This section contains only a snapshot of projects conducted by members of the Community Economies Institute.

A structure made of pallets is in the background. In front a sign reads "Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion". In the distance two tall buildings can be seen, while in the foreground it is mostly gravel.
Kelly Dombroski
Project Start Date: July 2022

In this exciting new Rutherford Discovery Fellowship, Kelly Dombroski will investigate community organisations that are already on the ground and engaged in the types of economies that care about social change. The five-year research programme 'Transitioning to Caring Economies’ will begin with case studies in urban areas, farming, composting, and co-housing. Then studies with diverse communities that include Māori and Asia-Pacific-based community organisations will be conducted. The programme will partner with communities investing their time, energy, and finances into transformation. Kelly seeks to understand the kinds of people, practices and organisations that drive and emerge from such investment.

graphic banner for project
Dr. Katrin Losleben, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (CERN), Dr. Elizabeth Barron, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (CEI), Dr. Britta Sweers, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, Dr. Angus Carlyle, University of the Arts London, London, England, Paula Ryggvik Mikalsen, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
Project Start Date: February 2022

Arctic Auditories – Hydrospheres in the High North (ArcHYPHA) is an interdisciplinary project based in the Humanities, which seeks to develop strategies for understanding environmental change through sound. The project focuses on water environments and draws on diverse knowledge systems to raise awareness to watery soundscapes in the Nordic region. Data collection will include interviews, participant observation, sound walks and sound sitting.

Mountain heath species and Birch tree
Elizabeth Barron
Project Start Date: February 2021

Wild plants and fungi are the building blocks of ecosystems and represent a significant source of global biodiversity. They provide living materials for a range of human needs and wants, and have potential to help us address micro to macro environmental challenges. Gathering wild plants and fungi provides food, income and nutritional diversity for an estimated 1 in 5 people around the world, in particular women, children, and others in vulnerable situations. Results of surveys conducted in Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom over the last 20 years suggest high rates of participation in gathering by individuals and households.

People sitting at tables outdoors, tents and stalls in the background
Amanda Yates, Kelly Dombroski, Gradon Diprose, Matt Scobie
Project Start Date: July 2020

In a time of ecological emergency and pandemic disruption, this research programme explores how urban communities can activate and accelerate change for holistic urban wellbeing and regeneration. We emphasise system-wide urban transformation focusing on the uptake of regenerative ecological infrastructures, connected community systems, and circular eco-economies for living, carbon-storing connected cities.

logo of the Alpine Community Economies Laboratory
Bianca Elzenbaumer
Project Start Date: April 2019

Alpine Community Economies Lab uses participatory design methods to support alpine communities in addressing cross-cutting concerns of sustainable socio-economic development outlined in the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region and the Alpine Convention.

Via a gender-sensitive and community-based research space in Rovereto (Trentino/Italy), a diversity of civic actors and policy makers is engaged in the collaborative investigation of (trans)local economies (e.g. forestry, agriculture, tourism, crafts, energy production) sustaining the local valley district.

Fagan Eco Garden
Miriam Williams
Project Start Date: January 2019

This project aims to develop a typology of the diverse geographies of community food provisioning across Metropolitan Sydney so as to improve the ability of famers, consumers and organisations to sufficiently and ethically supply just food. It will explore the contributions food initiatives make in caring for and addressing injustice in the city. By conducting a citywide survey of community food initiatives and key informant interviews with sector leaders, it will document the aims, customer base, sources of supply, funding structures and challenges faced by the initiatives. The project will generate knowledge of how diverse food initiatives address justice issues in the context of climate change, increasing demand and insecure supply.

Centre for Plausible Economies logo
Kathrin Böhm, Kuba Szreder
Project Start Date: May 2018

Economy is a strange beast. Everybody is exposed to economic forces, but nobody seems to be in control. Responding to this frustration with upbeat pragmatism, the Centre for Plausible Economies brings together artistic action and critical thinking to reclaim the economy. It is as a new platform for mapping and reimagining economic systems, in the arts and beyond. 

The Centre for Plausible Economies was initiated by Kathrin Böhm and Kuba Szreder and opened on 08 June 2018.




Kitchen garden image
Kelly Dombroski, Gradon Diprose, Stephen Healy, David Conradson
Project Start Date: November 2017

The project “Delivering Urban Wellbeing through Transformative Community Enterprise” aims to explore the work of Cultivate, a community enterprise that uses the common spaces of two urban farms transform green waste from restaurants into rich soil and high quality fresh produce. This produce is then sold back to local restaurants, supported by and supporting youth interns. The project explores the conditions which enabled Cultivate, and document and measure the transformative social and environmental outcomes of Cultivate. We experiment with developing a usable version of the Community Economy Return on Investment (CEROI) tool for assessing whether the inputs or investments into the project are 'worth it'.

Kathrin Böhm, Jenny Cameron, Binna Choi, Anna Coromina, Katherine Gibson, Wendy Harcourt, Stephen Healy, Aviv Kruglanski
Project Start Date: March 2017

Redrawing the Economy is an ongoing (global) action-research project which maps the diverse economies of various communities in order to grow an already existing pool of ideas and images for taking back the economy (as we know it).

Press Start gang
Anna Kruzynski, Michelle Duchesneau, Autumn Godwin, Noura Nasser, Karine Awashish, Eveline Ferland, Bengi Akbulut, Grégoire Autin, Mathieu Roy
Project Start Date: January 2016

L’urgence des crises économiques, politiques et planétaires actuelles exigent des réponses audacieuses, expérimentales et radicales qui peuvent amener de nouvelles manières de produire, d’échanger, de partager et d’investir. Avec la montée d’un solide secteur d’économie sociale depuis la fin des années 1960s, le Québec est mondialement reconnu comme étant un site clef pour de telles innovations économiques et politiques. Pourtant la convergence de dynamiques d’ajustement néolibéral et d’austérité couplées à une tendance culturelle à l’institutionnalisation a entamé le potentiel de changement social de fond que portaient pourtant un grand nombre des initiatives d’économie sociale de la « première vague ».

Katherine Gibson, Jenny Cameron, Stephen Healy, Joanne McNeill
Project Start Date: January 2016


Beyond Business as Usual

Silt covered fields along the Mandulong River
Katherine Gibson, Ann Hill, Lisa Law, Darlene Occeña Gutierrez
Project Start Date: January 2015

This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (Project Number 150102285) 2015-2018

The Australian-based team consists of economic geographers Professor Katherine Gibson (ICS), Dr Ann Hill, (University of Canberra) and urban geographer Dr Lisa Law from the Centre for Disaster Studies, James Cook University (an institution leading the way in addressing critical challenges facing the tropics). Associate Professor Darlene Occeña-Gutierrez, Department of Geography, University of the Philippines, leads the South East Asian side of the team.

Michelle Carnegie, Claire Rowland, Katherine Gibson, Katharine McKinnon, Jo Crawford, Claire Slatter
Project Start Date: January 2011

This project aimed to develop community based indicators of gender equity in the Pacific. It ran from 2011-2015. The manual produced by this project Gender and Economy in Melanesian Communities: A Manual of Indicators and Tools to Track Change was produced by the University of Western Sydney, Macquarie University and the International Women's Development Agency in partnership with the Fiji National University, Union Aid Abroad APHEDA (Solomon Islands), Live and Learn Environmental Education (Solomon Islands) and Women's Action for Change (Fiji). The research was conducted with funds from an AusAID Australian Development Research Award.