Gleanings

There's a place in Oakland where citizen scientists are working to perfect vegan cheese, hackers are designing a low-cost community Internet service and former Occupiers are taking another stab at changing the world.

Shareable has been expanding its organizing program to support the creation of sharing cities for over a year. We've offered seed funding for new sharing projects, coordinated global events like the #MapJam and ShareFests, sponsored a fellowship program, hosted numerous trainings, and facilitated the international Sharing Cities Network (SCN).

The Winter 2014 Drexel Policy Notes is devoted to cooperatives.  Articles in this issue consider economic democracy and community development, mapping the social demographics of cooperatives, and food co-ops in commercial corridors.

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Before I went to the 2014 NASCO Institute, I assumed that my relationship with cooperatives was, realistically, coming to a close. I graduated from UC Davis over a year ago and am therefore not eligible to live in student cooperative housing. My most recent experience living in a non-student cooperative housing made me wonder if I have enough energy to live cooperatively and be a member of the workforce.

With the recent announcement that the US will normalize relations with Cuba, change is in the air for the island country. Just a few years before this, Cuba began shifting its economy from state-controlled enterprises to citizen-controlled cooperatives.

[Editor's note: this series of videos was produced by the Renaissance Community Coop.  Part one discusses the problems faced by neighborhood residents following the closure of the local Winn-Dixie grocery store.  Part two looks at how a community-owned grocery store can help solve those problems.  Part three details the numerous community organizations and individuals who are working to make RCC a reality.

December 30, 2014. Mayoral Candidate Bob Fioretti is calling on Chicagoans to re-imagine our economy and build it together. Bob knows that creating a strong economy means doing more than just asking for jobs or relocating corporate headquarters downtown. In addition to reforming our TIF program and directing resources to attract traditional businesses to all our neighborhoods, creating new opportunities by promoting worker cooperatives is another step in building a robust economy.

Opportunity Threads is a worker cooperative cut and sew factory in Morganton, North Carolina. Started in late 2008, it’s an inspiring example of how democratic ownership in manufacturing can create jobs, empower workers, and even rebuild the value chains that sustain a community economically.

Fran Ilich's collaborative Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op project uses alternative currencies, barter and other methods to work with Zapatista coffee growers and forge connections with politically aligned creatives in New York and elsewhere.

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