Can the Sharing Cities Network fuel a people-powered economy?
On the verge of 2014 the economic outlook of the common folk appears—at first glance—grim. The 1 percent has turned a years-long recession in its favor – gaining wealth and political power. Meanwhile, the rest of us watch as our job prospects and bank accounts dwindle.
One thing that hasn’t diminished however – is hope. While many cling to a last shred of optimism that the economy will magically right itself – others have begun to hope for something else. Keeping a wary eye on Wall St. – these innovators have turned their focus away from the stock market – toward a different kind of economy—one focused on sharing the resources and skills we do have.
In Santa Cruz – New Orleans – and Portland – people are sharing fruit harvests. Folks in Richmond California started a seed library – and the citizens of Ithaca New York have enjoyed a successful community currency since 1991. Rather than watch others make the rules – these people are building alternative systems with their own rules—rules that bring abundance to the entire community.
Now imagine a city that did all of the above – and more. A city with worker-owned cooperative businesses – public banks (or credit unions) – tool libraries – hackerspaces – community gardens – and bike kitchens. Most of all – a city with a network of engaged and caring people sharing the abundance they’ve helped to create.
It’s already happening – but so far sharing projects have been eeked out – trial-and-error – in small slots of time between low-wage work and life’s obligations. What if – instead – there was a catalyst: a collective pool of knowledge – resources – and inspiration? There could be.
For years the website Shareable has been tracking and encouraging the sharing movement – spreading word about cool ways to collaborate – old and new.
Source: Shareable Cities