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Updated: 5 hours 16 min ago

How L'Atelier Paysan Cooperative in France Supports Independent Farmers

March 23, 2017 - 08:23

L'Atelier Paysan is a French cooperative that works with farmers to design machines and buildings adapted to the specific practices of small farm agroecology. In addition to distributing free plans on its website, L'Atelier Paysan organizes winter self-help training sessions, during which farmers train in metalworking and build tools which they can then use on their own farms.

Categories: Economics

Q&A: LibreTaxi's Roman Pushkin on Why He Made a Free, Open-Source Alternative to Uber and Lyft

March 22, 2017 - 12:17

With all the controversy engulfing the global ride-hailing giant Uber, there is more attention on alternative platforms that meet people's transportation needs and don't have the company's ethical baggage. One of the newest and most promising alternatives is LibreTaxi, founded by Roman Pushkin, a San Francisco-based developer and architect with a decade of experience in the technology sector.

Categories: Economics

This Invention Lets Rural Hondurans Clean Their Water — And Own the Treatment Plants

March 22, 2017 - 10:37

Doña Reina remembers the water that ran from the faucet at her home in rural Honduras. It was yellowish, opaque, she said in Spanish, and "y sucia," which means dirty. Then, in 2008, her small village of Tamara received its first water treatment plant, a gravity-fed system made of locally sourced materials that was designed by engineering students in the U.S. Today, Reina's water is clean enough to drink from the tap.

Categories: Economics

Why AnyShare is the First 'Complete' Cooperative in the US

March 21, 2017 - 16:46

AnyShare has bold plans to help the world. By creating a multi-stakeholder platform cooperative, the Arizona-based organization wants to support local exchange groups and sharing communities. The AnyShare platform lets you start your own sharing network that makes it easy to add, find, and exchange what your community or group needs to thrive.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: The Call for a New Economy

March 21, 2017 - 16:19

Bellowing out in the songs of eco-village choirs and reverberating down city streets through the chants of the 99 percent, the call for a new economy echoes out over the dying gasps of late capitalism.

From energy co-operatives in Spain that are literally bringing power to the local level, to a small school hidden deep in the English moors that is redesigning the study of economics, to a vast coalition in North America that is challenging domination by the one percent, this episode of Upstream explores the movement for a new economy.

Categories: Economics

Participatory Budgeting is Gaining Momentum in the US. How Does it Work?

March 20, 2017 - 15:52

It's tax season in America. With the deadline looming to pay Uncle Sam less than a month away, many are wondering — or grumbling — about how their tax dollars are allocated in the first place. But now participatory budgeting, a concept in which citizens get to vote democratically on how a particular pot of public funds will be spent, has been gaining traction across the U.S. over the last few years, and promising to give citizens a voice in these matters.

Categories: Economics

The Freelance Contract Gives Gig Workers Fair Working Terms

March 20, 2017 - 15:02
Last November, New York City adopted a ground-breaking legislation to protect freelance workers. Spearheaded by Freelancers Union, a nonprofit based in the city that advocates for freelancers, the "Freelance Isn't Free Act" was the first law of its kind in the nation that mandated contracts for freelance gigs that pay more than $800 and increased penalties for clients who pay late, or not at all.  
Categories: Economics

Podcast: The Benefits of Collaborative Leadership and Employee Ownership

March 16, 2017 - 22:59

King Arthur Flour, founded in 1790, is America's oldest flour company. However, the company's approach to social impact, executive leadership, and stock ownership is very different from the vast majority of traditional corporations.

Categories: Economics

A Grassroots Repair Club in Argentina is Breaking the Cycle of Consumerism

March 15, 2017 - 13:13

You can find them on Saturday afternoons, in a park, plaza or workshop, involved in what looks like a strange choreography: They're not buying or selling, eating or dancing. Instead, they're repairing things. Clothes, home appliances, toys, books, bicycles — even the most hopeless items can be fixed according to the Club de Reparadores (Repairers' Club), a dynamic and itinerant tribe of volunteers who've joined forces to battle programmed obsolescence and unchecked consumerism.

Categories: Economics

Reflections from SXSW: Austin as a Case Study for the Future of Ride-Hailing Platforms

March 14, 2017 - 16:58

As I stepped out of the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport last week, I felt the rush of anticipation as I was in the city to attend the much-hyped SXSW conference for the first time. I was invited to speak on a panel at SXSW Interactive about the "sharing economy," and how Austin was on the front lines of a heated debate about this concept.

