Along with direct action and other forms of resistance, a successful movement must also build new institutions based on solidarity, justice and cooperation. From small, worker-owned cooperatives to national advocacy groups, hundreds of thousands of people around the country are working to create democratic and sustainable systems that meet the basic needs of all people. Below are some organizations, tools and other resources to help you get involved creating a new world.

Featured Video:The video to the right is the trailer for the new film, Fixing the Future, highlighting effective, local practices such as community banking, worker cooperatives, local currencies and more.

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Recent Articles in Create!

We The People Have A Few New Ideas About Governance

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It might surprise you to know that most states do not emphasize civic education, which includes learning about citizenship, law, and governance. So it is not surprising many US citizens believe government is something far removed from ‘real life’. Even some of the Founding Fathers said ‘common man’ couldn’t be trusted to run the country. Somewhere along the line, the governance of We the People became the domain of They the Few. We the People are not satisfied. Many have lost confidence in the national political process and are appalled at the wars waged in our names, at the broken justice system, our horrendous record on the environment, the lack of respect for teachers, and so on. That does not mean we have lost our faith in governance.

Only Agroecology Can Tackle The Global Food & Health Crisis

This colorful 'beetle bank' at Sandy Lane Organic Farm provides a haven for beneficial insects: pollinators and predators of pest species. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, England.

The current global food crisis is simple and complex at the same time. Simple because all we need is sufficient, healthy food to eat and to share, for our medicine and to commune with nature, simple because it’s technically possible to have an abundance of healthy food. Yet we have made it a complex issue. We overeat, we don’t have enough to eat, we sell and buy cheap ‘food like substances’ whilst watching the rich and famous – who we aspire to – choosing not to eat these foods. We mechanise farms to reduce labour costs, we worry about the lack of rural jobs, and we go to gyms for exercise, fuelled by sugary ‘energy drinks’. We refine carbohydrates and become addicted to them yet we apply no regulation to manufacturing or accessing these ‘drugs’, we overeat again …

The ‘Corinthian 15′ Take A Stand By Calling A Student Loan Strike

(Image: Debt Collective)

Many students graduating from universities face a mountain of student loans so large, escaping its shadow seems almost impossible. But a group of former students today is taking matters into their own hands. With the help of Rolling Jubilee, a campaign that purchases student loan debt and then forgives it, 15 graduates of Corinthian College are starting a student debt strike by refusing to pay their loans. The united former students, calling themselves the Corinthian 15, are fed up with colleges, especially for-profit colleges, that take advantage of students who are simply seeking an education. The strike is the first time a group has come together to collectively refuse to pay federal student loans.

West Virginians Look Toward The Sun: No To Coal, Fracking

Evell Meade of Kermit, W.Va., Greg Dotson of Parkersburg, W.Va. and Mark Hunt of Charleston, W.Va., from left to right, carry a solar panel into a doctor’s office in Williamson, W.Va. A group devoted to creating alternative energy jobs in Central Appalachia is building a first for West Virginia’s southern coalfields region this week:  a rooftop solar array, assembled by unemployed and underemployed coal miners and contractors. Photo: Jeff Gentner/AP

At just 9.70 cents per kilowatt hour, West Virginians pay the third-lowest electricity rates in the nation. Yet they don’t enjoy the nation’s lowest electricity bills, and they’re not likely to in the future, either. Indeed, from 2007 to 2011, electricity rates jumped an average of 50 percent across the state. And on Feb. 3, the state’s Public Service Commission approved another rate increase for Mon Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries operating under the Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. Together, these subsidiaries serve over 520,500 customers in 34 counties and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. This latest hike is “just 7.4 percent more reason to go solar,” according to Joey James’ reading of the document from the commission.

Electrified Rail One Of Best Clean Transport Options

Electric locomotives under the wires in Sweden. Henrik Sendelbach

Electrified Rail offers one of the best options to provide transportation powered by renewable energy. This meets one of the largest challenges to transitioning from fossil fuels, clean mobility. Following is an excerpt from an upcoming paper on Solutionary Rail, a Backbone Campaign effort to promote renewable-powered electrified rail for freight and passengers. This excerpt explores the tremendous carbon pollution reductions offered by shifting freight from trucks to trains. Solutionary Rail will be focused in several upcoming events, a teach-in this coming Saturday, Feb. 21 in Seattle, and two Future of Rail conferences cosponsored by Backbone and Railroad Workers United In Olympia, Washington and Richmond, California.

Participatory Democracy In El Salvador

Estela Hernandez, congresswoman, social movement leader, and radical democracy advocate.

It is completely rooted in the people. There is a lot of wisdom in people, and so what leaders have to do is be with the people, listen to the people, and address the issues that the people raise, because together, we collectively build the alternatives that actually work. Anything that is done from an office is not going to coincide with reality. So we’re building from the people up. That characterizes the organization where I received my education, La Coordinadora. Our strategic development plans arise from huge assemblies. We can spend up to six months building our strategies, because we need input from all sectors and communities. This plan must work out for us, but it’s also important that it is taken up at the national governmental level, to inform the administration’s five-year plan.

Winery Transforming Cleveland’s Most Notorious Neighborhood

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Chateau Hough’s grapes may be grown on the terroir of a former crack house that Frazier had the city tear down, but his process is not much different than that of many upstart winemakers today. His right-hand man at Chateau Hough is Manny Calto, an Italian-American construction broker and streetwise former Teamsters official who resembles a bald Buddha in Crocs and learned about wine by supplying Ohio’s vineyards with labor crews, often ex-offenders. Calto first heard about the vineyard from a pamphlet Frazier had distributed to churches. “I thought, ‘Chateau Hough, what is this, a rib joint?’” Calto says. The two became fast friends. Calto walks the vines with Frazier regularly, helping him research techniques and troubleshoot problems.

