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.
Policy Toolkit from New Economy Coalition: www.Peopleseconomy.org
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.
- Tribe works – tech freelancers of color
- Stocksy – stock photography website owned and governed by its artists in 70 countries around the world
- Platform Cooperative Consortium – a hub that helps you start, grow, or convert to platform co-ops
- Internet of Ownership – directory of platform coop related efforts around the world as well as a library of resources
- Start.coop – an accelerator for cooperatives
- 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.
Learn more at DisCO.coop
Nonprofit and Cooperative News Organizations
Women and People of Color Startup Communities
- 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.
- Learn More on Community-Wealth.org
- 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.
- Circular clothing
- Fix-It Cafes / Repair Cafes
- SUPER.ngo – Single-Use Plastic Elimination or Reduction
Wikipedia article on timebanking
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.
- California Public Banking Alliance
- Public Bank of North Dakota was the only bank that withstood the 2008 recession
Alternative Economic Development Frameworks
- Civilization Emerging – Daniel Schmachtenberger’s blog on the future of civilization, the sensitivity and potential of our current situation, and how we might navigate the path ahead.
- “Integral” metrics framework – www.metaintegral.com
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.