United States

The cast of characters assembled on vacant lots in Larimer, an East Pittsburgh neighborhood.

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James Razsa talks with Josh Davis about the effort to establish Democracy Brewing in Boston, MA: a worker co-op brew pub, event center and organizing space. James also shares his thoughts on the relations between unions and co-ops, informed by his time working in both movements.

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[Editor's note: Below are three interviews from CommonBound 2016, held in Buffalo, NY earlier this year.  Interviewers Laura Flanders and Esteban Kelly talk with three women who are working to build financial and economic structures that empower people and communities.  Click here for more videos from the conference.  CommonBound is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction, 350.org, and the U.S.

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Many participants enjoy Transition [environmental movement] activities and like the idea of concrete, local actions as a positive means of building more resilient and sustainable communities. But insofar as Transition wants to address seriously the threat of climate change, its diffuse structure compromises its ability to synthesize activist efforts, follow up on projects, form alliances, and devise viable strategies. --Staggenborg and Ogrodnik (2015).

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As the online "sharing economy" devolves into poor labor conditions and monopolistic practices, the concept of "platform cooperativism" offers a hopeful vision for a more democratic online economy. This new wave of entrepreneurs, investors, and business developers are merging offline cooperative economics with the Internet in creative ways. We'll discuss how far this emergent movement has come, and explore some of the challenges it faces in the struggle for the future of the online platforms we increasingly depend on.

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When you think of the work that needs to be done in order to transition to a restorative society, one that solves problems rather than creates them, one that regenerates living systems – what do you think of? Chances are there's plenty of such work to be done, all around us. And chances are that opportunities to get jobs doing that work are few and far between. But what if we built our new economy on exactly that work? We can.

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One simple strategy for supporting the growth of co-ops in the U.S. and Canada is for cooperatives, collectives and their members to use their purchasing power to support the cooperative movement.
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The Hudson Valley Current is an example of a local alternative currency or a complementary currency.
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[Editor's Note: Talking and thinking through issues of institutional racism and systemic privilege -- and how these

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cross-posted from Shareable

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Empowerment and Love 4.    

Anti-racism and anti-sexism are dead ends. Fix-it policies, too.

The only way out of our racist nightmare is through it. Together. Whites from all classes will have to leave their cocoons of privilege, and allow blacks to begin leading them through it. If our blacks are not willing to do this, not capable of moving beyond their traumas, rage and despair, then there is, indeed, no way out.

 

"You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place." -Gurdjief-

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cross-posted from The Next System Project

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Gloria Lowe and Vanessa Marr of the Detroit non-profit We Want Green, Too talk about the work they are doing with veterans and returning citizens to both rebuild and reimagine the city of Detroit.

 

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cross-posted from the Sustainable Economies Law Center blog

 

We want to create a worker cooperative…what legal entity should we form?

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Optimism is alive  in a new generation of environmentally aware and astute African American young people who “get it.” Over the past four years 40,000 pounds of trash has been removed from Washington DC’s Anacostia River by young, local African American residents. They understand how the forces of gentrification, income disparity, and environmental issues have converged.

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