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Creative Economy

The Engine Room Of Feminist Work Amid A Global Pandemic

There have been webinars (so.many.webinars), twitter threads, illustrations, press releases and policy recommendations, and online house parties. Analysis pieces cover everything from the gendered impacts of COVID-19 to how to work remotely to the role of neoliberal capitalism. Most strikingly, feminists have mobilized on a massive scale to generate our own autonomous resources for daily acts of solidarity and survival and to respond politically, collectively, and powerfully to this moment. Many of these actions are coming from within communities and movements in some of the hardest hit and less privileged places, and especially amongst Black, LBTQI+, disability, migrant, land & labour movements. Some of the responses are localised, while others are global.

Does The Gig Economy Mean It’s Time For Medicare-For-All?

By Charlie Simmons for The Mercury News - Silicon Valley is the engine of the rapidly growing gig-economy. Consumers love the convenience of having goods and services delivered right to their door at the push of a button. Many workers are enjoying the benefits of making their own hours and minimal corporate oversight. But there’s one big problem: many of these workers are classified as 1099 contractors, rather than employees. The 1099 system gives workers the flexibility to fully choose how and when they work, but it also demands very little from companies, who do not have to cover transportation costs, offer paid vacation, or contribute into 401(k) accounts. That’s the perfect system for Silicon Valley’s tech start-ups. Most of them are in aggressive growth stages and are trying to expand to new cities, recruit new workers and bring on new customers. This way, they only pay workers for the actual time they spend on their service. While debate about the merits of the gig-economy continues, it’s clear that it’s here to stay. If we are shifting to a system of self-employment, we need to rethink how we deliver crucial worker protections and services that our nation’s labor groups have fought for and won, including overtime protections, weekends, redress from unjust dismissal, and — most importantly — expanded and improved health insurance.

Regenerative Economy Can Help Save Environment

By Iliana Salazar-Dodge for AlterNet - I am a Mexican immigrant and a senior at Columbia University who’s been organizing around fossil fuel divestment since freshman year. Two years ago, I had a bit of a crisis. I suddenly felt disillusioned with the movement—not with the tactic of divestment, but rather with the fact that national campaigns were solely focused on taking down the fossil fuel behemoth. Don’t get me wrong; it’s extremely satisfying to hear of another divestment win, to see the fossil fuel industry take a hit.

Commons Collaborative Economy Explodes In Barcelona

By Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel for Commons Transition - Cities have personalities -- they're often described as we would people. They can be dry, manic, laid-back, iconic. Barcelona is what you might call a tonic. Always known as a vivid and creative city, Barcelona is taking the lead as an exemplary change agent on the European stage. Its DIY vigor and urgent form of citizen-level democracy are palpable, contagious, and best of all, effective.

Where Refugee Solidarity & Alternative Economy Converge

By Staff of Undercover Info - The centre known as Notara26 is located on 26 Notara Street in Athens and offers solidarity to refugees to cover their immediate needs (shelter, food, medical assistance). The centre provides temporary accommodation, basic medical treatment, clothing and information for up to 130 refugees each day. More than 1,700 refugees and migrants stopped over in Notara between September 25 and December 1 last year alone. The centre continues to act as a focal point for refugees who arrive in Athens and need somewhere to stay for a while.

Town Ditches Prison Economy For Marijuana & Is Saving Its Economy

By Justin Gardner for The Free Thought Porject - Adelanto, CA – A tiny California desert town is making a drastic change to reverse its downward spiral and embrace an enlightened future. For 24 years, Adelanto tried unsuccessfully to sustain its economy through prisons, but now it will be hosting a very different kind of business—cannabis cultivation. The town became only the second city in California to permit commercial cultivation of medical cannabis, after a year of heated debate in the City Council. The persistence of John “Bug” Woodard, Jr. paid off in a 4-1 vote on Nov. 23 to allow cultivation.

Branding Tradition: A Bittersweet Tale Of Capitalism At Work

By Steven Gorelick for Local Futures - Expensive labor-saving technologies not only make it difficult for small producers to survive, they also reduce the number of jobs available among those that remain. It’s true that 24 jobs have been created in Island Pond by the Sweet Tree operation; but 100,000 taps divided among numerous small-scale operations would provide livelihoods for 5 to 10 times as many people. The local economic benefits would also be far greater: the profits from Sweet Tree’s operation will be siphoned into investment portfolios in Connecticut, while the profits from those smaller producers would circulate locally.

What’s Next? Parecon, or Participatory Economics

By Michael Albert for The Next System Project - People now fighting economic injustice have no right to decide how future people should live. But we do have a responsibility to provide an institutional setting that facilitates future people deciding for themselves their own conditions of life and work. To this end, participatory economics, or parecon, describes the core institutions required to generate solidarity, equity, self-management, and an ecologically sound and classless economy. Parecon first advocates self-management by workers’ and consumers’ councils federated by industry and region as society’s primary venues of economic decision making.

Key Concepts Of The Solidarity Economy

By Ethan Miller, re-posted on It's Our Economy - This article was written in 2010, but it is completely relevant today and it provides an excellent history and description of the Solidarity Economy. By Ethan Miller and published in Kawano, Emily and Tom Masterson and Jonathan Teller-Ellsberg (eds). Solidarity Economy I: Building Alternatives for People and Planet. Amherst, MA: Center for Popular Economics. 2010. People across the United States and throughout the world are experiencing the devastating effects of an economy that places the profit of a few above the well being of everyone else.

Report Shows Economic Might Of West Coast Clean Economy Juggernaut

By Staff of Pacific Coast Collaborative - LOS ANGELES – As the COP 21 global climate conference gets underway in Paris, leaders from four jurisdictions of North America’s West Coast—British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington—are holding up a new report as evidence that the region’s collective leadership on climate change is bringing positive changes to the area. The report, West Coast Clean Economy: 2010-2014 Jobs Update, released today by The Delphi Group, reveals that not only are climate and clean energy policies nurturing and growing the clean economy, but they are also a key driver of the region’s overall economic growth.

Grassroots Strategies For Creative Social Change

Perhaps this is an ample metaphor for the state of many social movements: we know where our destination is, but don’t have a clear map of how to get there. In session after session, panels of brilliant activists, analysts, and organizers elaborated on the problems and challenges we face globally — from land grabs, to climate change, to inequality, to bonded slave labor, to repressive regimes and state violence, to colonialism and a bloated military arms industry, to consolidated transnational corporate power… and the list goes on. Understanding the scope and breadth of the problems is key, but so too is having a vision of what we are working to achieve. The slogan of the World Social Forum is “Another world is possible.” But is the goal of the Forum to expose the current world, or to create space to imagine and strategize toward a future possible world?
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