Vanuatu: Another kind of wealth

Published on Mar 21, 2016

In the language of modern economics, the small island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific is labeled one of the world’s ‘least developed countries’. At the same time, Vanuatu has ranked number one on the pioneering Happy Planet Index. This incongruity points to major issues with today’s standard measures of human progress, and has many policymakers rethinking notions of wealth and how they shape development policy.

Building Alternative Institutions in Greece

Since the beginning of the Greek financial crisis, both the Right and the Left have advanced a narrow set of narratives, policy possibilities, and even political actors. One movement that has largely remained outside of the discourse has been the solidarity economy movement. A key organization within the solidarity economy movement is Solidarity for All. Solidarity for All is an organization that offers technical support, capacity building, and network-scaling for the various grassroots initiatives around Greece.

In a 2014-2015 report entitled Building Hope: Against Fear and Devastation, Solidarity for All draws attention to “the devastating effects of the radical neoliberal experiment on Greek society.” The report also sets out to highlight “another experiment: that of Greek society taking action through self-organization and solidarity, of people standing up and resisting their economic and political ‘saviours.’” (more)

Berkeley Votes to Boost Co-op Economy in the Face of Gentrification

Arizmendi Bakery

In 1971, the owners of The Cheese Board turned their Berkeley, California, mom-and-pop shop into a co-op, where they became worker-owners alongside their former employees. Over the years, more co-ops branched out from the bakery, forming the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, a group of six bakeries and a development and support collective in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, The Cheese Board Collective, as it’s now called, has an espresso bar, a pizzeria, a menu of nearly 400 cheeses, and dozens of well-paying jobs.

Cathy Goldsmith has worked as a baker there for 21 years. Like the other worker-owners, she also has duties in human resources, accounts receivable, and community relations. She estimates that she makes about twice as much as she would make at other local bakeries where her responsibilities would be more limited.

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BUILDING ALTERNATIVES FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET: News and reports from the grassroots on worker and community coops, land trusts, participatory bufgeting and other explorations in mutual aid

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