Municipal Broadband & The Fight For Local Internet

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A large and growing portion of small businesses rely on a high-quality Internet connection for essential operations, but lack of competition and choice among broadband providers has forced many businesses — and most Americans — to choose between inferior service or exorbitant prices. Federal Communications Chair Tom Wheeler says the vast majority of the country has only a company providing Internet access above 25 Mbps, what he called “table stakes” for today’s economy. Often responding to local business concerns, many local governments have been investing in fiber optic networks or partnering with independent firms to create real choice among Internet providers.

Fuel For Change: The Biodiesel Alternative

Keep on truckin’: Bronx-based Tri-State Biodiesel makes a heating fuel delivery. Photo: Tri-State Biodiesel

When the biodiesel fuel truck parks in front of the 12-story, 120,000-square-foot office building on West 20th Street, it draws attention from superintendents in the surrounding buildings. For a little more than a year, the building has been heated with pure biodiesel, a clean-burning, non-hazardous, organic fuel that can be made from plant-based products such as soy, corn, canola and even recycled cooking oil, an abundant resource in New York City. Lappin began exploring biodiesel as an alternative to conventional heating oil after the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is headquartered in the upper floors of the building, asked the property’s management company to make the switch.

The Birth Of Digital Indy Media

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In his new book, Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left, Todd Wolfsondetails the birth of “indymedia,” an alternative online media source, at the landmark 1999 WTO protest in Seattle. He traces its growth from a single media center and website to a global network, with activists from Seoul to Sao Paulo building satellite sites around the indymedia hub. The Cyber Left, contrasted with the Old and New Left, drew much of its organizing philosophy from the Zapatistas, who remarkably used media as a political tool and adopted a “horizontal” or leaderless approach to organization, in which networking was paramount and hierarchy shunned.

First Country In The World Divests From Fossil Fuels

“Norway made all its money on oil, but now it’s dumping its fossil fuel stocks. It’s the Rockefeller of countries,” said Bill McKibben. Photo credit: Fossil Free

Back in 2012, Bill McKibben with fellow activists including Naomi Klein, Winona LaDuke, Josh Fox and Reverend Lennox Yearwood began a nationwide tour to promotefossil fuel divestment—that is, selling off your shares in fossil fuel companies–in an effort to combat climate change. With action in Congress impossible, McKibben saw college campuses—known for being laboratories of democracy—as ground zero in the campaign for divestment. With his ‘Do the Math’ campaign in sold-out concert halls across America, McKibben and others were able to launch Fossil Free, an international network of divestment campaigns. It’s a project of the larger organization 350.org. Flash forward three years and the movement has made impressive strides.

Radical Farmers Use Fresh Food To Fight The New Jim Crow

Two participants in Project Growth and Soul Fire Farm's manager, Jonah Vitale-Wolff, admire vegetables they harvested and prepared for lunch. Photo by Leah Penniman.

In August, five young men showed up at Soul Fire Farm, a sustainable farm near Albany, New York, where I work as educator and food justice coordinator. It was the first day of a new restorative justice program, in partnership with the county’s Department of Law. The teens had been convicted of theft, and, as an alternative to incarceration, chose this opportunity to earn money to pay back their victims while gaining farm skills. They looked wary and unprepared, with gleaming sneakers and averted eyes. “I basically expected it to be like slavery, but it would be better than jail,” said a young man named Asan. “It was different though. We got paid and we got to bring food home. The farmers there are black like us, which I did not expect.”

Doctor’s Group Hails Re-Introduction Of ‘Medicare For All’ Bill

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A national physicians group today hailed the reintroduction of a federal bill that would upgrade the Medicare program and swiftly expand it to cover the entire population. The “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” H.R. 676, introduced last night by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., with 44 other House members, would replace today’s welter of private health insurance companies with a single, streamlined public agency that would pay all medical claims, much like Medicare works for seniors today. Proponents say a Medicare-for-all system, also known as a single-payer system, would vastly simplify how the nation pays for care, improve patient health, restore free choice of physician, eliminate copays and deductibles, and yield substantial savings for individuals, families and the national economy.

Solar Village: First Community To Produce 4x More Energy Than Used

Solarschiff (Solar ship) in the residential area Solarsiedlung in Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany

After architect, Rolf Disch, built the Heliotrope (the first building in the world to capture more energy than it uses) he set his sights higher. He successfully created a retail, commercial and residential space called Sonnenschiff, translating to “Solar Ship,” that was energy net-positive in 2004. The building was a hit, and over the following years 60 more residential buildings have been constructed surrounding the solar ship, all with energy positive electrical systems. Today the village, dubbed Solarsiedlung (Solar Village), is producing 4x more energy than it consumes. Solarsiedlung is located in Freidburg, Germany, which is known as the ecological capital of the country. It is the home of Europe’s largest solar research center.

Greece’s Solidarity Movement: ‘It’s A New Model – & It’s Working’

Soup kitchen volunteers serve food in Athens. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

“A long time ago, when I was a student,” said Olga Kesidou, sunk low in the single, somewhat clapped-out sofa of the waiting room at the Peristeri Solidarity Clinic, “I’d see myself volunteering. You know, in Africa somewhere, treating sick people in a poor developing country. I never once imagined I’d be doing it in a suburb of Athens.” Few in Greece, even five years ago, would have imagined their recession- and austerity-ravaged country as it is now: 1.3 million people – 26% of the workforce – without a job (and most of them without benefits); wages down by 38% on 2009, pensions by 45%, GDP by a quarter; 18% of the country’s population unable to meet their food needs; 32% below the poverty line. And just under 3.1 million people, 33% of the population, without national health insurance.