Community Economies and Welfare States

Despite their successful history of welfare generation, Nordic welfare states currently face the challenges of increasing marketisation and ecological demise. In this context, how can community economies and Nordic welfare states co-exist and cooperate? Could a Nordic welfare state be an enabling platform for community economies to diffuse? Could community economies show the welfare state its desirable future model?

These and other questions are explored in a new book by a group of Finnish academics (with activist leanings), Enacting Community Economies Within a Welfare State (Mayfly Books, 2020), which can be downloaded here.

Workers' Self-management in Argentina

Marcelo Vieta’s new book Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina has been published in 2020 by Brill Academic Publishers and Haymarket Books.

Based on fifteen years of research, the book documents the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (worker-recuperated enterprises or ERTs), and explores how workers have transformed once-capitalist businesses into worker-run, directly democratic and horizontally organised enterprises.

The Handbook of Diverse Economies

The Handbook of Diverse Economies has been published by Edward Elgar. The editors J.K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski have reviewed no less than 576 pages and worked with 66 authors from all over the world.

The Handbook comprises 58 chapters, organised around seven parts, Enterprise, Labour, Transactions, Property, Finance, Subjectivity and Methodology, with each part being introduced by a Framing Essay.

The editors say, “All in all, it was a joy to be part of this collective effort and we are extremely proud of this volume.”

Crypto Knitting Circles

As the world moves towards a cashless society where machines and technology have an ever increasing impact on our lives, the importance of financial education and resource distribution is ever pressing.

Crypto-Knitting-Circles is a year-long project that explores the potentials and challenges of blockchain applications and cryptocurrencies through crafts and design.

The Banker Ladies

The Banker Ladies is a new documentary that provides insights into the crucial role that savings groups and credit associations can play in the lives of women as they provide for their families and themselves.

Filmed in Toronto, the documentary introduces us to three ‘banker ladies,’ Mabinty Bangura, Asha Mohamed and Ginelle Skerritt.

Skerritt recalls how her grandmother used funds from susu (as the schemes are known in the Caribbean) to secure a deposit on a house, and to then furnish the house and pay for things such as her children’s school uniforms.

Skerritt describes susu as “an awesome powerful thing that allows things to become possible that you thought were not possible.”

R-Urban Project

In a recently published paper, a group of ‘postcapitalist accountants’ demonstrate the value of the urban commons by applying the Community Economy Return on Investment (CEROI) tool from Take Back the Economy.

Indian Agriculture

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Professor in the Resource, Environment and Development Program at Crawford School of Public Policy (The Australian National University) and member of the Community Economies Research Network (CERN), is using a new method to help track women’s experiences of COVID-19 and its impact on their lives and livelihoods in one of the most remote villages in India.

Building Back Better Cover

Pete North, professor of alternative economies in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool and member of the Community Economies Institute, has prepared a policy briefing on post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Liverpool City Region.

Black Lives Matter

Associate Professor Caroline Shenaz Hossein reports that the National Conference of Black Political Scientists has released a statement about about Police and Vigilante Killings and Policing in the Covid-19 Era. The statement is included below.

#ScholarStrike, September 8-9, 2020, https://www.scholarstrike.com/

Black Live Matter

Making and Being

Making and Being: Embodiment, Collaboration, and Circulation in the Visual Arts is a new interactive workbook by Susan Jahoda and CERN-member Caroline Woolard that offers a framework for teaching art that emphasises contemplation, collaboration and political economy.

It is based on teaching strategies that Susan and Caroline have adapted to spaces of learning which range from self-organised workshops for professional artists to college-level Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts programs.

Caroline says “the book is about the techniques that are necessary to become an artist but also who you become if you learn how to collaborate and think more holistically about where your projects goes, and how to share something so it will go widely around the world.”

Read more: Making and Being

Post-capitalist Possibilities Summer School

The third 'Post-capitalist Possibilities' Summer School, led by Katherine Gibson and Stephen Healy, was recently held at Western Sydney University.

Beyond Business as Usual

A research report on just and sustainable manufacturing in Australia, Beyond Business as Usual: A 21st Century Culture of Manufacturing in Australia, by Katherine Gibson, Jenny Cameron, Stephen Healy and Joanne McNeill was launched on Thursday 23 February.

Birthing Work

Katharine McKinnon’s recently published book Birthing Work: The Collective Labour of Childbirth explores the highly contested terrain of child birth, and how what happens during a birth is the result of a collective process involving what people do and what things do.

These people and things include the mother and the birthing team, and the technologies and institutions, the furniture in the birth space, and the biophysical processes and chemicals such as the hormones that regulate labour and the blood that transports oxygen and chemical signals to the baby.

Read more: Birthing Work

Open-source bread

The Free the Seeds campaign of OpenSourceSeeds was recently launched in Berlin featuring bread made of an open-source wheat variety called Convento C..

Convento C. is an organically bred population of wheat which means that there is a high level of genetic diversity within the plants making the wheat particularly robust against diseases and extreme weather conditions. Convento C. was bred by Dr Hartmut Spieß of the Dottenfelderhof, Bad Vilbel, Germany.

At the moment of its public release, Convento C. was equiped with an open-source seed licence as a way to prevent patents and protect the variety so it be used by everyone (with privatisation forbidden as part of the licence agreement).

Fair Trade Rebels

Lindsay Naylor’s recently published book Fair Trade Rebels: Coffee Production and Struggles for Autonomy in Chiapas focuses on the everyday experiences of people who self-identify as peasants (as campesinos and campesinas) and engage in multiple agricultural strategies to maintain their livelihoods as subsistence cultivators while simultaneously engaging in the 500-year struggle of an Indigenous people against oppression.

CEI Summer School

The Community Economies Institute, with Punti Di Vista, is holding its second summer school, 'Methods for a Postcapitalist Politics', 6 to 12 June 2020, in Bolsena, Italy.

The week long program is an opportunity to engage with the methods and practice of community economies research.

The week includes an in-depth look at the founding concepts and tools of community economies approaches, and an exploration of examples of how these ideas are being put into practice by artists, activists, community groups and scholars. There will be opportunities to experiment with community economies methods.

People and Communities Course

A new teaching resource is now available on the Community Economies website.

Dr Istvan Rado from Thammasat University, Thailand, has written a guide that provides a step-by-step process for teaching undergraduates about diverse economies and action research.

Maple Chile

On Thursday October 31 2019, the CERN Latin American Regional held a meeting to discuss the work of Alison Guzman, Ignacio Krell and Fernando Quilaqueo from MAPLE CHILE

This was a zoom-supported meeting in which people participated from Chiapas, México; Villarrica, Chile; Berlin,Germany; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Two researchers from Uruguay were expected to join but last minute difficulties with technologies did not allow it. 

The Bamboo Bridge

On October 22, The Bamboo Bridge, had its world premiere screening at the Antenna Documentary Film Festival in Sydney, and was awarded a Special Mention in the category of Best Australian Documentary.

The film was directed by Juan Francisco Salazar, Katherine Gibson was Executive Producer, and Isaac Lyne was Location Producer and conducted much of the background research.

Every dry season, a 1.5km bamboo bridge is built across the Mekong River in Cambodia and then dismantled after the monsoonal tides, but in 2017 the bamboo bridge was built for the last time, when a massive new government-funded concrete bridge was inaugurated.