In her 30 years of working in the sustainability sector, Sandra Slater has learned quite a bit about human behavior, including the idea that just giving people information doesn't inspire a change in behavior.
"If you just go in and say, 'Let's lower your carbon footprint,' it's a nonstarter," Slater says. "You have to go in with other motivators." She says people are looking for social connection, meaning, purpose, safety, and efficacy.
Why do some community spaces thrive while others struggle or fail? A lot of it comes down to how people are welcomed. Last April, I joined a group of activists and academics in Madrid, Spain, to build software that helps communities self-organize. This group was part of the P2Pvalue project, a three-year research initiative that looked into what makes peer production sustainable.
Last year the platform cooperativism movement — the concept of collectively owning digital platforms — made great strides. One of the highlights was the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC), which was launched at the Second Platform Cooperativism Conference at The New School in New York City last November.
When one stops to consider Rio's hundreds of favelas for their plurality, with a lens of recognizing assets instead of just highlighting problems, one common thread is clear: In the face of public neglect, favela residents are expert at doing things for themselves, many times coming together to do so collectively.
One of our New Year's resolutions is to introduce readers to fun and inspiring events that showcase how people are sharing all kinds of resources. Whether you're interested in learning more about the new economy, platform cooperatives, alternative community currencies, cohousing communities, or some other aspect of the sharing movement, we've got an event for you.
At a time when corporate sponsorship and ownership of city spaces, buildings, and events continues to grow at lightning pace, it's more important than ever to rethink our cities as shared entities that belong to all of us.
In his recent speech at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, researcher, activist, and author David Bollier argued that urban enclosures, which he says is the "privatization of shared wealth," create jam-packed cities by commodifying shared resources.