Imagining Future Models – Alternative To What? Session 3

Sunday August 10th, 2014

4-5:40 p.m. – The Base, 1302 Myrtle Ave at Stockholm St, Brooklyn, NY.
7p.m. – Potluck at 1882 Woodbine, 1882 Woodbine St Ridgewood, NY.

“What is the purpose of alternative economies in our society and world today, and the significance of having these alternatives as we move into the future?”

Exchange Cafe, Alternative Economies, 2013.

Exchange Cafe, Alternative Economies, 2013.

With the widening spread of urbanization, artists, families, and the working class in cities today face the harsh reality of unsustainable living, especially with the growing phenomenon of gentrification. Notions of the “starving artist” and the “displaced” have become an all-too-common situation that many can relate to personally. With the cost of living on the rise, rising imbalance of power in the for-profit sector, growing student debt, and a tendency towards contractual or unpaid labor without benefits, how can we reimagine the current systems in place so that they are sustainable for everyone?

With this in mind, we will brainstorm both possible immediate and long-term alternative models to the current market economy and structures that can benefit the entire community. We encourage participants to come with questions and ideas of how we can collectively transform predominant capitalist hierarchies into economies where everyone has a fair opportunity to benefit and have an equal voice. Although we will be using examples based on experiences living in New York City, we hope this session will be applicable to those across the world. All ideas of the alternative are welcomed, from the small to radical change…

For the first portion of the session, the group will start with the following exercise to familiarize ourselves with different kinds of alternative economic models:
Stepping Stones to Creating a Solidarity Economy. Center for Popular Economics, 2004. (Collected and distributed under the CreativeCommons license courtesy of the US Solidarity Economy)

Introduction to the spaces we are visiting:
The Base (pamphlet)
Woodbine 1882

Readings (click on the link to view PDF):
Excerpts from Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture and Action.” Vol. 1 No. 1, Winter 2007. Richard J.F. Day and Sarita Srivastava:

     ‘Voices of Autonomy.’ Enda Brophy, pp. 2-4.
     ‘Latin America’s Autonomous Organizing.’ Marie Trigona, pp. 107-114.
     ‘A Window Onto Italy’s Social Centres.’ (Articles and Interview). Steve Wright
(trans.), pp. 12-20.

Additional Resources:
Examples of Participatory Budgeting from the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP).
Innovative Cultural Uses of Urban Space Series, NOCD-NY, 2012.
“Solidarity as a Business Model: A Multi-Stakeholder Cooperatives Manual.” Cooperative Development Center, Kent State University.
“What do We Do Now?” NYC Resource Guide by Alternative Economies, 2012.
Solidarity NYC

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Part of the collaborative summer series:
Alternative To What? Alternative Art Economies Summer Sessions July–August, 2014

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