Rebuilding the commons in the city

Stark boundaries—rich vs. poor, black and brown vs. white—begin to break down as people share parks, trails, libraries, nature centers, and other gathering places.  With the promise of these projects beginning to shine, the city of Philadelphia is launching an expansion of the civic commons by investing $500 million to reinvigorate parks, libraries, playgrounds, and recreation centers. Called Rebuild, the …

How P2P politics can change the world, one city at a time

By Ann Marie Utratel Commons Transition, 5 June 2017, Commons in the Time of Monsters promotion of real, needs-oriented entrepreneurship, bolstered by explicit recognition and support of bottom-up productive infrastructures, such as Open Coops, mesh wireless networks or community renewables through public-Commons partnerships. It would allow commoners to repurpose or take over unused or underutilised public buildings for social ends …

Leading for Well-being: it’s time to become leaders ourselves! To dream (and organize) bigger: to address climate change and inequality on a deeper, structural level

By L. Hunter Lovins, Spring 2017.  It’s time to become leaders ourselves, to dream (and organize) bigger: to address climate change and inequality on a deeper, structural level. It’s time to re-think work and security and the value of life. To reject blind pursuit of growth. It is time to build an economy that provides well-being to all—people and species—rather than …

Europe, renewables and the future of community energy

By Dirk Vansintjan The NewsCo-op, March 2017 –  In its recently released Clean Energy Package, the European Commission finally acknowledged that energy communities – such as co-operatives – have a major role to play in Europe’s… In its recently released Clean Energy Package, the European Commission finally acknowledged that energy communities – such as co-operatives – have a major role to …

Building a new social commons: the people, the commons and the public realm

By Anna Coote, 2 May 2017.  The New Economics Foundation works to build a new economy where people can really take control. To move towards that goal, we have to think about two things: the process of gaining control, and the resources over which people take control. As part of this work, we draw inspiration from growing movements to claim …

When smart-city programs aren’t designed to correct social inequality, they end up furthering it. We need our platforms to be real democracies.

The technology that brought us Airbnb and Uber can do so much more.  From Grist.com, By Amelia Urry, 7 April 2017 There’s a problem with the sharing economy, says Julian Agyeman, an urban studies and environmental policy scholar at Tufts University. “While useful in some ways,” he says, “the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ limits this very human value — sharing — …

Building the commons, new ways of structuring the economy and society that are empowering and more just and sustainable

This article initially appeared in the book “Moving Beyond Capitalism,” published in September 2016 by Ashgate Publishing Limited. The book was edited by Cliff DuRand of the Center for Global Justice. We participated in a week-long conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico during the summer of 2014. The book came out of that conference. We thought it would be …

Broadly sharing the benefits of decarbonization

An excerpt from John Farrell at ISLR.org 11 Jan 2017 The presentation suggests two key paths for reducing the carbon intensity of the U.S. economy: 1) to reduce the energy intensity of our economy by 70% by 2050 and, 2)  electrifying vehicles and building heating (for more on this, see our short presentation: 100% Renewable Energy, Fact or Fantasy). I was …