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The 4th International Degrowth Conference: New Convergences

photo of David Bollier
David Bollier
19th September 2014


In a sign of the growing convergence of alternative economic movements, the Degrowth movement’s fourth international conference in Leipzig, Germany, a couple of weeks ago attracted more than 2,700 people.  While a large portion of the conference included academics presenting formal papers, there were also large contingents of activists from commons networks, cooperatives, the Social and Solidarity Economy movement, Transition Town participants, the “sharing economy,” and peer production.

By my rough calculation from browsing the conference program, there were more than 350 separate panels over the course of five days. Topics ranged from all sorts of economic topics (free trade, business models for degrowth, GDP and happiness) to alternative approaches to building a new world (Ivan Illich’s “convivial society,” permaculture, cooperatives, edible forest gardens). 

Degrowth?  For most Americans, the idea of a movement dedicated to non-growth, let alone one that can attract so many people, is incomprehensible.  But in many parts of Europe and the global South, people see the invention of new socio-economic forms of production and sharing as critical, especially if we are going to address climate change and social inequality.

Some degrowth activists are… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons, Conferences, Culture & Ideas, Ethical Economy, Events, Original Content, P2P Collaboration, P2P Ecology, P2P Foundation, P2P Lifestyles, Politics |

Book of the Day: Planning for Protest

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hartsellml
19th September 2014


Planning for Protest

Description

“Planning for Protest is a publication, exhibition and associated project of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

Organized by Ben Allen, James Bae, Ricardo Gomes, Shannon Harvey and Adam Michaels, the project explores both the social and architectural definitions of protest in light of the current global financial crisis. Architectural offices witnessing these events first-hand will provide case studies and project proposals for contested spaces within their own cities.

Participants include: Antonas Office (Athens), Studio Miessen (Berlin), studioBasar (Bucharest), Cluster (Cairo), Culturstruction (Dublin), Superpool (Istanbul), Ateliermob (Lisbon), public works with Isaac Marrero-Guillamón (London), Ecosistema Urbano (Madrid), Srdjan Jovanovi? Weiss / NAO (New York), PioveneFabi with 2A+P/A (Rome), Vapor 324 (São Paulo).”

More Information

  • info@planningforprotest.org
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Need for an holistic and emancipatory scientific methodology

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Orsan Senalp
19th September 2014


Italian Operaismo and the Information Machine, is a must read by Matteo Pasquinelli. However the ‘accelerationism’ is the name of rapidly changing Zeitgeist(s) -the spirit of ‘space-time’, compressed increasingly into smaller units. The direction of meta-data and big-data research already moved further within the timespawn of Pasquinelli’s paper publication in early 2014. The theorization of the emerging ‘meta-data’ society, already has to make quantum leap further in order to make sense of the fundamentals of the ambiguous global (and absolute) control society/civilization vision set forth by the infamous, joke like Islamic State screenplay. For this one has to go further and simulataneoulsy problematize the most recent developments in quantum computing,quantum-like cognition and quantum-mind research, overlapping research and applications between genomecyberneticsInternet of Everything, and  Theory of Everything in physics.

In conflict with the emancipatory perspectives on P2P production and Commons Transition, the positivist cogntive-cybernetic-compex stsyems theory based research, knowledge and living labour appropriation and… Continue reading »

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Occupying the Money System: Enric Duran introduces Fair.Coop

photo of Stacco Troncoso
Stacco Troncoso
18th September 2014


“What was missing for us to start out on this path was a monetary initiative present in these markets which, instead of relying on human competition to retain the greatest value, would be based on human cooperation as equals, creating value for all. With the arrival of Fair.Coop, faircoin has become the cryptocurrency focused on the social cooperation that was missing.

Enric Duran initially approached us during the late spring. He’d read Michel Bauwens’ policy paper for Transitioning to a Common Based Society and said that he was interested in collaborating with the P2P Foundation on a number of projects. When we asked for his impressions on Michel’s policy paper, he replied, “Yeah, we’re already doing half of what you describe in the paper at the CIC (Catalan Integral Cooperative)…now we want to do the other half”.

It is this brash, hands-on attitude that I admire so much about Enric Duran. While others were criticising the banking system and monetary creation as interest-bearing debt, Duran dared to have these same banks lend him money which he then redistributed to social justice collectives. Michel and I Continue reading »

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Posted in: Activism, Collective Intelligence, Commons, Cooperatives, Culture & Ideas, Economy and Business, Ethical Economy, Guest Post, Media, Networks, Open Innovation, Open Models, Original Content, P2P Business Models, P2P Collaboration, P2P Foundation, P2P Money, Videos |

Launching of the “P2P and Innovation” magazine in Brazil

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
18th September 2014


p2p and innovation mag annoucement

By Janice Figueiredo:

“The first issue of the “P2P and Innovation” (“Revista P2P & INOVAÇÃO”) magazine in Brazil has just been launched. The magazine brings together eight articles, which are the result of the course Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation, ministered in Brazil in November 2012. During the course – made possible through a partnership between the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) – Bauwens discussed with the students the collaborative practices around the world based on open knowledge, peer production and the commons.

