Bloom intermittently hosts public calls with partner networks, to better develop relationships and connections across networks working on goals that overlap with regenerative cultures. Here’s where you’ll find where to connect with the projects and people in these networks.
Burners Without Borders is a grassroots, socially innovative, community leadership program whose goal is to unlock the creativity of local communities to solve problems. Visit their website to see lists of projects, and opportunities to get involved. Their Facebook group is where the community does volunteer coordination.
Here are a few primer videos on what regenerative agriculture is, how it restores access to good livelihoods, pulls carbon into the soil out of the atmosphere, and its implications for cultural revival and reduced conflict.
This wiki article lists practices and tools related to different decentralized web technologies. If you are brand new to this topic, you’ll likely find it helpful to read this blog post about it, from an introductory video call held May 2020.
This list is not an exhaustive map of the space, but features definitions and specific projects that Bloom’s crew has identified to be synergistic with regenerative culture development.
What is the Decentralized Web?
The decentralized web involves a number of different protocols, technologies, and development ecosystems that have the potential to “lock the web open” (for commons production, freedom from monopoly and censorship, etc). You can choose to block content you don’t want to engage with, control your data, and external companies are less likely to determine what you see through surveillance capitalism or state propaganda. Ultimately, the Dweb provides incredible creative possibilities for peer-to-peer economic interactions and regional production networks. Europe uses the phrase Next Generation Internet, which overlaps with the decentralized web. It is also sometimes referred to as Web3.
Money and tokens
Bitcoin – a decentralized electronic currency and payment system. Coindesk is a good news resource for all things bitcoin
Grassroots Economics is working in Kenya, South Africa, and Congo – communities are designing their own community currencies, represented as tokens on their POA blockchain (Proof of Impact). It’s helping everyone see the exchanges happening and understand better how to support each other.
SEEDS – a digital currency and financial system that serves, rewards and finances the people and organizations committed to creating a healthier and more equitable planet.
LitCoin by Cosmos Cooperative – to give you a sense of how creative token design can get!
Identity is an important part of the decentralized web. As Christopher Allen describes, “governments and companies are sharing an unprecedented amount of information, cross-correlating everything from user viewing habits to purchases, to where people are located during the day, to where they sleep at night and with whom they associate.”
With self-sovereign identity (SSI), you no longer have to give up control of personal information to dozens of databases each time you want to access new goods and services. Instead of “log on with Facebook or Google or email”, you log on from your own portal to the web, from your own data store that you control.
These are a few projects working on self-sovereign identity. As far as we know, a few are stable enough to use but probably not for large-scale adoption just yet.
Privacy is one of the reasons decentralized web tools exist. Below you’ll find a section on “power asymmetry” which describes a few reasons why a company like Facebook having a huge amount of data about you is concerning. Censorship and cultural persecution are a couple other reasons why digital privacy is important in the 21st century.
Open Co-op organizes conferences and runs projects to help create decentralized collaboration at scale.
Socialroots.io – a lightweight way to connect multiple networks, with individual project representatives sharing insights across them
Scuttlebutt – a decentralized protocol for community development
Liquid democracy – a higher fidelity form of representational democracy, enabled by blockchain. In liquid democracy, a person can choose someone to represent their vote on an issue, and another person to represent their vote on another issue, and change those representatives at any given time, including reclaim their own direct vote on that issue.
DAO’s / smart organizations / programmable organizations – a blockchain-native organization that has the capacity to decentralize power. Decisions and resource allocation can happen among customizable sets of people, peer-to-peer, without having to funnel decisions and money up a hierarchy of people who extract value.
Aragon – a platform for making decentralized organizations + a digital jurisdiction for resolving contract disputes. On Ethereum.
MetaGov – a set of portable tools for the governance of virtual worlds, designed so that users of platforms can self-organize governance
Democracy Earth – liquid democracy platform. It’s been used in the state of Colorado.
Financing Decentralized Projects
Open Collective is a platform where communities can collect and disburse money transparently, to sustain and grow their projects. It itself is not decentralized but it is a good tool for distributed or open source projects.
Giveth is a collaborative philanthropy Dapp (decentralized application) built on Ethereum that supports transparent community funding. Funds are released once the work is complete and verified.
