Land, Cooperatives, Share Economies and the Commons (Video List)


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  1. Simran
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    This session at civic hall discusses issues of platform capitalism in which “sharing” platforms such as Uber and Airbnb are hijacking the co-operative movement. Rather than leading to millennials pairing down their lifestyles, the speaker argues that sharing economies are encouraging excess. Instead of desiring possession we are streaming our lives through this type of economy. This system is reinforcing us to think of ourselves as workers rather than imagine possibilities of being collective owners. Workers co-operatives are experiencing competition from these big companies and the normalisation of the gig economy. We must imagine alternatives, taking the emphasis away from “the economy” and instead centre people.

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  2. Simran
    1

    Essentially Nikolai Fuchs advocates for a version of the commons which will naturally preserve and protect soil fertility through the invested interest in the land. He argues that this actually comes from renting the land, rather than owning it which leads to it being treated as a tradable commodity and something to exploit. This is a hopeful model with lots of real successful examples, which challenge this idea of the “tragedy of the commons” in which humans are seen to be fundamentally selfish and unable to live in co-operation. In the commons created by GLS Treunhand, a German non-profit, the farmers decided that they would use organic agriculture, which was directly driven by this long term perspective as they were under less pressure to extract quickly from the land, and were more concerned with promoting soil fertility. These initiatives are much needed to remedy our increasingly industrialised monoculture form of agriculture, which is rapidly depleting our soils. I particularly found the relationships between soil and land to be important, with land being an extended dimension of the soil. He gives the shocking statistic that every year 24 billion tonnes of soil are lost, often through compaction and building development. Overall, from organisations buying land and giving it back to communities to have stakes in, Fuchs argues there will be much greater land stewardship and we can tackle soil degradation through the commons.

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  3. Simran
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    Melanie Shellito discusses the cooperative model and its success as an engine for social justice. In a market where farmers could not support themselves, she co-created a food co-op, demonstrating the strengths of this model in which communities own the resources of their communities. This has taken place in many towns and cities all over the world, building internal and local economies, providing secure jobs with fair wages. She encourages others to take part in these co-ops, voting with their money and fundamentally shifting this idea that the dominant economy is the only one. This approach really sparks hope that the wealth, land, and resources do not need to be hoarded by a minority of people and democratic systems of equality can and do successfully exist in a way which all members benefit.

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  4. Marcus
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  5. Marcus
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Marcus

I help to grow Vegan Permaculture.

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