“Is this your first WUF?” is a question commonly asked at the World Urban Forum, a gathering for, by, and about city people that was first convened by UN Habitat in Nairobi in 2002 and descended on Medellín, Colombia last week for its 7th incarnation.
Chris Michael is laying down some hard truths. The founding director of the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives (NYC NOWC), Michael gives a lot of thought to our collective relationship with work and he doesn’t like what he sees. “For the most part, here in the West,” he says, “we’re under the direct, minute to minute, command and control of the investor class.”
“We’re not stuck in a traffic jam. We are the traffic jam.”
The sharing movement in Europe is thriving. Due in large part to the endless hustle, focus, and connectedness of the OuiShare community, new networks are forming, growing, and connecting with each other.
What’s more fun than a clothing and goods swap? A clothing and goods swap with a DJ and dancefloor, of course. Recently, a group of sharers in Detroit, a model of resilience, reinvention, do-it-together city-building, and the birthplace of oodles of great music—Motown, techno music and Funkadelic to name a few—organized the Detroit Spring Clean Swap + Skillshare.
Recently I walked into a new storefront in San Francisco’s Upper Haight neighborhood called Second Act, a space featuring five culinary vendors, each of which are on three-year leases and conduct their business out of 100-square foot spaces. As I navigated my way through the enticing aromas, I came to a backroom with several tables, each advertising a different locally made product. PopUpsters, a new business connecting artisans with temporary spaces, organized the event.
Old Utrecht, bicycles everywhere. Photo: Neal Gorenflo
There’s something telling in the handlebars of old Dutch bicycles. They jut out a bit from the stem, then curve sharply back to meet the hands of a relaxed, upright rider.
When walking in the old district of Utrecht this past February, a gaggle of riders whizzed by me four abreast on this narrow, cobbled lane. They were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder.
Photo credit: Olmo Calvo
Spanish war tax resisters and activists from the 15-M, or indignados, movement (the Spanish version of “Occupy”) have joined forces to organize a sharing economy network and to nourish it with redirected taxes.
Social change is hard work. It can also be scary as hell – a leap of faith into the unknown, a risky challenge to the status quo. Sometimes even the most dedicated (me included) are unsure of how to realize our dreams, or are overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Talking with Tony Bacigalupo about coworking and the future of work turns out to be a very meta experience. With me calling from a bustling coworking space in Santa Cruz, California and Bacigalupo, who’s the co-founder and mayor of the coworking space New Work City, doing the interview from a New York City street, we’re embodying what we’re talking about: that for a growing number of people, work no longer means being tethered to a cube or rigid schedule. Amidst city sirens and coworking chatter, we get down to business.
The above frequency chart (up until April 2, 2014) shows the instances of corporations who’ve deployed in the Collaborative Economy, based on this growing list. Article cross-posted from Web Strategist.
With well over 2,000 coworking spaces now operational worldwide and new spaces opening their doors almost every day, it is imperative that owners and community managers set high standards. This is important not only for the fulfillment of the space's mission and the delivery of a positive coworking experience, but also the longevity of the business.
When Hayley Ortner moved to San Francisco to pursue a career working with tech workers with autism, she turned her car from a liability into an income generator by carsharing it through the app Getaround. She now earns enough money from sharing her car to cover her car payments and insurance, while still being able to use her car for errands and trips out of town.
Top image: astudio/Shutterstock. Article cross-posted from YES! Magazine.
On his way into work every morning, Chokwe Lumumba, the late mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, used to pass a historical marker: “Jackson City Hall: built 1846-7 by slave labor.”
David Bollier, an award-winning policy strategist and international activist, is out with a new book that explains the rich history and promising future of the commons, “an ageless paradigm of cooperation and fairness that is re-making our world.” Unlike Bollier’s previous five books, Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons explores the commons in layman’s terms, making it the ideal introduction for anyone wishing to learn more about what Bollier calls o
Over the past few years, more than 1,000 hackerspaces and probably twice as many coworking spaces have cropped up all over the planet. They offer shared equipment and desks, as well as a sort of power-in-numbers ideology that is appealing to lots of independent workers. But what about the artisans and tradespeople who need a different sort of workshop?
Top image: Flooded London streets. Photo credit: marcus_jb1973