Hello fediverse! This account will toot a few stories a week that are examples of solutions-focused journalism: how people are working to address inequality, prejudice, and exploitative economic systems. Want to help curate stories? Send a private message, either to this account or to @eloquence.
This account is not a bot - all stories are selected and summarized with love. :)
Steve Dubb, Senior Editor at Nonprofit Quarterly, looks at the #SolidarityEconomy:
"[I]f our economic, political, and social systems are changing before our eyes, then community-based economics stops being a nice-to-have and starts becoming a must-have."
(H/T to @Matt_Noyes)
Co-ops, democratically run and emphasizing long-term sustainability over short-term profits, are a key part of the #SolidarityEconomy.
Earlier this month, Wired UK published a brief but interesting profile of "CoTech, a growing network of tech co-operatives in the UK. There are currently 30 tech businesses united under the CoTech banner, which range from filmmakers to programmers; they collectively employ more than 250 staff and have revenues of over £10.2 million."
In the US, banks are largely identified with private commercial gain; many other countries operate huge #PublicBanks that invest in needed infrastructure projects.
Wealthy states like #California have the ability to shake things up, but so far haven't shown the will.
Ellen Brown, who became an advocate for public banking after the 2008 financial crisis, makes the case for change in Yes Magazine:
In the 1970s, a group called NARMIC supported the movement against the #Vietnam war with research such as:
- the top 100 defense contractors making the war possible;
- a slideshow showing the automated weapons systems used, and their horrific impact.
LittleSis (which maintains a power research database of its own) is profiling this important work, so that it can inform and inspire #opendata activists today:
The interview unpacks many facets of this campaign, and the (pseudonymous) employee also makes the case for tech worker unionization:
Whether it's conflicts over land grabbing, water infrastructure or mining projects, the Environmental Justice Atlas (https://ejatlas.org/) tracks the struggles of social movements around the world for a sustainable and inclusive economy. An overview by Julie Snorek for The Conversation:
The Nation covers the growing movement for #PublicHousing solutions in the US:
"Movement leaders and thinkers are strategizing for a future in which the private market is diminished and noncommercial, community-controlled housing plays a central role in American life. In this alternative reality, public housing is massively expanded and #cooperatives, mutual-housing associations, and other nonmarket ownership models take root in cities large and small."
In particular, "The efficiency myth" by Nick Dowson provides an informative overview of the mounting body of empirical research showing that the idea of "market efficiency" does not withstand scrutiny for many public services:
Lucy Purdy writes about South London's new #LibraryOfThings, a community lending library for various tools and appliances:
The Wikipedia article about the movement is pretty comprehensive, as well:
When kids are fined fined by their #library for returning books late, they often stop reading altogether. An alternative approach: letting patrons "read away" their fines. Nice description of such a program by the LA Times from December:
"In Andalgalá, I am often told that even though the fight against mining is far from over, the cultural battle has been won. The myths of progress associated with mining have been debunked – and the struggle has generated a creative space for thinking about alternative economic and governing models."
Shareable has a nice if brief overview of three cooperative food movements:
1) The League of Urban Canners, a growing network in Boston to preserve backyard fruit, with an interesting "fruit-sharing" model. More about LUrC here:
2) Restaurant Day, which encourages anyone to briefly experience what it's like to run a restaurant;
3) Kitchen Share, a Portland lending library for kitchen tools.
"This train carries young and old, African men
Who are conscripted to come and work on contract
In the golden mineral mines of Johannesburg
And its surrounding metropolis, sixteen hours or more a day
For almost no pay."
The Atlantic takes a closer look at how Slack managed to create a more diverse tech team than most other US tech companies, e.g.:
- recruit via training programs focused on women, black and Latino engineers
- ditch whiteboard interviews
- wipe personal identifiers from code reviews
- standardize interview questions
- perform "mock interviews" with existing hires.
Some cities are proactive about incentivizing these kinds of developments:
This ecological land use technique reduces soil erosion and increases food security.
The debate about #housing in the US is often framed as a battle between #NIMBY ("not in my back yard") and #YIMBY ("yes in my back yard"): against or for market-driven increases in housing stock in particular neighborhoods.
CityLab (part of The Atlantic) takes a look at the "#PHIMBY" campaign in California by several democratic #socialist chapters: Public Housing In My Back Yard.
(For DSA's full reasoning, see, e.g., DSA-LA's statement here: http://www.dsa-la.org/statement_in_opposition_to_sb_827)
A city, like a social network, can be hostile or welcoming, exploitative or cooperative; it can foster meaningful connections or impede them.
How can we become more intentional about the #cities we live in? We can look at examples of doing things differently, recognize patterns, adapt & apply them. This article by Amanda Abrams looks at a few examples of neighborhood organizing, from "senior villages" in the US to "sharing villages" in Korea:
Similar collaborations between news orgs are becoming more common, thanks to better tools, better networking, and nonprofits specifically focused on building bridges. Here's a database of #CollaborativeJournalism projects that anyone can study to get inspiration, compiled by the Center for Cooperative Media (!) and Melody Kramer:
Daphne Galizia, who investigated corruption in #Malta, was murdered last year:
Journalists are fighting back against attempts to silence them. 18 news organizations from 15 countries are coordinating the #DaphneProject, to tell her stories over the coming weeks. See, e.g.:
The project is being coordinated by #ForbiddenStories, an NPO specifically set up to amplify the stories of murdered journalists.