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How to Build a Computer Lab for Free

August 4, 2014 - 07:44

When Robert Litt, a teacher at Ascend, a K-8 school in Oakland, California, was told that there wasn’t money for a computer lab, he got creative and built one anyway; at zero cost to the school. As he explains in a 2012 Maker Faire presentation, he needed computers to built a lab and individuals, businesses and government are regularly discarding outdated computers. By connecting these dots, he created a thriving lab that teaches technology, and literacy through technology.

Categories: Economics

Why Startup Urbanism Will Fail Us

August 4, 2014 - 07:20

Top image: A rendering of the Downtown Project's Container Park, now in operation. Is this serious or adolescent urbanism?

In 1958, three years before her masterpiece, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs wrote an article called “Downtown Is for People.” In it she noted:

Categories: Economics

Meet Vitalik Buterin, the 20-Year-Old Who Is Decentralizing Everything

July 31, 2014 - 09:49

Credit: Lightcoin on

Just before last New Year’s, 19-year-old Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian college dropout and Bitcoin enthusiast, had an idea. By the end of last week, that idea had attracted more than $5 million in the first week of its pre-sale — a new kind of crowdfunding that crypto-currency makes possible. Not bad, especially considering that nobody knows whether the idea will really work.

Categories: Economics

Gothenburg ShareFest Furthers the Collaborative Movement in Sweden

July 31, 2014 - 09:35

One of the beautiful things about the sharing movement is that it is both hyper-local and global, spanning across cultures and geography. It also spans the age spectrum—something that has been made very clear this #SharingSpring at various ShareFests. Participants in the fests range from community elders who share a lifetime of experience and knowledge, down to toddlers swapping toys for the first time.

Categories: Economics

23 Food Sharing Projects That Are Disrupting Hunger

July 29, 2014 - 07:12

Food is one of our most basic needs. And yet, for over 800 million people, food insecurity remains a daily issue. While top-down programs that address hunger certainly exist, more efficient, immediate solutions are sometimes found on the community level, where neighbors directly help neighbors.

We’ve rounded up 23 food projects that are transforming communities by feeding the hungry, educating people about healthy eating and food justice issues, and providing opportunities for people to grow their own food.

Categories: Economics

20 Urban Food Forests from Around the World

July 28, 2014 - 12:29

The Seven Layers of a Food Forest. Diagram by Graham Burnett via Wikipedia.

Categories: Economics

New Cooperative Refinances Student Debt with Community Funds

July 28, 2014 - 10:13

Top image excerpted from Libby Nelson’s Everything You Need To Know About Student Debt.

Over the past two decades, the amount of money a college student must borrow to pay for their education has doubled. The graduates of 2014 now sit at the top of the class in student debt. Tuition fees have risen dramatically as household incomes have stagnated, at best, causing some 70 percent of students to fund their higher educations through loans.

Categories: Economics

Appalachians Leaving Coal for the New Economy

July 28, 2014 - 08:40

Top image: A mural in Benham, Kentucky. Photo by Catherine Moore for Appalachian Transition Fellows. Article and images cross-posted from YES! magazine.

Benham, Kentucky, in the heart of Harlan County, is a quiet place with a proud sign that has been amended over time to read, "Benham, the little town that International Harvester, coal miners and their families built."

Categories: Economics

Why Banning Uber Makes Seoul Even More of a Sharing City

July 25, 2014 - 08:46

This past Monday Seoul City said it planned to ban Uber, the smartphone car-hailing service, and launch its own app for official taxis. Some reacted by calling Seoul’s sharing cred into question because, after all, Seoul is the self-proclaimed Sharing City with arguably the most ambitious sharing economy agenda of any city in the world. S

Categories: Economics

Gigoing: Trade Skills for Lodging Worldwide

July 23, 2014 - 09:38

There's a new worktrade kid on the Internet block called Gigoing. Currently in beta, the platform brings together two groups -- the givers of work (known as Gigoingers) and the receivers of that work (Gigplaces). Gigoing employs the same successful formula that WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), Workaway, Help Exchange, and other work-trade platforms use.

Categories: Economics

Healers of Color Raises Chicago's Vibration with Community Healing

July 23, 2014 - 08:07

“We need as many community healing celebrations as possible. When you are dealing with generational pain, we are not at a place where it can be too much. All the healers need to stand up.” -Elisha Hall

Categories: Economics

The Castells of Catalonia: Inside the Incredible Art of Human Towers

July 23, 2014 - 07:40

What does it feel like to be atop a nine level tower made entirely of humans? I have no idea. But, in Catalonia, Spain, there’s a long tradition of building human towers that represents not just a daring feat, but a rich cultural tradition. The towers, known as castells (meaning castle in Catalan), take different forms, but they all depend on skilled castellers to create the tower and a strong group around the base to support it and soften any falls.

Categories: Economics

How to Inspire Millions More Americans to Ride Bicycles

July 22, 2014 - 11:02

Top image: A stencil on the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver. Photo credit: Jeff_Werner / Foter 

You can see big changes happening across America as communities from Fairbanks to St. Petersburg transform their streets into appealing places for people, not just cars and trucks.

Categories: Economics

You Did This! The Birth of the Sharing Cities Network

July 22, 2014 - 08:07

Shareable has been telling stories from the frontlines of the sharing movement since 2009. Stories of tool lending libraries, timebanks, community clothing swaps, and visions of a worldwide sharing economy. Over time, the visions have turned into realities, the seedlings into sprouting truths. It’s undeniable: the sharing movement is growing every day.

Categories: Economics

How a New Dutch Library Smashed Attendance Records

July 21, 2014 - 06:38

Facing declining visitors and uncertainty about what to do about it, library administrators in the new town of Almere in the Netherlands did something extraordinary. They redesigned their libraries based on the changing needs and desires of library users and, in 2010, opened the Nieuwe Bibliotheek (New Library), a thriving community hub that looks more like a bookstore than a library.

Categories: Economics

California Passes Bill to Legalize Complementary Currencies

July 18, 2014 - 10:34

Top image credit:  Authored by Chris Tittle

Categories: Economics

Tails Offers Complete Anonymity on a Stick

July 17, 2014 - 10:29

Whether you are a journalist, activist, or whistlblower, you might be interested in using Tails for completely private messaging on the web.

Categories: Economics

BikeSurf: Open Source Bikesharing Powered by Community

July 17, 2014 - 01:46

The intersection between bike culture and the sharing economy is fertile ground for projects - such as the Berlin-birthed, now worldwide, BikeSurf.

BikeSurf, a donation-based bikesharing program built on “karma, trust, and community,” fosters communication, encourages shared resources, and builds community -- all while offering travelers low-cost options for bicycle rentals.

Categories: Economics

Interviewed: Aaron Hurst on the Purpose Economy

July 16, 2014 - 13:41

Top image credit: psd / Foter / CC BY 2.0.

Categories: Economics

ImPACT Fest Launches Hartford as a Sharing City

July 16, 2014 - 07:31

A ShareFest by any other name is still sweet. Recently, sharing organizers in Connecticut hosted ImPACT Fest at Bushnell Park, in downtown Hartford. The goal for the event was to raise awareness of the area’s many assets, especially those that involve the sharing economy.

Categories: Economics