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New Guide Explores History and Evolution of Participatory Budgeting

April 24, 2017 - 14:12

Participatory budgeting is a decision-making process through which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources. Such a process can engage taxpayers to work closely with their government to make budget decisions.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How to Grow Sustainable, Local Food Systems

April 20, 2017 - 21:47

LIFT Economy partner and worker-owner Kevin Bayuk interviews Jessica Prentice, inventor of the term "Locavore" and founder of Three Stone Hearth — a cutting edge community-financed, worker-owned cooperative enterprise in Berkeley, California. Prentice takes a pragmatic view, seeing local eating as an educational exercise in "consciousness raising" rather than a necessary or sufficient solution to problems of modern food production and consumption.

Categories: Economics

6 Ideas on How Millions of Users Can Own and Govern Twitter

April 19, 2017 - 16:15

Next month, Twitter's shareholders will vote on a proposal to explore the possibility of the company turning into a partial or full user-owned platform cooperative. A platform cooperative is a website or mobile app, which provides a service or sells a product, that is collectively owned and governed by the users and members who depend on the platform — instead of shareholders.

Categories: Economics

These 5 Lending Libraries Are Redefining the Meaning of Ownership

April 19, 2017 - 08:22
Libraries are no longer just places to borrow books. In recent years, libraries across the world have undergone a seismic transformation to better serve the needs of local communities. In fact, the very notion of what constitutes a "library" is being re-imagined.  
Categories: Economics

Podcast: How Residents of an English Town Took Governance and the Local Economy Into Their Own Hands

April 18, 2017 - 12:27

The stories in this series come from a small town in the United Kingdom called Frome, but the themes and topics explored are global in scale, ranging from the Americas to the Himalayas. Despite its unique setting, nestled in the sleepy countryside of southeast England, Frome is a microcosm of much of what is taking place in towns and cities around the world. The voices of Frome tell stories that will sound familiar all across the globe, and if you listen closely, you just might hear your own story in there as well.

Categories: Economics

Bay Area Nonprofit Project Equity Transforms Businesses Into Worker-Owned Cooperatives

April 17, 2017 - 12:22
There's been a lot of talk about where the Baby Boomer generation will live as they age. Several interesting, sharing-based housing alternatives such cohousing and senior villages have emerged as potential options. But what about all the businesses that Baby Boomers own? What happens to those companies when they retire? 
Categories: Economics

How Crowdfunding and Collaboration Helped Create a Vibrant Cultural Space in Buenos Aires

April 17, 2017 - 10:32

On Dec. 2, 2016, a fire tore through an artists' warehouse in Oakland, California, claiming the lives of 36 people. Dubbed the "Ghost Ship," the communal space was not only a concert venue, but also a refuge for artists, in a city mired by a housing affordability crisis. A little more than a decade ago, a similar tragedy struck Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Dec. 30, 2004, a fire broke out at the República Cromañón club during a concert, killing 194 people. Following the devastating fire, upcoming artists' spaces and cultural centers were met with stiff bureaucratic resistance.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How Millennials Are Using Business as a Force for Good

April 13, 2017 - 01:34

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Ryan Honeyman, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Andrew Baskin, executive fellow at LIFT Economy. Baskin is currently finishing his bachelor's of science in sustainable agriculture and food systems, with an emphasis in regenerative and cooperative economics, at the University of California, Davis. He represents a core constituency of millennials — young, passionate social entrepreneurs who are helping create ethical, sustainable businesses. 

Categories: Economics

12 Empowering Ways to Engage in Civic Affairs

April 12, 2017 - 12:17
It's evident that there's a growing desire among people, especially here in the U.S., to get involved in civic affairs. While online organizing can be an effective means of bringing about change, there's something powerful about showing up in person to talk with public officials and connect with others who are fighting for the same causes. We've pulled together a list of 12 ways to boost civic engagement.
Categories: Economics

A Shareable Explainer: What are the Commons?

