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.

Delivering Urban Wellbeing

A recently released report, Delivering Urban Wellbeing through Transformative Community Enterprise, summarises how the Community Economy Return on Investment tool was used to test its potential for documenting the non-monetary impact of Cultivate, a social enterprise in post-quake Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ana Agostino in Buenos Aires

Within the framework of the Collaborative Research Programme Learning from and about Self-Management coordinated by Community Economies Institute member Ana Heras, and in collaboration with the Institute for Social Inclusion and Human Development (INCLUIR), a meeting took place on September 27 at the University of San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina in conversation with the former Public Protector of Montevideo (Defensora de Vecinas y Vecinos de Montevideo, Uruguay), Dr Ana Agostino.

The goal of the meeting was to exchange on the activities implemented during the five years in the Defensoría (Public Protector´s Office, what in other countries is known as Ombuds(wo)man Office) in connection with her work as a researcher in different geographies of the world.

Boot Camp Winter Workshop

From January 5 to 10, 2020, a Boot Camp Winter Workshop entitled Decolonial Methods in Social, Solidarity and Non-Hierarchical Economies is being run by El Cambalache in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

The workshop will explore questions such as how to move from theory to practice; how to start a non-capitalist economic project in a collective; and how to use participatory action research to create a small social and/or solidarity economy initiative.

The workshop will appeal to those interested in decolonial economic research and engaging local and indigenous non-western economic practices within an economic project.

The Handbook of Diverse Economies

The Handbook of Diverse Economies has entered the production process with the editors, J.K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski, sending the almost 300 page manuscript to the publisher Edward Elgar.

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 said, "We are delighted with the Handbook, and especially with the range of topics that are covered by authors from across the globe".

Take Back the Economy Translations

A recently published Finnish translation of Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming our Communities joins the earlier Korean and Spanish translations, published in 2014 and 2017.

Elävä talous: Yhteisen tulevaisuuden toimintaopas is published by Vastapaino. Like the original, Elävä talous is structured as a guide for collective action, but one difference is that Eeva Talvikallio has been included as an additional author.

Columbia Image

The second PhD Short Course on Researching Post-capitalist Possibilities will be held at Western Sydney University, 15 to 17 and 20 to 22 January 2020 (with a one-day conference on 23 January).

The short course will be led by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Stephen Healy and members of the Community Economies Research Network (CERN), and it explores the role of the humanities and social sciences in making other worlds possible, the capacities that scholars have to shape the world, and the associated ethical responsibilities and earthly cares.

Manufacturing Carpet Loom

On 1 August, Katherine Gibson and Joanne McNeill attended the Social Enterprise Evidence Forum organised by the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University in Melbourne.

Over 80 people attended the day-long forum, and participants included senior policymakers from national, state and local government, philanthropists, and social enterprise practitioners and researchers

Katherine and Joanne presented a paper based on the Shifting Manufacturing Culture research project (which includes co-researchers Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy and is funded by the Australian Research Council, DP160101674).

Arts-based methods for diverse economies

For three days in early July, a group of artists, academics, and diverse economies thinkers gathered in Wageningen to discuss their work and understandings of art and diverse economies.

The event concluded with a public exhibition of individual and collective outputs, entitled Other (Food) + (Art) Economies are possible! 

The workshop was organized by Oona Morrow (from the Community Economies Collective), and Anke de Vrieze, and Chizu Sato (from the Community Economies Research Network), and drew upon past exchanges around art and diverse economies within the Community Economies Research Network.

Implementing the SDGs

From 24 to 26 June, Stephen Healy and Maliha Safri attended the International Conference “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?” held at the International Labour Office in Geneva.

This was part of a series of conferences launched by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) in 2018 and organized by United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

The conference focused on the contribution of the social and solidarity economy towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Coop Workshop

On 5 June, 2019, David Burin (member of the Community Economies Research Network and of INCLUIR, Argentina) and Alejandra Pagotto (Universidad de Buenos Aires and INCLUIR, Argentina) coordinated a small workshop on “Problems and solutions in cooperatives of workers”.

Participants voiced challenges they face when organizing work in a cooperative, with the most frequent challenge being that of shared responsibility, which participants described as very different than the employer/employee logic.

Bolsena Lunch

For 10 days in June, thirteen community economies scholars were ensconced in the 16th century Convento S. Maria del Giglio, Bolsena (Italy), for the 2019 Community Economies Theory and Writing Retreat.

The scholars, from universities in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US were all recipients of a 2019 Julie Graham Community Economies Research Fund Fellowship.

One scholar described the retreat as providing "the exhilarating swoosh of getting into a writing flow", while another talked about the retreat as "a gift for thinking, writing, and discussing, and a space that was simultaneously productive and restorative".

Flower in Drought

Community Economies scholars Bhavya Chitranshi and Stephen Healy recently participated in a day-long event at the University of Sydney entitled 'Economies after Anthropocene Capitalism'.

A major focus of the event was a dialogue focused on economic transformation and the role that multi-species justice might play in generating a response to the Anthropocene. 

Bhavya Chitranshi presented on her sustained engagement with Eka Nari Sanghathan (or Single Women’s Collective) in India and how their farming practices allow them to be attuned to the possibilities of farming differently. 

Community Economies Summer School

The first Community Economies Institute Summer School was held in Bolsena, Italy June 1-7 and taught by Katherine Gibson, Katharine McKinnon, Tuomo Alhojärvi and Sabrina Aguiari.

It was hosted at a 16th century Convento S. Maria del Giglio, now managed and maintained by the social enterprise Punti di Vista.

Over five days, participants affiliated with institutions in Canada, Finland, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the USA learnt about the foundational concepts of diverse economies and explored how these are put into practice drawing on the tools in Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming our Communities.