnesota State Legislature.
As a professor, I spend my days asking what inspires people to take steps for change in local neighbourhoods (in the UK, where I live, and beyond). I also look at the impact of grassroots and DIY activity, like making, growing and sharing together. I’ve just completed Design for Sharing [pdf], a study about how people build sharing resources locally and what kind of environment supports it.
Above photo: Rust Belt Riders co-founders Daniel Brown (left) and Michael Robinson (right) on Cleveland's Lorain-Carnegie Bridge
Daniel Brown is co-founder of Rust Belt Riders Composting, a worker-owned, bike-based, organic waste removal company in Cleveland. Here, he shares the story of how the Riders got their start, how cooperatives create a new framework for communities, and how rust belt cities are imbued with a changing, yet unbroken, spirit.
An independent, civil society organization campaigning for a fairer sharing of wealth, power and resources, Share the World's Resources (STWR) recently released Sharing As Our Common Cause, a report detailing all the ways sharing can act as a unifying force to address multiple planetary crises.
Miami Beach's historic Art Deco district is the second-most-visited tourist destination in Florida. (Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons)
David Lippman is a college math instructor. Last year, seeing all the money students were forking out for textbooks, he co-wrote two math textbooks and built iMathAS, a free, open-source math assessment and course platform. Primarily published under Creative Commons (CC) licenses, the book and platform are open to community edits and input.