A monthly conversation with creative activists pioneering new forms of commoning.
Katherine Gibson and the Community Economies Research Network
With an international network of scholars known as CERN – the Community Economies Research Network – Katherine Gibson, a professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, Australia, has explored the possibilities of a post-capitalist future for more than thirty years. Community Economies scholars reject many premises of standard economics and instead shine a spotlight on actual, constructive nonmarket and local work unfolding everywhere – in care work, community life, cooperatives, gift economies, barter, online collaborations, vernacular culture, commoning, and many other generative forms of life.
Andreas Weber on Aliveness and Interdependence
Rejecting the standard neoDarwinist account of life as mechanical and objectifying, theoretical biologist and ecophilosopher Andreas Weber insists that science must study the subjective aliveness of organisms. While living beings certainly compete to survive, they also participate in symbiotic, relational webs of many other beings, each endowed with fierce creative agency. Weber argues that life itself amounts to a commons because living beings, working in distributed, bottom-up ways, are all struggling to co-evolve constructively with others and expand the fecundity of the whole system.
Jimmy Buff and the Radio Kingston Commons
Jimmy Buff, Executive Director of WKNY Radio in Kingston, NY, explains how he and a team of local talent converted an oldies-format AM radio station into a vibrant community broadcaster. The station features the usual blocs of rock, pop, and classical (with slots for polka and German music, too!), but also voices from the LGBTQ world, seniors, people of color, feminists, local artists, mindfulness practitioners, environmentalists, and businesspeople -- all with a local perspective..
Agrarian Trust, with Severine von Tscharner Fleming & Ian McSweeney
Severine von Tscharner Fleming is a young organic farmer who helped start Agrarian Trust, an organization supporting land access for the next generation of farmers. Ian McSweeney, the organizational director of Agrarian Trust, explains strategies for decommodifying land for farmers even as the pandemic drives up land prices. Also discussed: Greenhorns, a cultural network for young farmers; Farm Hack, a global design community for open source farm equipment; and Seaweed Commons, a network studying the stewardship of intertidal zones.
Dave Jacke on Ecological Design and Abundance
For Dave Jacke, a designer of ecological landscapes and lead author of the classic book 'Edible Forest Gardens,' the key to how humanity will navigate its future on Earth lies with our culture and "inner landscapes," as refracted through our technologies. Paradoxically, the extreme underdevelopment of Western culture, psychosocially, is a reason for hope, he argues. If humanity truly were advanced while facing so many planetary challenges, "we’d be screwed." Fortunately, we have so much room to grow in self-awareness, and ecological design can help us learn to co-evolve abundant landscapes once again.
Janelle Orsi and the Art of the Legal Hack
Janelle Orsi, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, in Oakland, California, is an accomplished practitioner of creative legal hacks. She and her colleagues at the Law Center focus on ingenious ways to decommodify land to keep housing and farmland affordable; to empower peer governance and give people control over their lives; and to provide legal structures that help people acquire greater security by "surrendering into each other's arms." Orsi and the Law Center are at the forefront of the kinds of innovative lawyering needed to build a more just, eco-friendly, localized and humane world.
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I heard of this podcast from the Ralph Nader radio and I must say this will be a must listen for my family and friends!!!