Bounties – a way to list a piece of work that needs doing in an organization, for any freelancer or contributor to complete. Bounties Network and CoMakery are two examples of software built to do this.
SuperRare – art marketplace to collect and trade unique single-edition digital artworks
Bloom is looking into decentralized tools designed to support artists and content creators. More projects will be posted here as we come across them.
These two applications are connecting carbon credit markets with regenerative agriculture and land management practitioners. Regen Network also serves Indigenous communities for the purpose of protection from deforestation.
There are many different nooks across the decentralized web, and communities of developers who are building on a specific blockchain, or protocol, etc. Here are a few development ecosystems that we know have regenerative culture-specific projects going on in them:
Power asymmetry is when individuals and groups have differential ability to take action or cause action to be taken. It is relevant to the decentralized web, because monopolization and centralized control of data on the internet has resulted in companies with hugely disproportionate power, who are at the cutting edge of machine intelligence development. These companies are not rooted in humanitarian values nor ethical business models. This has resulted in the election of presidents who increase racism and genocide, as well as information chaos on a social level due to filter bubbles, and much more. Decentralized web tools protect against power asymmetry.
Facebook is malware AI, uninstall. Shoshana Zuboff offers a good analysis of it. Please let us know if you come across great analyses of why Facebook is a parasitic platform. In a nutshell, the business model of this platform is to use users to sell advertising. Your interactions on the website are sculpted by machine intelligence to increase amount of time spent on the website. This is counterproductive to taking action in your real communities to reverse climate change. And it’s counterproductive to your economic sovereignty. Lastly, the lack of transparency or ability of a user to control how their own data is used, means that Facebook has tremendous knowledge of your political, social, sexual, and economic behavior, that it uses to manipulate you and others you interact with. There is no way to fix this, and you should leave the platform.
These policy examples have been developed to support healthy, just, thriving communities in connection with the lands and resources they live within. If you know of a policy that should be added to this list, please message us.
New Economy Coalition’s policy guide: Pathways to a People’s Economy. This work is the culmination of two years of research and collaboration with multiple networks, policy experts, community organizers, and stakeholders. The Toolkit contains 20 high-level policy demands, 70 detailed policy asks, and multiple organizing resources focused on four key new economy areas: worker ownership, community-controlled housing, financial justice, and climate justice. It is not meant to represent everything we need; but this is the first slice of policies that we’re offering to build a better world.
Climate Justice Alliance: A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy offers community groups, policy advocates, and policymakers a pathway to solutions that work for frontline communities and workers. These ideas have been collectively strategized by community organizations and leaders from across multiple frontline and grassroots networks and alliances.
(Ask Kinney if there is a link to his Native Jurisprudence collective, and a clear pathway for consultation so there is reciprocity and respect of the knowledge or IP.)
Movement for Black Lives’ Policy Demands: The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement-wide strategy. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately.
Climate Restoration Circle has developed a policy approach to making the SF Bay Area a climate-restoring region by: 1) Restore the climate by creating and fostering collaboration between climate restoration companies, projects, and individuals. 2) Create demand for radical progress on climate restoration in our government’s policies through public outreach and local education. 3) Raise funding and capital for the most substantive and existing climate restoration companies, organizations and projects to accelerate their impactful activities on a massive scale.
This wiki article is all about methods of creating economies that support greater health of people and planet, and more equitable distribution of wealth. This topic is massive, and this listing is a work in progress that will grow over time. Peruse the different sections to learn about people and organizations all over the world who are practicing this now. Find your local Bloom to get involved in future economies locally.
Organizations and Coalitions
New Economy Coalition is a U.S.-based coalition of 200+ organizations that work on small to large scales, building new systems or new economies that put people and planet first. NEC is driven by a belief that all our struggles—for racial, economic, and climate justice; for true democratic governance and community ownership; for prosperity rooted in interdependence with the earth’s natural systems—are deeply interconnected. Rising to the challenge of building a better world demands that we fundamentally transform our economic and political systems.
Platform cooperatives are businesses that use a website, mobile app, or protocol to sell goods or services. They rely on democratic decision-making and shared ownership of the platform by workers and users.