Categories: Economics

Quebec's Vacant Church Buildings Resurrected as Community Spaces

March 14, 2017 - 10:12

The novelist Mark Twain is said to have referred to Montreal as a city of spires, writing that "you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window" in Canada's largest French-speaking city.

"In Quebec cities, the church is the landmark," historian Paul Mackey says. "In Europe you have castles — here, we've built churches."

Categories: Economics

Podcast: The Role of Collaborative Organizing in Greece's Ongoing Crisis

March 14, 2017 - 09:51

Greece was all over the news in 2014 and 2015.

You might remember hearing about the new radical left party Syriza, the referendum, and the demonstrations and violence in the streets. So what happened? Mistrusting the mainstream narrative coming from western media outlets, and suspicious of the abrupt end to most news coverage, we traveled to Athens to get an on-the-ground look at what was going on in the aftermath of the Greek debt crisis and the turbulent events that had built up over the last few years in the country.

Categories: Economics

3 Housing Alternatives for Seniors

March 13, 2017 - 11:19
Isolation is a serious problem for seniors. It's estimated to impact 17 percent of Americans over 50, according to a report by AARP, Inc., a group based in Washington, D.C., that lobbies on behalf of seniors. The primary risk factors for isolation include living alone after a divorce, the death of a spouse, mobility or sensory impairment, and being a caregiver.  
Categories: Economics

6 Groundbreaking Community Land Trusts and Housing Co-ops from Around the World

March 13, 2017 - 10:42

As was covered in an earlier article on Community Land Trusts (CLTs) on RioOnWatch, market-rate housing by definition does not meet the affordability demands of the bottom socio-economic tier (normally 20-30 percent) of a city's population, so transferring favela housing to the formal market will not address the needs of that group — 

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Worker Co-op Development as a Key Solution to the Problems of Our Time

March 9, 2017 - 02:54

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Shawn Berry, partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Omar Freilla.

Freilla is the founder and coordinator for Green Worker Cooperatives in the South Bronx, which runs the Coop Academy to empower a new generation of small local businesses that are cooperatively owned and operated.

In this interview Berry and Freilla discuss:

Categories: Economics

GRIOT Circle is More Than a Community Space for LGBTQ Seniors in New York

March 8, 2017 - 13:31

At last year's Brooklyn Gay Pride celebration, members of GRIOT Circle, a Brooklyn-based community organization that serves LGBTQ seniors of color, were grand marshals of the parade. They wore rainbow sashes as they marched and waved to the crowd. What happened after the parade, however, left a lasting imprint on Aundaray Guess, the group's director of programs. Guess said that one of the organization's members took off her rainbow sash and put it away in her purse when she entered the subway station with him.

Categories: Economics

Couchsurfing Founder's New Approach to Pay Contributors and Promoters of Upcoming Book

March 8, 2017 - 08:03

More than 10 years ago, Casey Fenton had an idea that brought the world together: Couchsurfing. The San Francisco-based platform, founded by Fenton in 2003, links travellers around the world with local people who are willing to host them in their homes for free, no strings attached.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Trebor Scholz on Moving From Uber to Platform Cooperatives

March 7, 2017 - 13:08

"How do you rip the algorithmic heart of our Uber and then embed your own values instead?" This is the question that lies at the heart of scholar and activist Trebor Scholz's work on Platform Cooperativism, a concept that describes "a way of joining the peer-to-peer and co-op movements with online labor markets while insisting on communal ownership and democratic governance."

Categories: Economics

What Would a Community-Owned Food System Look Like?

March 6, 2017 - 15:49

In 2012, the Sustainable Economies Law Center along with numerous active partners successfully advocated for the passage of the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616, Gatto), also commonly known as California's "cottage food law." Thousands of small food businesses formed under the law during just its first year of implementation. However, the Homemade Food Act only allows certain "non-potentially hazardous" foods such as breads, pies, fruit jams, and other dried foods to be made in a home kitchen and offered for sale.

Categories: Economics

Tokyo's Taxi Industry Joined Forces to Resist Uber

March 6, 2017 - 13:54

In 2015, Uber, the ride-hailing giant based in San Francisco, California that's been threatening the existence of taxi companies and trampling over regulations in numerous cities, entered Tokyo. What happened next was extraordinary. Uber's tactics backfired — both the taxi industry and the residents of Tokyo rejected the ride-hailing app.

Categories: Economics