When the workers nearly took control: five lessons from the Lucas Plan

Back in the 1970s, with unemployment rising and British industry contracting, workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace came up with a pioneering plan to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. The ‘Lucas Plan’ remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers… Continue reading

Brianna Wettlaufer & Nuno Silva on Stocksy United

Creative workers in the so-called ‘passion industries’ are likely to have no control other their artistic work, experience precarity, and be poorly paid. While artist co-operatives have a long history, Stocksy, a multistakeholder co-operative, are combining an inclusive legal structure with a globally distributed membership. Jonny Gordon-Farleigh: Stocksy United is a stock photography multistakeholder co-operative launched… Continue reading

World Commons Week, October 4-12

Finally, a designated global event to celebrate the commons and explore it in serious ways! The International Association for the Study of the Commons – the academic body founded by the late Professor Elinor Ostrom and other scholars – is helping organize World Commons Week from October 4 to 12. At many locations around the world, commoners will host… Continue reading

Beyond Protest: Examining the Decide Madrid Platform for Public Engagement

Introduction Sam DeJohn: Recently, Pablo Soto Bravo, Madrid City Council Member, computer programmer and the city’s lead for public engagement, spoke at an event in New York on “Restoring Trust in Government” on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly. “Why should we trust government,” he asked, adding “the people don’t trust governments…they’re right not… Continue reading

Crowdfunding: New Economy Programme

We talk about making ‘communities stronger’ and creating a ‘fairer economy.’ But these approaches are still struggling to significantly impact our society and economy — 80% of the UK’s freelancers are living in poverty, Black African women earn 19.6% less than White British Men, 27 pubs are closing every week as part of a wider… Continue reading

Smart cities need thick data, not big data

In Barcelona, high-tech data platforms generate demand for old-fashioned community development. Adrian Smith: Residents living around Plaça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. Rain means fewer people gather to socialise and drink, reducing noise for the flats overlooking the square. Residents know this with considerable… Continue reading