Savvy Cooperative – crowdsourced healthcare solutions – the first platform coop built around patient insights
DisCO – Distributed Cooperatives
A Distributed Cooperative Organization prioritizes mutual support, cooperativism and care work among people and is a practical framework for Open Cooperativism. These are locally grounded, transnationally networked cooperatives focused on social and environmental work. Bloom is a DisCO.
Zebras Unite – a group of women and people of colour founders who are trying to build real community businesses that meet real needs, not unicorn startups.
Community land trusts are nonprofit, community-based organizations designed to ensure community stewardship of land. Community land trusts can be used for many types of development (including commercial and retail), but are primarily used to ensure long-term housing affordability.
Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Permanent Real Estate Cooperative model – similar to a community land trust, but with a cooperative rather than a nonprofit entity.
One approach to making equitable companies is to convert existing companies to be employee-owned.
Colorado is in the process of a state-level effort with the governor’s support to create a wave of employee ownership conversions in small and medium-size businesses.
New Economy Coalition listed above often supports coop conversions.
A multi-stakeholder cooperative is a coop that’s governed by two or more stakeholder groups. These groups can include workers, producers, consumers, owners, volunteers and community supporters. The brilliance of MSCs, also known as solidarity cooperatives, is that the various stakeholder groups throughout an enterprise have a shared vision that prioritizes equality, sustainability, and social justice.
Cross-sector finance is an area of enquiry Bloom is pursuing, as we are seeing that regenerative initiatives have a strong need for public-private partnerships as well as the inclusion of grassroots communities in a funded way. If you are interested in this topic please get in touch with Bloom, as we have not yet fully documented our findings, and we are participating in several coalitions of finance professionals working together to create templates, mechanisms, and funder pools to address this.
“Smart organizations” are designed to significantly reduce overhead expenses for the kinds of cross-organizational collaborations we’re finding necessary among regenerative initiatives.
Governance Resources for Online Companies
Metagovernance Project is an interdisciplinary research group creating a set of portable tools for the governance of virtual worlds.
Circular economy is an economy for the next 10,000 years. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. It builds economic, natural, and social capital. It’s based on three principles:
Design out waste and pollution
Keep products and materials in use
Regenerate natural systems
Ellen MacArthur Foundation is focused on accelerating the transition to a circular economy. They work with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.
Fix-It Cafes / Repair Cafes
SUPER.ngo – Single-Use Plastic Elimination or Reduction
Kola Nut Collaborative – The Kola Nut Collaborative (KNC) is a mutual support network of people engaged in reciprocal exchange of
services, skills, and goods through a timebank where the currency is
an hour of time for everyone. The Kola Nut Collaborative is an
initiative of Kola Community Solutions LLC, a social enterprise formed to develop and pilot innovative solutions to issues impacting Chicago communities employing Just Transition strategies to strengthen the citywide solidarity economy.
Community Currencies and Other Alternative Currencies
Community currencies are regional means of exchange that supplement the national currency system.
Grassroots Economics – helping economically marginalized communities create digital, convertible currencies to foster local growth (blockchain-based)
Credit Commons – a proposed accounting system to allow users of any local currency to exchange with any other.
Bitcoin – a decentralized electronic currency and payment system. Coindesk is a good news resource for all things bitcoin.
SEEDS – a digital currency and financial system that serves, rewards and finances the people and organisations committed to creating a healthier and more equitable planet.
A public bank is a bank, a financial institution, in which a state, municipality, or public actors are the owners. Increasingly, major international financial institutions are recognising the positive and catalytic role public banks can serve in the coming low carbon climate resilient transition. Further, international NGOs and critical scholars argue that public banks can play a significant role in financing a just and equitable energy transition.
Organization Theory by Kevin Carson – U.S. history of management theory and lobbying that resulted in propping up inefficiently large corporations, and a the potential building blocks of a decentralized approach to production that would be less expensive and more equitable.
Bloom Community Calls on This Topic
April 20, 2020: On Economic Justice, Cooperatives, Platform Cooperatives, and Circular Economies. Featuring Shavaun Evans from New Economics Coalition, Nathan Schneider from Media Enterprise Design Lab (Colorado), and Manuel Maqueda from KUMU Labs.
