New Economy Roundup: Appalachian Artisan Economies, Community Broadband and German Co-Housing

02/01/2018 - 2:33pm

This week we’re talking about the Eastern Kentucky town that’s thriving, Community Broadband bills in Congress, and a small Italian towns effort to build a “circular economy.”

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Stories From the Field

Artisan Economies: While Berea, Kentucky is located in a region that’s confronting steep population decline and rising rates of joblessness due in part to the collapse of the coal industry, the town of 20,000 is a growing community with a vibrant arts scene. But how they did it is no accident. Read how Berea built a 21st century artisan economy here.

Protecting Community Broadband: Five bills focused on rural broadband were introduced in Congress last week—on both sides of the aisle. Among them is the Community Broadband Act (CBA) which would define the rights of municipalities to decide whether or not to run a community broadband service. Learn more about it here.

Community Land Trusts: Buffalo announced it would set aside land for the Fruit Belt neighborhood’s first community land trust. Land trusts are a strategy—employed by cities from New York to Denver—to keep housing affordable for a set period of time. Read more here.


Solidarity Economies Abroad

Women’s Work: Uruguay guaranteed free child care. Côte d'Ivoire helped women farmers start their own businesses. Here’s how other countries are building economies that work for women.

Co-housing: A network of cohousing projects in Germany helps self-organized, social housing projects fet through trying early phases by providing members help with legal issues, finances, and group dynamics. Since 1983, the network has grown to consist of 111 cohousing projects. Read more.

Circular Economy: The residents of Cremona, Italy spend Saturday mornings at a former market donating old clothes and housewares and picking up a used toy or book. The effort is part of the city’s push to promote a “circular economy” and keep the amount of waste sent to landfills at a minimum. Read more here.


Report From Cooperatives UK

At the at the World Economic Forum's gathering in Davos last week, one-percenters and world leaders met to discuss, well, the world economy.

Often absent from the annual meeting is a conversation around cooperative businesses which worldwide are owned by 1.2 billion members and sustain 280 million livelihoods—equivalent to 10 percent of the world’s employed population.

This new report from Co-operatives UK, examines how the world’s largest co-ops ensure that their customers, employees and suppliers have meaningful influence over what the businesses do.


Movement News


Job Board

Director of Development, Resource Generation (New York)
Admin Coordinator, Green Worker Cooperatives (Bronx, NY)
Learning Coordinator, NYC Community Land Initiative (New York City)
Part-Time Social Media Coordinator, BYP 100 (Remote)
Worker-Owner, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance, AORTA (Multiple Locations)
Online Campaigner Fellowship, Kairos (Remote)
Specialist to the Co-founder, Democracy Collaborative (Washington D.C.)
UniverCity Alliance Director, COWS (Madison, WI)
Multiple Positions, Earthdance (Plainfield, MA)
Conference Manager, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (Remote)
Communications Director, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (New York)
Multiple Positions, Western Organization of Resource Councils (Multiple Locations)
It Takes Roots Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice (Multiple Locations)


Upcoming Events

Cooperation & Solidarity—A Conversation with Kali Akuno

Join East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) and Center for Political Education in welcoming Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson to discuss his new book. Kali will be in conversation with Najari Smith of Cooperation Richmond and Jackie Byers of Black Organizing Project about the struggle for economic democracy and Black self-determination from Jackson to the Bay Area. (Oakland, CA, February 4)

Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference
The Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference will bring together more than 250 community leaders, government officials and staff, practitioners, researchers, funders, young leaders, and technologists to explore innovations that empower community members to make real decisions and directly participate in government. Presented by the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Jefferson Center, the Katal Center, the Participatory Budgeting Project, the Participatory Governance Initiative at Arizona State University, Phoenix Union High School District, and the Policy Jury Group. (Phoenix, AZ, March 8)

CommonBoundOn June 22-24, 2018, over 700 people across the new economy movement will come together in St. Louis, MO for CommonBound 2018 to connect with one another, share our resources, and demonstrate our power in creating systems that truly meet the needs of our communities. In past years, CommonBound has answered the questions of what is a new economy, why do we need one, and who is it building it. Next July, CommonBound will connect these threads and focus on another question: How do we build a new economy? Registration opens in March. Scholarships available. (St. Louis, MO, June 22 - 24)

View all NEC member events on our website »

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