At the end of the course, the Collaborative Economy and P2P Production Research Group in Brazil was constituted, aiming to promote the ethical, political and academic debate around the collaborative practices of peer production and the commons.

The “P2P and Innovation” magazine is published twice a year (biannual) and is linked to the “Collaborative Economy and P2P Production Research Group in Brazil” from IBICT. Its mission is to offer a space for reflection and debate about all sorts of experiences in collaborative production among pairs with focus on innovation in culture,… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Media, P2P Theory, Peer Production |

A Truncated Interview on Racism

photo of Charles Eisenstein
Charles Eisenstein
18th September 2014


5323707At a conference (Economics, People, and Planet) in Denmark, a tall Nordic-looking man and a mixed-race woman wearing press badges asked me for an interview. They put me on camera and the woman said, “I’ll ask you the same question I’m asking all the keynote speakers. What does the conference topic have to do with the most important issue facing the world today?”

I paused for a moment, wondering what the most important issue facing the world today might be.

Before I could answer, she said with a little exasperation, “Racism!”

I said something like this:

Racism is a key enabling factor in the economic system that is ravaging our planet. You see, inequality is built into the system, and racism is a way to make that inequality palatable. You can say, for instance, that black people deserve to be poor because they are black. Without racism and other forms of chauvinism, you see everyone as brothers and… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Culture & Ideas, P2P Epistemology, Theory |

David Harvey and Gar Alperovitz on Cooperation and Capitalism

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
17th September 2014


Source: http://grittv.org/?video=david-harvey-and-gar-alperovitz-on-capitalism-and-cooperation

David Harvey and Gar Alperovitz have been thinking, writing and speaking about capitalism for decades. David Harvey is a widely cited author of, among other things, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, Gar Alperovitz is co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute (NEI). He’s also an author, most recently of What Then Must We Do, in which he lays out proposals for democratizing wealth and building an alternative economy.

Unless you happen to be one of those who thinks our current economy is doing great and all is hunky-dory in the world of work and money and human relations, you’ll have a good idea why I invited these two talk with me and with each other. What follows is a softly edited transcript of a one-of-a kind conversation. While they had been working on parallel tracks, they’d never met.

Is the Left struggling in the right places? Are we making the right mistakes? 

Says Alperovitz:“The crisis is severe enough that you cannot solve the problem the old way.”

Says Harvey: “People are often thinking about remedies for… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Cooperatives, Videos |

Exarchia, a countercultural island in downtown Athens

photo of Sepp Hasslberger
Sepp Hasslberger
17th September 2014


This is a 12 minute video report on Atens’ Exarchia district, where a different kind of economy is alive, one where contribution, rather than exchange, is most valued.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 18.53.28

Exarchia is a district of Athens that is home to leftists and anarchists, poor people and intellectuals. Greece’s economic crisis hit it hard. But solidarity and a culture of autonomy mean people have got together to help themselves and each other…

Exarchia, a countercultural island in downtown Athens

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Posted in: Sharing |

Book of the Day: Atlas of Transformation

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hartsellml
17th September 2014


Atlas of Transformation

URL = http://monumenttotransformation.org/atlas-of-transformation/index.html

Description

“Atlas of Transformation is a book with almost 900 pages. It is a sort of global guidebook of transformation processes. With structured entries, its goal is to create a tool for the intellectual grasping of the processes of social and political change in countries that call themselves “countries of transformation” or are described by this term. The Atlas of Transformation was first published in Czech and it contains more than 200 “entries” and key terms of transformation. Several dozen authors (more than 100) from around the world contributed to this book and also some influential period texts were republished here.” (http://monumenttotransformation.org/atlas-of-transformation/index.html)

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Posted in: Activism, Featured Book, P2P Movements, P2P Theory |

Theses on P2P Politics, published in “The Square”

photo of Stacco Troncoso
Stacco Troncoso
16th September 2014


The latest issue of “The Square” newspaper, edited by Ivor Stodolsky, features articles by Michel Bauwens, Nika Dubrovsky/ Feminist Pencil, Grey Violet (aka Maria Shtern), Núria Güell, G.U.L.F., Noah Fischer/Occupy Museums, Teivo Teivainen & Ivor Stodolsky, Telekommunisten and Nadya Tolokno (Tolokonnikova) of Zona Prava/Pussy Riot. Michel’s piece is entitled “Thesis in P2P Politics”

 

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Posted in: Activism, Culture & Ideas, Featured Content, Featured Essay, Networks, Open Government, P2P Collaboration, Politics |