Category: Society

Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some things — it’s increasingly heralded as the only way to organize our society. The market […]

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Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2nSECWq_PE When you grow your own food, you know for a fact that every piece does not look as ‘perfect’ as those sold in stores. They are each unique, sometimes odd-looking, but taste delicious nonetheless. In our industrial world, these so-called imperfect fruits and veggies go straight to the dumpster and contribute to a shocking amount of waste. Intermarché, a French supermarket, came up with a brilliant concept – The […]

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Ecuador Takes First Step Toward a Commons Economy

Government sponsors research on how to transition to commoning and open networks. by David Bollier A child during a parade in Ecuador by mavik2007, Flickr Creative Commons In 2013, the government of Ecuador launched a major strategic research project to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador” based on the principles of open networks, peer production and commoning.  Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation would be leading the research team for the next […]

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Towering Imbroglio

Is the government preparing to dispose of our forests and other public land? Planning laws inhibit prosperity. That’s what we’re told by almost everyone. Those long and tortuous negotiations over what should be built where are a brake on progress. All the major parties and most of the media believe that we would be better off with less regulation, less discussion and more speed. Try telling that to the people […]

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Revisiting Masanobu Fukuoka’s Revolutionary Agriculture

I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real. — Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution (1) Under the guidance of Patrap C. Aggarwhal, the […]

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Earthworker – Australia’s First Worker-Owned Green Manufacturing Cooperative

The Earthworker Cooperative is a community-led initiative addressing two significant problems; the stark reality of climate change, and a lack of secure, dignified work in sustainable industries. Earthworker is responding to these issues by setting up an Australia-wide network of community-owned cooperatives in sustainable industries. This is beginning with Eureka’s Future – a worker-owned factory manufacturing high-quality solar hot water systems in Morwell, Victoria, in the heart of Australia’s coal-dominated […]

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Vandana Shiva Keynote Speech – Food Otherwise Conference (Netherlands, February 2014)

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014. "Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience."

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The Promise of the Commons

Regular readers may remember an article I posted back in 2010 — Kings, Conquerors, Capitalism and Resilience Lost — where I covered a little historical ground for one particular former ‘East Bloc’ country; a history shared by several countries in central Europe. The article outlined how previously resilient land-based communities — which had lived and even thrived for centuries in close relation to each other and the land that sustained […]

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Ripping Apart the Fabric of the Nation

In an extraordinary coup, farmers’ unions and the UK government have torpedoed the European Soil Framework Directive. “British soils are reaching crisis point”. Don’t take my word for it — this is a quote from a loyal friend of the farming industry, Farmers’ Weekly. You would expect farmers to try to protect their soils, which are the foundations of their livelihood, and many do. There are some excellent farmers in […]

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A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock. The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship Heart of Gold. Its major consequence was rescuing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect from open […]

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Permaculture Around Latin America – Women Empowerment in Colombia

Colombia is home to Nashira, an Ecovillage located in Palmira, which is 19 miles east of the main city of Cali. Ecoaldea Nashira is centered around the idea of having women, who are often heads of family as is the case in most of Latin America, create their own "housing solutions, production centers and workplaces" within sustainable and self-sufficient frameworks. As the video (sorry, Spanish only) explains, Nashira hosts 88 […]

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Let’s Talk About Collapse

I’m a reasonably even tempered sort of a bloke, but recently I’ve been feeling a bit, well, shall we say, unsettled. The feelings began after reading David Holmgren’s essay Crash on demand. It was no less than a moral call for action. At first the article really irritated me and I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. It wasn’t even that I reckon calls for action based on morals […]

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