Buffalo, New York has two distinctly different urban farming cooperatives.

This paper looks at how the social and solidarity economy (SSE) discourse has been  deployed at a regional level by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and Southern American Common Market (MERCOSUR), and the implications of these new policy frameworks for the advancement of SSE practices.

Globalization has given giant private interests virtually free reign to influence policies and institutions that undermine local interests. This dominant economic paradigm in which private interests trump public interest is being pushed back by emerging forces ranging from new financial technologies, social media and changing populist narratives about the importance of effective public governance.

In advancing a solidarity economy here in the borderlands, the language used continues to be an issue of much thought and discussion. In building an inclusive, democratically-based, economic network that promotes equality and justice, what words should be used? (I hope you appreciate how much care I put into the words chosen for that sentence!)

When disaster strikes, local television matters. But does anyone actually care about small-town daily news coverage anymore? CHEK in Victoria is the last independent, employee-owned television station in North America, and Rob Germain is their news director. He defends the merits of local television.

Sometimes the obvious bears restating: The communities that electric cooperatives serve must be active participants in creating and managing smart growth.

What is smart growth, and how can co-ops play a part? It starts with a focus on the local community. In most cases, electric co-ops are among the main economic engines in their region. To be in this position and not leverage it for the greater good would essentially be working against our own interests. After all, if the local community does not thrive, what will eventually happen to the co-op?


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