Date archives "November 2009"

Car sharing as an example of post-capitalist cultural change

From a stimulating essay by Catherine Marie Simpson on the decline on car culture: Catherine Marie Simpson: “Car sharing shifts the dominant conception of a car from being a ‘commodity’, which people purchase and subsequently identify with, to a ‘service’ or network of vehicles that are collectively used. It does this through breaking down the… Continue reading

US Steelworkers team up with Spanish/Basque cooperative Mondragon

We missed this announcement a month ago, but it is still significant. Carl Davidson: “Oct. 27, 2009–The United Steel Workers Union, North America’s largest industrial trade union, announced a new collaboration with the world’s largest worker-owned cooperative, Mondragon International, based in the Basque region of Spain. News of the announcement spread rapidly throughout the communities… Continue reading

The “Inner Democracy” of Leadingship

Rune Kvist Olsen has published a new paper, entitled: * The DemoCratic Workplace. Empowering People (demos) to Rule (cratos) their own workplace. Organizing Individual and Group Decision Processes through Personal Competence-based Authority. By Rune Kvist Olsen, 2009 It distinguishes leadership from leadingship, and traditional forms of representative democracy, considered as an “outer democracy”, including in… Continue reading

What is the impact of open education on the university?

Via: An interesting special issue of IRRODL on Openness and the Future of Higher Education is available now at Please note the article: Peer-To-Peer Recognition of Learning in Open Education. By Jan Philipp Schmidt, Christine Geith, Stian Håklev, Joel Thierstein From the introduction by David Wiley and John Hilton: “Once considered to be mostly… Continue reading

Africa: the return of the Commons

Via Pambazuka news: (excerpt from original article which has references) Korir Sing’Oei: “I argue here that the choice of Ostrom for this important award is perhaps more significant for Africa’s poor than the recognition bestowed upon president Obama, our collective pride for the latter’s international respect notwithstanding. Since the 1960s, the predominant policy prescription for… Continue reading

Free Software and Free Culture in Brazil

Brazil is truly progressive in its embrace of Free Culture and Free Software. At the 2008 Forum Internacional Software Livre Brazil’s Ministry of Education unveiled the numbers for their ongoing Proinfo Project which aims to create 53,000 Free Software Labs by the end of 2009 supporting digital literacy and Internet access for up to 52… Continue reading

Book review: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America

John Curl, For All the People:  Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America (Oakland, CA:  PM Press, 2009). Curl’s history of cooperative and communal movements in America is set against the backdrop of one overpowering trend:  the transition from an almost completely self-employed work force at the time of Independence,… Continue reading

The new cellular economic theory points to an economy of sharing

A low-level web of constant relationships, circular, cellular systems where shared, collaborative contributions are the norm, is developing. Here, the value resides with relationships, not transactions. Maybe, instead of buying and selling more and more in a mad race for grabbing the most growth, the future will be about a collaborative, community-oriented regenerative growth model…. Continue reading

Launch of the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge

A huge international coalition has come together to campaign for respect for the civil rights of citizens and artists in the digital era. Today they will be launching internationally the “Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge”. This initiative constitutes the beginning of an unprecedented offensive of civil society in defense of the fundamental… Continue reading

Distributed energy infrastructure and alternative economies for social and cultural networking

Via Rasa Smite: ORGANIZED NETWORKS – Renewable Network Meeting and Workshop Programme Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5, 2009, 10.00-18.00 * Themes and Working Groups will include: “sustainable networking” – discussing politics, strategies and models of building sustainable network (with on-line participation of Ned Rossiter, author of the book “Organized Networks” ) “design for… Continue reading

Needlessly expensive patent funding may derail climage change efforts

Europe’s institutions seem to have pledged support for green IPR protection. Even environmental groups seem to agree money paid to big business in licenses — even if these are questionable — could be crucial in pushing toward a climate deal in December. Western governments are ready to shackle innovation through the promotion of useless patents… Continue reading

Maia Maia: A Coupon Currency for Carbon Reduction Initiatives and the Failure of Micro-initiatives

A contribution by Ryan Lanham: “A person inclined to follow P2P really wants to like the Maia Maia project, and I do, in principle. I really hope it works, but it won’t–in practice. The idea is fairly simple: Implement a carbon reduction club and thereby earn a standard amount of “booyas” which are a currency… Continue reading