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How I Avoided Holiday Shopping Through a Donation Exchange

September 22, 2014 - 12:39

As stores begin to hawk their holiday deals, Shareable reposts this 2009 piece about how Neal Gorenflo gave up holiday gifts and discovered a better way to bond with family.

Categories: Economics

Coop Trains Next Generation of Community Acupuncturists Debt Free

September 20, 2014 - 11:16

Nearly a decade ago, Lisa Rohleder and Skip Van Meter of Portland dreamed up a low cost, high volume community acupuncture business model. They wanted to provide access to acupuncture for those that couldn't afford the standard fees and also to earn a sustainable living as practitioners serving lower income communities. In 2002, the first iteration of this model, called Working Class Acupuncture, was born.

Categories: Economics

My Week with PirateBox, the DIY Mobile Cloud Storage Device

September 19, 2014 - 06:54

Sharing books you've read can be as enjoyable as reading them again, and for centuries books have frequently changed hands from person to person, library to library. But what if you could share an entire archive of books from the palm of your hand with anyone in earshot? I spent a week experimenting with a DIY PirateBox to see how it works, but first let's explore notable episodes in the history of book sharing...

Categories: Economics

11 Tiny House Villages Redefining Home

September 17, 2014 - 09:05

Tiny house villages are a new part of the tiny house movement, yet they hold a lot of potential to transform lives and communities. The idea behind these villages is straightforward: bring tiny houses together in one place to create communities that share land, time together, skills, support, and other resources.

Categories: Economics

Growstuff Uses Open Data to Help Local Gardeners

September 16, 2014 - 09:27

Alex Bayley is an Australian software developer and avid gardener. When she looked online for information about growing food in her area, she came up short. Having worked with open data since 2007, Bayley understood the power of shared information, so she set up Growstuff, an online, crowdsourced repository for backyard gardeners around the world.

Categories: Economics

New Report Explores Unifying the New Economy Movement

September 16, 2014 - 07:57

The new economy has several different names including the sharing economy, the solidarity economy, community resilience, transition, the oppositional economy, and more. At its core, however, is an awareness that the existing economy, which thrives on maximizing growth and profits at all expense, has failed us.

Categories: Economics

New Urban Ag Study Touts Potential of Small Cities

September 15, 2014 - 11:37

The Corvallis, Oregon, farmers' market. Photo credit: ...-Wink-... / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA.

Categories: Economics

How to Trick Out Your Trip

September 15, 2014 - 10:36

For many of us, the bus or subway provides a critical link from home to work, school, and family and friends. Yes, transit makes enormous contributions to a city, reducing congestion by keeping cars off the road and helping to keep the air cleaner. But, taking a bus or train also benefits us personally, inserting short walks into our days for a healthier lifestyle, and connecting us socially to our drivers and fellow passengers. And every trip starts with one step in our own neighborhood.

Categories: Economics

New Report: 25% of UK Participates in the Collaborative Economy

September 15, 2014 - 09:47

The collaborative economy is alive and well "across the pond" in Great Britain, according to Making Sense of the Collaborative Economy, a new report published this month by UK innovation nonprofit Nesta and Collaborative Lab, a

Categories: Economics

New Coalition Takes On Airbnb in NYC with ‘Share Better’ Campaign

September 15, 2014 - 08:06

On Friday, Share Better, a newly-formed coalition of “friends, neighbors, community activists and elected officials” in New York City, publicly called out Airbnb.

Categories: Economics

New Virtual Think Tank Studies How to Govern Knowledge Commons

September 15, 2014 - 07:04

The commons are often associated with shared natural resources including grazing pastures, public spaces and water, but there are lots of commons including the Creative Commons, seed commons, and even knowledge commons. Yes, knowledge, passed from person to person, generation to generation, is a commons that we all share and contribute to.

Categories: Economics

How Land Trusts Can Counter New Urbanism's Gentrifying Tendencies

September 11, 2014 - 07:59

The principles of New Urbanism, which include walkability, mixed-use neighborhoods, and human-scale design, hold a lot of promise for fostering healthy communities. But there are serious downsides to New Urbanism — the most pressing of which is the displacement of historic communities that get priced out of their own neighborhoods as New Urbanism moves in.

Categories: Economics

8 Best Practices for Creating a Peer-to-Peer Marketplace

September 10, 2014 - 11:35

At Near Me, we've learned that peer-to-peer marketplaces can be a great way for nonprofits, businesses, and communities to support their members in a fun and mutually beneficial way, if done right. 

Categories: Economics

A Glossary of Collaborative Economy Slang

September 9, 2014 - 08:28

Photo credit: Steve Bridger. Article cross-posted from

Buzzwords, buzzwords, buzzwords! Nothing is more fun than using buzzwords – except one thing: Reading all the buzzwords on a single page. Impress your colleagues at the co-working spot, your tatted Lyft drivers, and your hot Tinder dates with your immense knowledge on the latest hipster technology terms.

Categories: Economics

53 Million Freelancers Shape the New Economy

September 8, 2014 - 09:43

As the new economy grows, so too does the number of freelancers. A recent study, conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, found that there are 53 million freelancers adding $715 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

Categories: Economics

US Seed Libraries Mobilize to Protect Their Right to Share

September 8, 2014 - 07:21

In June, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture alerted the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg that their seed library was in violation of the Pennsylvania Seed Act of 2004. According to officials, the library would have to follow the prohibitively expensive procedures of large-scale commercial seed companies or only offer commercial seed. The first option is impractical and the second option would gut the exchange of its primary purpose to serve home gardeners who want to save and exchange their own seed. 

Categories: Economics

10 Open Source Policies for a Commons-Based Society

September 7, 2014 - 12:29

Michel Bauwens is the founder of the P2P Foundation and former advisor to the goverment of Ecuador for a project to “remake the roots of Ecuador’s economy, setting off a transition into a society of free and open knowledge.” With a team of researchers and through a partipatory process involving local civic actors and global commoners, the FLOK project produced a generic transition plan to a commons society with more than 15 specific policy and legislative plans.

Categories: Economics

Public Services: Commodity or Common Good?

September 3, 2014 - 10:44

Greek strike against cuts to jobs and public services, June 2013. (Public Services International / Flickr)

Categories: Economics

How America's Largest Worker Owned Co-Op Lifts People Out of Poverty

September 3, 2014 - 09:01

By Laura Flanders Cross-posted from Yes! Magazine.

Before Zaida Ramos joined Cooperative Home Care Associates, she was raising her daughter on public assistance, shuttling between dead-end office jobs, and not making ends meet. “I earned in a week what my family spent in a day,” she recalled.

Categories: Economics