The Surprising Benefits of Talking to Strangers

So many of us have been raised to see strangers as dangerous and scary. What would happen if we instead saw them as potential sources of comfort and belonging? By Joe Keohane, in The Atlantic, Aug 6, 2021   In psychology, the sorts of exchanges Nic is talking about are known as “minimal social interactions.” The psychologist Gillian Sandstrom had a …

What is a solidarity economy — and can it save us from capitalism?

By Luke Ottenhof May 20, 2021 SHARE David Cobb considers himself a prepper, though not in the mainstream sense. A prepper is someone preparing to survive disaster, but Cobb isn’t the Purge-style, guns-and-ammo-hoarding variety. He works with Cooperation Humboldt, a solidarity economy group in and around Eureka, California. “I’m preparing my community for the climate crisis, for the shift that’s coming, as opposed …

Arts and culture in just transition organizing

Excerpt, Common Dreams, May 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/05/14/arts-and-culture-just-transition A central feature of the failed neoliberal experiment was the understanding that inequality of wealth and rights was accepted as a feature and force of economic growth, as Shoshanna Zuboff articulated in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. In fact, our neoliberal economic system requires a continual supply of cheap land, natural resources, and labor to generate never …

Mutual Aid

Mutual aid is a form of solidarity-based support, in which communities unite against a common struggle, rather than leaving individuals to fend for themselves. Mutual aid is not just a response to a crisis, but instead, a more permanent alliance between people united against a common struggle. In short, people offer help — which could be resources, like food or …

Colorado’s Community Solar Program

BY LILLI AMBORT AND MARIA MCCOY | DATE: 17 FEB 2021 |  In 2010, Colorado passed the Community Solar Gardens Act (HB 1342), which enabled the statewide shared renewables pilot program. Colorado expanded the program through legislation (HB 1284) and a 2016 settlement deal with Xcel Energy, but it is still capped at 105 megawatts. The Community Solar Gardens Act encourages creation of community solar gardens by investor owned utilities (IOUs), with …

Small businesses are disappearing across most sectors even though they often outperform their bigger competitors on price and quality. Big businesses with more political power tilt the playing field & destroy community economic vitality but policies can help

States and cities have potent policy tools for checking corporate power and sparking a new wave of entrepreneurship and small business development. We define “independent” to mean that the owners have full control over the business; that it’s not a franchise or subsidiary of a larger corporation. “Locally owned” means that the owner(s) live in the region. In many sectors, …

Resources for decentralized organizing, Bill Moyer’s MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements, Facilitating online meetings and more

Bill Moyer’s book, Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements. Also on the Commons: The Four Roles of Social Activism and Surviving the Ups and Downs of Social Movements (MAP Stage 6). Transformational Change Leadership: Stories of Building a Just Future 1. Online Meeting Guides to Get Through COVID-19 Getting Started with Online Training and Facilitation – Jeanne Rewa Facilitating online meetings – Daniel …

Share a wi-fi connection to lower costs

Ryan Scribner suggests this tactic for savings. “These days, there are long-range routers and even signal boosters that make this a feasible option. If you don’t need maximum speeds, you could slip an internet plan with your neighbor, assuming you live close by…why are we all paying for internet?” Sharing Wi-Fi might bridge the digital divide. Participating in the Open Wireless Movement can be …

It’s time to have community conversations about what folks need, to make the transition work out for them and their families

Though we may be dealing with the same kind of corporate Democrats as we were in 2008, we are not the same. We have changed. Our movements have grown in size but they’ve also grown in vision. In the vision of defund the police, moving the resources from the infrastructure of incarceration, of policing, of militarism to the infrastructure of care. Vision work has …