April 12, 2017 - 07:20

Commons are often associated with natural resources like the oceans and forests — areas that belong to everyone. But commons are not just resources. They are not simply Wikipedia pages or the city grounds used for urban gardening. They comprise of a resource, a community, and a set of social protocols. The three are an integrated, interdependent whole. 


Categories: Economics

What Quebec Can Teach Us About Creating a More Equitable Economy

April 11, 2017 - 12:59

Welcome to everyday life in Quebec — Canada's second largest province with 8.2 million people. Here:

  • Business owners gather at an elegant Montreal event center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a large-scale economic partnership. The former chief of Quebec's largest bank is the guest of honor.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Author Richard Wolff on What Comes After Capitalism

April 11, 2017 - 10:46

Unemployment is down and the stock market is up. So all's well with the economy, right? Many politicians and economists would like us to think that, but in this Upstream Podcast, Richard D. Wolff, author of "Capitalism's Crisis Deepens," explains how this couldn't be farther from the truth. Not only is the recession that started in 2008 far from over, but we might actually be witnessing the collapse of capitalism as we know it.

Categories: Economics

Could Twitter Users Own the Platform One Day?

April 10, 2017 - 18:23

Could Twitter actually become a user-owned cooperative? An idea that once seemed far-fetched has suddenly fallen within the realm of possibility. On May 22, Twitter's shareholders will vote on a proposal to explore a viable path towards democratic ownership of the company. 

Categories: Economics

New Sharing Depot Opening Reflects Success of Toronto's Library of Things Movement

April 10, 2017 - 05:45
The Toronto Tool Library in Ontario, Canada, is a model tool lending program. With four locations and a variety of workshops and community events, it is a pioneer of the lending and sharing movement. In April 2016, the Toronto Tool Library team raised the bar again when they launched the Sharing Depot, Canada's first Library of Things, where members can borrow sporting goods, board games, camping equipment, children's toys, and party supplies for $50-$100 per year.   
Categories: Economics

Podcast: The Power and Perils of Cooperatives

April 5, 2017 - 10:15

In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR's Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Hannah Trostle and Karlee Weinmann, research associates for the Community Broadband Networks and Energy Democracy initiatives, respectively. The three discuss the cooperative model of ownership and how this model can enable investment in gigabit internet connections for their member-owners, but also how they are subject to a low participation rates in their elections.

Categories: Economics

How Unprofessional Development Inspires Creativity, Collaboration, and Community Service in Classrooms

April 4, 2017 - 10:32
In 2008, designer Emily Pilloton created Studio H, a nonprofit based in Berkeley, California, that helps young people design and build items that tackle social problems. As teachers found out about the project — primarily through a documentary about Studio H called "If You Build It," they expressed an interest in learning how to bring Studio H's ethos into their classrooms.  
Categories: Economics

A Shareable Explainer: What is Values-based Banking?

April 4, 2017 - 08:23

Where we put our money matters — not only for our own financial security but to ensure the wellbeing of our planet. Following the financial crisis of 2009, more and more people have been turning to ethical banking services that value economic, social, and environmental impact. 

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Kate Raworth on How 'Doughnut Economics' Can Sustain the Planet

April 3, 2017 - 20:30

In this interview, we explore why the economy should look more like a doughnut. In her new book, "Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist," renegade economist Kate Raworth explains why it's time to explore new images that tell different stories about the economy.

Categories: Economics

5 Coworking Spaces and Business Incubators in Libraries That Support Local Workers

April 3, 2017 - 08:01
As the needs of communities change, libraries around the world are innovating to meet those changing needs. For a growing number of libraries, that means supporting the workforce by providing coworking spaces, internet access, business incubators, and networking opportunities.  
Categories: Economics

Podcast: Project Equity's Alison Lingane on the Perks of Worker-Owned Cooperatives

March 29, 2017 - 00:33

"Good decisions are built into worker cooperatives from the inside out," says Alison Lingane.

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Ryan Honeyman, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Alison Lingane, co-founder of Project Equity.

Project Equity is a nonprofit organization that fosters economic resiliency by demonstrating and replicating strategies to increase worker ownership.

In this interview, Lingane and Honeyman discuss:

Categories: Economics