Communities Rather Than Investors, Developing Rather Than Siphoning

Here’s a video that has a great brief explanation of how economics and power are interrelated in responding to the parable about teaching a man to fish.  As a suggestion off the back of this the article draws your attention to how a community can, through its governmental resources, enable an enterprise that benefits the community.  It does so through creating an investment cycle that cuts out any rentier investment entities (private investors who draw off the profits for themselves, meaning the money leaves the local community) and so passes financial benefits through members of that community (by giving them the opportunity and the profits in a more spread out way, making it more likely each will spend them within that community in some form).  This then serves to retain the benefits within the community and the extra income that is spent there offers opportunities for other people to develop other opportunities to the benefit of that community:



Chitsvachirimurutsoka Cooperative Farm

Chitsvachirimurutsoka (meaning nothing ventured nothing gained) farm in Zimbabwe has grown from a simple cooperative to playing a much larger role in supporting the local community through a number of initiatives and investments.  It’s development has included not only providing practical infrastructure (such as roads, sanitation, education, etc) for the local community but also encouragement to others to form cooperative models in different areas (such as housing, retail, savings, etc).  Within the video it’s revealed that there is a law in Zimbabwe that before a company folds it must offer the workers the opportunity to form a cooperative from it first, have a read/watch:

Sumak Kawsay / Buen Vivir (Living Well Together), Not “Development”

Here is a set of sources that speak of a way of thinking and living in relation to development that focuses on well balanced relations between people, and with nature as a whole (on the video you can skip to 9.35 for an explanation of what the term means).  It attempts to move away from a growth orientated extractive model, and more toward a participative model that emphasizes equality and sustainability for all those involved (not just people), as well as suggesting use of open knowledge models.  It focuses on understanding the individual as situated within the context of their community and environment rather than as distinct:

Global Village Construction Set

Here’s a 2 minute video about a project by Open Source Ecology, a group of farmers, engineers and architects to create a set of fifty different industrial machines that it takes to build a small civilisation with modern comforts, all rooted in open source design and aimed to build them at the cost of materials with zero waste:


Brazilian Landless Workers Movement

Here’s a video (and website) about a mass social movement that address the problem of power distribution inherent in the ownership of land.  The MST looks to create true citizenship through occupying land that is not productive for the population as a whole and reforming its use to work toward the benefit of the whole population.  At the same time they aim to empower those who are involved by involving them in an engaged process of discussion and political activism that raises their consciousness of a variety of issues so that they can become directly engaged in politics at a number of levels:

GreenWave Ocean Farming

In Long Island a network of cooperatives has been “3D Ocean Farming”: growing shellfish and seaweed for food, biofuel and fertiliser without using freshwater and other inputs, which makes it one of the most sustainable forms of food production in the world. In replicating this the potential is immense as a network of small farms the size of  the state of Washington state could feed the world, as biofuel replace all the oil in the US and simultaneously capture 5x the carbon of land-based plants:

Thunder Valley

This is a community that has decided to “take back control” through their grass roots organising, in a way that returns them to their cultural routes.  In looking to increase community/worker ownership through a regenerative community, it aims to create its own sustainable energy and through its own construction create its own jobs.  A great example of the power of the sociability of human nature in action:

The Solidarity Clinic, Thessalonika

Here’s  a really interesting health care clinic set up in Greece to help those without access to healthcare.  What is really interesting about this is the insistence that it is about “coming together” and realising our solidarity, where we are all on the same level.  The emphasis is really strong that it is not a charity, i.e. that it is not people at the top looking down and deciding to “help” those below them. Another great example of the best in humanity: