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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Post-Capitalism: Rise Of The Collaborative Commons

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Ironically, the operating principles of the capitalist marketplace are bringing us ever closer to this very state, while simultaneously the relevance of the competitive market is progressively undermined by the same emerging paradigm. Capitalist logic dictates that the entrepreneurial spirit of a competitive market will continually drive productivity increases and marginal cost decreases. Marginal cost — the cost of producing additional units of product — is the focus, as this is where entrepreneurs and businesses make their profits in a market-exchange economy (at the margin); and when marginal cost approaches zero, so too does profit. The effects of near zero marginal cost can already be seen wreaking havoc across several media industries such as entertainment, communications and publishing, as more and more content continues to be shared and made freely available across digital, collaborative networks.

A Complete Urban Farm In A Shipping Container

Freight Farms shipping container farming system

The Freight Farms design is based on a conventional insulated shipping container measuring 40′ x 8′ (~12.2m x 2.4m), but are extensively retrofitted to serve as a micro-farm that can grow some 4,500 plants at a time. The rows of plants are grown vertically, with the LED lighting strips between them delivering “the optimal wavelengths for uniform plant growth” and the hydroponic system supplying the nutrients that the plants need, directly to their roots, using 90% less water than conventional growing does. And not only do the units grow mature crops, but the LGM also integrates a dedicated germination and seedling station (also using LED lighting and hydroponic irrigation) that can handle up to 2500 plant starts, which then get planted into the growing towers a few weeks after sprouting. This aspect of the LGM is probably one of the most essential elements for a production farm, and one that isn’t so obvious to non-farmers, as it enables the growers to start seeds and continuously feed those seedlings into the system for regular harvests, all within the walls of the shipping container.

And Other Dangerous Thoughts, Part II

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All we lack is the confidence to see beyond the constraints of the present story. And we start by asking the hard questions we have been told not to ask. People around the world are beginning to do just this. They are rising up in response to our civilization’s crisis – from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring, from protests in Brazil to the Chilean Winter, from the Zapatistas in Mexico to the student uprising in Quebec, from the Idle No More Indigenous People’s movement to Transition Towns around the world. These are all expressions of a new world that is possible. They are signs of great hope for us all. The world is beginning to heal, but we can take it farther, faster.

Artist Creates Tank That Gives Away Free Books

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Imagine walking down the street and being confronted by a massive war tank… fully loaded with a library full of books. It’s knowledge being given away in the most inventive way possible, and it’s all thanks to eccentric Brazilian artist, Raul Lemesoff. His mission? To “battle ignorance and spread knowledge.” The “Weapon Of Mass Instruction” (Arma de Instruccion Masiva) was created by converting a 1979 Ford Flacom into a bizarre tank-like vehicle complete with a swiveling turret, a non-functioning gun, and space to store about 900 books – inside and outside of the vehicle. Featured MyModernMet, it sure is one of the best uses of a war-like machine we’ve ever seen. Lemesoff drives though the streets of Buenos Aires and delivers books to young and old alike. His only demand? That they promise to read what he’s given them.

Capitalism Is Just A Story And Other Dangerous Thoughts, Part I

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Our system of modern capitalism is just one story; it is not the only one there is. It’s not inherent within us. It isn’t some inevitable expression of predefined Human Nature. It was invented by human beings and so human beings can change it. But in order to get there, we first have to engage in some “dangerous thinking.” Those in power have always told us to beware of ideology. There is a strong inference that it represents a warping of our pragmatic ability to get things done by whatever means necessary. But that’s just plain wrong. And a necessary distraction, of course. Ideology is the set of ideas and ideals we all must hold to operate in the world. It is not a weakness of those who don’t agree with us.

Thoughts On Reclaiming Space As Resistance

Photo Courtesy of the Toledo Blade

While our acts of resistance via catapulting our bodies into trees, in front of bulldozers, or onto the streets—screaming with dozens of others—does much to assert our ideology and desires in many realms—I find it more than worthwhile to acknowledge all those others who are also actively responding to oppression in all forms imposed on us by capitalism via creating alternative spaces, reoccupying land, or by generally taking back skills we’ve lost as urbanites and empowering themselves to create a world, presently, in which they’d like to see and share. It seems there are so many of us who subscribe to similar visions of a post-capitalistic world, and yet it seems that action or conversation on that behalf is oftentimes lacking in our circles.Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 9.03.11 AM

Wave Of Disruption Sweeping In To Challenge Neoliberalism

Participants in Seoul’s Kimchi Making & Sharing Festival, November 2014. Photograph: Robert Cicchetti/Alamy

I have always been attracted to the notion that disruption to powerful systems comes not from the heart of the empire, but from the margins. This idea first fired my imagination while I was learning about the role of the monasteries of the early Celtic church, located on the wild and windswept fringes of western Europe, in reseeding the continent with art, literacy and a love of learning that had been eclipsed by the dark ages. Today, I sense a similar wave of disruption sweeping in from various marginal corners of our globalised system, a mosaic of localised responses weaving into what begins to look like a new narrative to challenge the dominant neoliberal hegemony.

Spain: Popular Initiative For Basic Income Has 185,000 Signatures

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For the past year, a grassroots movement in Spain has been very actively campaigning for the introduction of a basic income by means of a national popular legislative initiative (ILP). Thanks to the efforts of a growing number of basic income supporters, approximately 185,000 signatures were collected – less than the threshold of 500,000 signatures required for the initiative to be examined by the national parliament. The exact number of signatures still have to be counted by national authorities after a validation check. Although the number of signatures collected is considered lower than hoped – organisers said the campaign contributed significantly to spreading the idea of basic income across Spain.

France: New Rooftops Must Be Covered In Plants, Solar Panels

Solar panels in Crucey-Villages, central France, part of the building site of a photovoltaic park built by French Energy Giant EDF. New legislations forces all new commercial zone buildings to have panels or plants on top. Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday. Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favouring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say. The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French environmental activists to make green roofs that cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings.

German Couple Pay Greece £630 ‘War Reparations’

The centre of the old town of Nafplio. The couple made calculations and said each German owed €875, the mayor said. Photograph by Alamy

A German couple visiting Greece walked into a town hall and handed over €875 (£630, approximately $1,000) in what they said were second world war reparations. Dimitris Kotsouros, the mayor of Nafplio, a seaport in the Peloponnese, said: “They came to my office yesterday morning, saying they wanted to make up for their government’s attitude. They made their calculations and said each German owed €875 for what Greece had to pay during world war two.” The mayor of the historic town where the tourists deposited their cheque said the money had since been donated to a local charity. The couple chose his town “because it was the first capital of Greece in the 19th century”, he added. Greek media reports named the pair as Ludwig Zacaro and Nina Lahge. They say Zacaro is retired and Lahge works a 30-hour week. They did not have enough money to pay for two, one paper said.

Research: Rooftop Solar Is Simple, Local Solution

Edward Boghosian, Patrick Aziz,

A Stanford University study published earlier this week found that utility-scale solar development built alongside existing infrastructure, on rooftops or in backyards, may be more than enough to power whole communities. The research, published in Nature Climate Change, modeled land-use efficiency in California, a global solar energy hotspot. The study examined how urban areas could be made more efficient by developing more localized sources for renewable energy. “The quantity of accessible energy potentially produced from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) within the built environment exceeds current statewide demand,” the study found. “Our results show that we do not need to trade these places of environmental value for the production of renewable energy as ample land and space exists elsewhere,” said Rebecca Hernandez, study lead author and an environmental earth system scientist at Stanford. “Additionally, developing renewable power generation in places close to where it is consumed reduces costs and loss of electricity associated with transmission.”

Urban Farmers Want To Feed Whole Neighborhood For Free

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Seattle, WA – The Beacon Food Forest is giving away dozens of strawberry plants. For free. It’s a drizzly, chilly, gray Saturday, typical of January in Seattle. In just a few hours, the Seahawks will host the Packers for the NFC Championship. While the rest of the city slugs its first tailgate beer of what will become an epic afternoon of football, 60 or so unpaid farmhands are hard at work. They wheelbarrow wood chips, prune pear trees, and remove invasive species from the hillside urban garden, preparing it for spring. Some are uprooting the profusion of propagating strawberry plants that are taking over pathways and smothering other ground-cover herbage (hence the gratis strawberry plants).

Seed Libraries Fight For The Right To Share

Amid government crackdown, seed libraries expand biodiversity and food access. Photo: Betsy Goodman of the Common Soil Seed Library. Credit: Associated Press

It’s easy to take seeds for granted. Tiny dry pods hidden in packets and sacks, they make a brief appearance as gardeners and farmers collect them for future planting then later drop them into soil. They are not “what’s for dinner,” yet without them there would be no dinner. Seeds are the forgotten heroes of food—and of life itself. Sharing these wellsprings of sustenance may sound innocuous enough, yet this increasingly popular exchange—and wider seed access—is up against a host of legal and economic obstacles. The players in this surreal saga, wherein the mere sharing of seeds is under attack, range from agriculture officials interpreting seed laws, to powerful corporations expanding their proprietary and market control.

Oregon Is First State To Adopt Automatic Voter Registration

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown holds up an automatic voter registration bill after signing it, Monday, March 16, 2015, in Salem, Ore. Seventeen years after Oregon decided to become the first state in the nation to hold all elections by mail ballot, it is taking another pioneering step to encourage more people to cast ballots, by automatically registering them to vote. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Seventeen years after Oregon decided to become the first state to hold all elections with mail-in ballots, it took another pioneering step on Monday to broaden participation by automatically registering people to vote. Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill that puts the burden of registration on the state instead of voters. Under the legislation, every adult citizen in Oregon who has interacted with the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division since 2013 but hasn’t registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail at least 20 days before the next statewide election. The measure is expected to add about 300,000 new voters to the rolls. “It just changes expectations for who’s responsible for making elections work,” said Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and director of the Elections Research Center.

Democracy In The Digital Era

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We live in remarkable, transformative times. We have the library of Alexandria at our fingertips; all the recorded knowledge of the world is being digitized and made available through the Internet Archive, a free, non-profit digital library offering universal access to books, music, knowledge, news and web pages.1 None of this will help us, however, if we don’t know how to apply wisdom to this vast knowledge. The problems we face often feel monumental, almost impossible to solve. I am from the generation that lived under the shadow of possible nuclear war and the end of life on this planet. That risk is still there but others threaten the planet in a far more tangible way today – such as global warming and the monumental scale of environmental destruction. Meanwhile, our democratic models are hollow and crumbling at an alarming rate as we move further into a new era of complexity, technology and interconnectivity.