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New Economy Roundup: Money talks, Global Divestment Week, and the Power of Energy Co-ops

May 11, 2017 | New Economy Roundup

In this week’s roundup: Global Divestment Week, the power of cooperatively-owned energy- systems, and fighting big tech companies with platform co-ops!

Stories from the Field

Art by Jackie Fawn Illustrations

Money Talks: A coalition of Indigenous groups launched a new divestment campaign against the banks funding Dakota Access and the four tar sands crude oil pipelines currently proposed out of Canada. The campaign – which asks “Does your money fund pipelines threatening our future generations?” – targets all 61 banks that currently provide financing to Energy Transfer Partners or the three companies proposing new tar sands pipelines. You can find information on how to take action on their Mazaska Talks website and read about the campaign here.

Broadband Wars: Rural America has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to internet access: the market is often controlled by a single provider and without any competition, these companies have little incentive to improve or expand service. In Letcher County, Kentucky, citizens have grown tired of waiting for access and have taken it upon themselves to build their own broadband network. Read about their work here.

Platform Co-ops FTW: Four women-run worker-owned cleaning cooperatives have teamed up to compete with tech companies by creating a new web app which offers on-demand cleaning services at guaranteed fair wages. The cooperatively-owned platform is their way of competing with the rise of the gig economy. Read how they’re doing it here.

Solidarity Economies Abroad

#FossilFree: It’s Global Divestment Mobilisation Week! People all over the world are taking action to divest their institutions from fossil fuels. Find a local action, read up on success stories, and learn how you can lead a divestment action at your work or university here.

Cooperative Energy: In its recently released Clean Energy Package, the European Commission established building blocks for a dedicated legal framework so that renewable energy co-operatives can participate in the energy system without being encumbered by rules that were made for centralised fossil fuel producers. This means Europe’s growing trend of energy co-ops has the potential to transform the continent. Read how here.

Cuba’s Co-ops: In a study of worker cooperatives and socialism– one writer explores their role in Cuban society: “I went to Cuba thinking that since the country was socialist that worker cooperatives would be the foundation of its socialist revolution. I was surprised to learn that I was mistaken on that. Worker-cooperatives are a recent development in Cuba. Most of them are state-initiated and state-supported (and complicated).” Read the article here.

We’ll be in Chicago next week hosting a public discussion with In These Times Magazine at the University of Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, May 17th from 7:30pm – 9:30pm CST: “A New World From The Ashes Of The Old: Solidarity Economy Organizing In a Moment of Resistance.” You can learn about the panelists joining us and tune-in to the livestream on the In These Times Facebook page this Wednesday.

Movement News


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Upcoming Events

New Economy Breakfast Series

Presenters will kick off lively discussions about racial and economic justice organizing in NYC hosted by New Economy Project. Come share ideas, connect, and get involved. (NYC, May 5 – June 15)

United Not Blighted: Baltimore's 20/20 Vision
As members and supporters of our vision for fair development, permanently affordable housing, jobs and a healthy environment, we are pleased to ask that you join us in lifting up the powerful 20/20 Campaign on May 13, 2017. People across Baltimore are uniting around a core belief and expectation that our City will invest in community driven development that meets our basic needs. (Baltimore, May 13)

Regenerative Future Summit

A 3-day gathering where the talent on both sides of the microphone will rally around a new economic narrative – a regenerative approach to capitalism that delivers personal well-being and shared prosperity on a healthy planet. (Boulder, CO, May 15 – 17)

Citizen Artist Salon: Right to Belong

How would your community be different if gatekeepers were required to assess their actions on whether or not they support the #RightToBelong? This isn’t a just a dream. Please join the US Department of Arts & Culture for this free, interactive online video “Citizen Artist Salon” to learn how to make it real. (Online, May 17, 6pm EST)

Black Land & Liberation Initiative Webinar

We must transfer wealth from where it has been concentrated and used as a weapon against Black bodies, Indigenous lands, and the very planet we all depend upon. We must assert our right to the self-determination of our peoples alongside Indigenous sovereignty. Please join us for a webinar on Monday, May 15th to learn more about how you can support strategies for transformation and Black liberation. (Online, May 15, 7pm EST)

Building the Solidarity Economy in NYC

This panel will feature leaders from across New York City sharing stories of communities building powerful bottom-up solutions that model economic democracy, sustainability, and social justice as cornerstones of a new world in waiting. (Brooklyn, NY, June 5, 7pm EST)

Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy

The ECWD is a biannual conference which provides practical tools, networking, and strategies for worker-owners, union members, technical assistance providers, community organizers, and scholars. We support an economy that utilizes cooperative and democratic organizational structures to support equitable systems for exchanging goods, services & products and stewardship of the commons for mutual benefit by all. (New York, June 9 – 11)

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