Urban gardening is increasingly popular in various countries across the globe but this practice means something quite different depending on the context, as highlighted by Community Economies Research Network member Dr Lucie Sovová in her PhD thesis, Grow, Share or Buy: Understanding the Diverse Economies of Urban Gardeners?, which she recently defended at Wageninen University, Netherlands.
As part of World Commons Week Dr Anne Poelina, a Nyikina Warrwa woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, delivered a keynote webinar entitled “Sharing the Commons of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Estate for our Greater Good.”
The webinar was organised by the newly formed Oceania Regional Chapter of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) involving Community Economies Research Network (CERN) member Mairi Gunn.
Read more: "Shifting thinking from me to we"
On Wednesday 30 September 2020, Community Economies Research Network (CERN) member Lauren Hudson presented a webinar, sponsored by the Society of Woman Geographers, entitled “‘An Ensemble of Possibilities’: Enunciating the Geography of New York City's Solidarity Economy.”
The presentation was based on Hudson’s doctoral research in which she explored how a ‘movement space’ is being created by those who work in New York’s solidarity economy, an economy in which economic activities such as production and exchange of goods and services draw on values of social justice, ecological sustainability, cooperation, mutualism and democracy.
Read more: Resources for Teaching Community Economies
Two books from the Diverse Economies and Livable Worlds book series won awards at the 2020 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting earlier this year.
Lindsay Naylor’s 2019 book Fair Trade Rebels: Coffee Production and Struggles for Autonomy in Chiapas won the Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award from the Political Geography specialty group.
Read more: Awards for Diverse Economies Books
Over three days in July, the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) held a free online conference, Kyoto 2020, on the theme of Commons, Post-Development and Degrowth in Asia, and one of the presenters was CEI member Pryor Placino.
Christian Anderson’s recently published book Urbanism without Guarantees: The Everyday Life of a Gentrifying West Side Neighborhood, is an ethnographic account of the contemporary everyday urban challenges of living in the far West Side of Midtown Manhattan in New York City, an area known as Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.
Anderson explains that “it is a story about what ordinary people do when it feels like the future is up for grabs as dynamics of disinvestment and urban decay, gentrification and displacement are being wrought in their neighborhoods.”
The most recent edition of the journal Rethinking Marxism is a special issue “Gazing at Power in Community Economies” edited by Community Economies Institute (CEI) members Nate Gabriel and Eric Sarmiento (with Boone Shear).
“This special issue grew out of a panel session at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston,” explain Gabriel and Sarmiento.
Read more: Power and Community Economies Research
The pilot of a new Feral MBA programme was run in Hobart (Tasmania, Australia) over 5 weeks in February and March, with the first graduating group celebrating the completion of the programme just one day before the first COVID-19 case was reported in Tasmania.
The Feral MBA is a radically re-imagined training course in business for artists and others that challenges business-as-usual concerns for competition, productivity and growth by arming participants with experimental skills and critical materials to consider and produce alternatives.
Eka Nari Sanghathan (or single women's collective) in Rayagada, South Odisha, India, is continuing to develop initiatives to produce food crops that build social and ecological well-being.
With the support of friends from India and Australia, Eka Nari Sanghathan (ENS) has leased 4 acres of lowland for paddy cultivation and 2 acres of upland for growing the staple food crops of mandiya (finger millets) and biri (black gram).
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.
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.
Read more: Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives
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.”
Read more: The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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 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.”
Read more: The Banker Ladies
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.
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.
Read more: Doing Feminist Field Work during COVID-19
Read more: Building Back Better