Our Economy is a Degenerative System

Impacts of resource hungry exploitative economies “What is 120 times the size of London? The answer: the land or ecological footprint required to supply London’s needs.” — Herbert Giradet Our ecological footprint exceeds the Earth’s capacity to regenerate. A number of useful indicators and frameworks have been developed to measure the ecological impact that humanity and its… Continue reading

Latin America: End of a golden age? How the Commons creates alternatives to neoliberalism and the vanguard left

In this eye-opening dialogue between Franck Gaudichaud and sociologists Miriam Lang and Edgardo Lander,  the initial promise and subsequent disappointment of 21st Century Socialism is thoroughly analysed in the Venezuelan and Bolivian context. When asked toward the end of the interview what the solutions are, the interviewees stress the importance of self-organised, bottom-up initiatives, alternative… Continue reading

Better Land-Based Economies and other reports

Community food enterprises are a success story of local collective action and have the potential to make significant contributions to local economic resilience. However despite its success, and the existence of some supportive policy drivers, the sector faces barriers to realising its full potential. Better Land-Based Economies explores these contributions, the issues they face, and… Continue reading

Rethinking the balance between equality and hierarchy: 2) New insights into the evolution of hierarchy and inequality throughout the ages

This is a follow up on our earlier article on finding techniques for ‘reverse dominance’, i.e. avoiding the concentration of power. More indications of how to restore a new balance towards egalitarian (or rather ‘equipotential’) outcomes come from David Graeber, who wrote a very important article summarizing the last 3 decades of findings from archaeology… Continue reading

Froxán Commons: help defend one of Europe’s first legaly recognized Commons communities

Nestled in Galicia’s fertile hills, the commons community of Froxán is engaged in a struggle to protect its territory and history from Spanish miner Sacyr’s plans to re-open the San Finx tungsten mine. The defining feature of Froxán’s resistance has been the community’s decision to counter the advances of mining by working positively for land, culture… Continue reading

A House of the Commons

Norwegian Layman’s Christianity peaked in this house. The man who lived here for almost 40 years, Magnus Johansen Dahl from Spydeberg, was the son of a “husmann”, which in some aspects was worse than serfdom. Serfs were many places well protected by traditions. In spite of his background, Dahl became the apostel of the Totenåsen Hills…. Continue reading

Fab Labs supports local entrepreneurship with open-source and peer-to-peer production

Khushboo Balwani: Here’s the problem: How can consumers become producers? The shift from consumer culture to maker culture is often described in terms of a synthesis between consumers and producers —”prosumers.” What practical steps can be taken for people to become prosumers? Here’s how one organization is working on the problem: In 2002, Neil Gershenfeld, from the Massachusetts… Continue reading

Launching the Nonprofit Democracy Network

Simon Mont: How can nonprofits and movement workers committed to social transformation embody the change we want to see and become more effective, accountable, and equitable as we do it? In late September 2017, thirty-eight people from eighteen different organizations based in ten different states came together to answer this question and learn how to effectively… Continue reading

Matchfunding Social Entrepreneurship and the Commons Collaborative Economy in Barcelona

A new form of citizen participation arises in Barcelona, combining participatory budgets and crowdfunding. It is a co-responsibility model called Matchfunding and it allowes citizens to start and support initiatives for the improvement of Barcelona by connecting participation and democracy with public budgets. The Goteo Foundation (www.goteo.org), in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council and… Continue reading