The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet. From shipping clothes, to chemical dyes getting into rivers and permanently destroying them. Not to mention labor conditions in many factories. There is a different way, older ways, that are healthier for not just people but the ecosystems we best thrive in. Here are some of the ways to participate in regenerative fashion, as well as more information about the regional benefits of regenerative fashion production.
Fibershed – a project for encouraging more people to make and buy clothing produced entirely within their own watershed. Fiber farmers live livelihoods that are more connected with nature and less glued to a screen inside of a box. Regenerative land management practices build healthy soils so that more nutritious crops can grow and healthy cycles of water retention are restored.
(incomplete): Section on fair labor. Tearfund is New Zealand’s report on ethical fashion.
Local clothing shops: Many cities have consignment stores that stock clothing made by local artisans. Google “local clothing” and your town, or ask your artist friends
Natural dyes: Did you know that you can dye fabrics with plants, fungi, and even lichen? Yes, shrooms can make rainbows happen in multiple ways ;). Different cotton varieties produce fibers that are naturally green, yellow, red, or brown. You can cultivate dye plants in your garden, or use existing foods such as onion, avocado pits, or walnut shells to dye fabric.
Book recommendation: Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess – a guide to gathering plants to dye with, in the wild or growing them. Specific to North America.
Sheep, llamas and alpacas, and goats all make wonderful natural fibers to make clothing with. And they’re fluffy friends to have around (baa-aa!).
Goats are also a fantastic permaculture animal – the way they graze helps with everything from fire prevention to fertilizing coffee plants to increase yield and more.
Vegan leather can be made from pineapple agriculture waste (the stems), and from mushrooms! Shroom leather, yes, it exists. A pineapple leather is called Piñatex. Researches at MIT developed a way to make silk structures that don’t kill the silkworms. Normally, unless it’s Ahimsa silk, that luxurious material involves boiling many silk worms in their cocoons before they can become moths
The importance of culturally diverse leadership in fashion companies: Adimay‘s blog is a great resource for this. Amie Berghan writes about the underlying problem of colonization in the fashion industry.
Indigenous Textile Advocacy
IP issues facing indigenous textile artisans: Many companies are using traditional designs created by indigenous communities, with no compensation going to the original creators. This contributes to a whole complex problem of ecological and economic inequality and destruction. Mayan weavers in Guatemala are organizing to create IP laws that support their cultures.
Often traditional textile patterns carry complex information, such as regional maps, or symbols representing cosmologies or relationships with animals and plants. Craftsmanship is a deeper process of interrelationship and care for all life, than simply commerce or garments. For this reason, wildcrafting (harvesting wild plants) by settlers can also be problematic. Bloom encourages people to learn about the Indigenous people whose traditional lands they live on, and listen respectfully to requests and support their leadership.
Polyester fabrics shed microfibers into the water supply every time you wash them. You end up drinking them. Fish end up drinking them. It’s not good for us. Cora Ball makes a ball you can put in your wash machine to catch the fibers and responsibly dispose of them. You might put them in a bottle-brick so they don’t end up in the landfill either 🙂
(incomplete): Mills that reclaim waste or used fabric exist. Links?
Reclaim waste clothing and fabric: here’s the story of the Intercept group in New Zealand. There are also waste fabric reclamation hubs in New York City (Fabscrap), San Francisco, LA, and perhaps near you!
Upcycled fashion – Sashiko is a Japanese approach to visible mending. Medium Reality is a re-manufacturer making clothing entirely from recycled materials. Adding applique to thrift store clothes is one way to make one-of-a-kind art pieces and avoid buying new garments that contribute to toxic industry. Old clothes can also be made into quilts for warmth.
Funsies!FabBRICK is making waste clothes into structural bricks.
Lastly, magical-ies: regeneratively produced clothing from all natural fibers and dyes feels, so, good. The author of this article has a cotton scarf dyed with St. John’s Wort, and…. if you’re a fan of that herb, it feels like having a hug from it, it’s so lovely, and such lovely shades of green. It was made by a women’s weaver collective in Guatemala who was teaching more Mayan women traditional natural dye techniques as part of recovering their cultures and relationships with plants.