Community Development

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The cast of characters assembled on vacant lots in Larimer, an East Pittsburgh neighborhood.

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[Editor's note: Below are three interviews from CommonBound 2016, held in Buffalo, NY earlier this year.  Interviewers Laura Flanders and Esteban Kelly talk with three women who are working to build financial and economic structures that empower people and communities.  Click here for more videos from the conference.  CommonBound is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction, 350.org, and the U.S.

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Many participants enjoy Transition [environmental movement] activities and like the idea of concrete, local actions as a positive means of building more resilient and sustainable communities. But insofar as Transition wants to address seriously the threat of climate change, its diffuse structure compromises its ability to synthesize activist efforts, follow up on projects, form alliances, and devise viable strategies. --Staggenborg and Ogrodnik (2015).

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When you think of the work that needs to be done in order to transition to a restorative society, one that solves problems rather than creates them, one that regenerates living systems – what do you think of? Chances are there's plenty of such work to be done, all around us. And chances are that opportunities to get jobs doing that work are few and far between. But what if we built our new economy on exactly that work? We can.

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The Hudson Valley Current is an example of a local alternative currency or a complementary currency.
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"You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place." -Gurdjief-

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cross-posted from Shareable

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[Editor's note: Below are two videos explaining the concept of the governance structure known as Sociocracy, and providing a case-study of it's use in practice at the Lost Valley intentional community in Dexter, Oregon.  There will be a workshop on Sociocracy as part of the upcoming CommonBound conference in Buffalo, NY this July 8th.  And a special thanks to Jerry Koch-Gonzalez and E

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[Editor's note: The GEO Collective would like to extend a hearty congratulations to our long-time member Jessica Gordon Nembhard, who was recently recognized by the Cooperative Development Foundation for her years of work in support of the causes of social and economic justice and cooperation by being inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame.  Below is the video presentation from the induction ceremony, followed by an interview Jessica did with Laura Flanders, discussing her book Collective Courage: A Histor

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In Detroit, many once thriving neighborhoods lay in ruins.  Most of the houses in many  city blocks can be in a state of severe disrepair, including some that have been completely gutted or burned, with perhaps one or two inhabitable homes that appear to still have people living in them.

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[Editor's note: The Raise-Op housing cooperative is an organization in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, that offers democratically controlled housing to its members and organizes residents to build equity for themselves and the greater community.   The video below was created for a crowd-funding campaign the co-op ran at the end of 2015.  In January of 2016, Raise-Op announced that they had raised 112% of their on-line fundraising goal!  You can learn more about Raise-Op and find out how to get involved on their website.

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[Editor's note: we at GEO wish to extend our deepest condolences to the people of Ecuador who recently experienced a devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of hundreds of people.  The following article from our archives (originally published in 2004) recounts the beginnings of the Kallari Cooperative, a co-op composed of Kichwa farmers and artisans in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  From their start as a small handcraft cooperative, as detailed by Fernandes below, Kallari has grown into a successful bean-to-bar choco

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This article originally appeared in The Progressive MagazineReprinted with permission.

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[Editor's note: This short film documents the current state of BIOME (which also gets rendered as Viome, Vio.me, and VIOME) a cooperative and solidarity enterprise initiated by workers at a factory in Thessaloniki, Greece that was abandonded by its former owners during the financial crisis.  Workers and local community members took over the factory and managed it through a participatory process.  Today, 22 worker-owners at BIOME produce environmentally friendly cleaning products that are affordable for everyone.  While small, BIOME is proving the viability of radically

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