The neighbourhood as a commons

The Day of the Good Life as a catalyst for an urban transformation towards sustainability

What would our cities look like if they were designed and governed bottom-up, by the citizens themselves, as commons? If such an idea does not reflect the reality of an entire city 365 days a year, then we could start with one day a year in one neighbourhood. This is the core of the approach to transformation behind the Day of the Good Life, Tag des guten Lebens in German.

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Why we need to switch the story for the Great Transition to succeed

From a narrative of oppression to a story of human evolution

image of evolution of man from primates

I have been convening conversations about the role of activism in tackling the root causes of climate change, inequality etc. for more than ten years. During the last three years, the conversations in social justice and environmental activist spaces have changed considerably.

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The circular economy cannot achieve its aims without deeper system change

Since the Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 with the aim of popularising the idea of a circular economy, the concept has gained momentum from policy makers, businesses and NGOs.

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Unpicking the assumptions underneath our visions and theories of change

At Smart CSOs Lab we have started work on our Pathways to the Great Transition project. Part of this project is a research dialogue — we will engage researchers and practitioners on two guiding questions:

  1. The vision question (‘what’): Is there a puzzle of the new/next system emerging, and if so, what are some of the key elements?
  2. The strategies question (‘how’): Can we identify a number of promising pathways for activists and funders towards the Great Transition?

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the European flag as a puzzle with a piece of it missing

Make Europe Great Again

The more often you repeat something, the more likely it is that the idea sticks. For example, the most active ‘Feel the Bern’ supporters distributed thousands of messages describing Hillary Clinton as a neoliberal evil that had to be avoided at all costs. This seems to have influenced many of the millions of young activists who gathered around Bernie Sanders’ U.S. presidential candidacy.

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Reflections on the Degrowth Conference in Budapest

The signs from the Degrowth Conference have now been removed from the walls of the portentous building of Corvinus University, and the streets of Budapest emptied from the stalls and the babble of the Degrowth-Week.

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It’s the 500th anniversary of Utopia – what’s yours?

Four philosophers concluded that the concept of utopia is outdated. We don't agree. Do you? These days public debate is either rude and provocative or it is being censored and contrary opinions are shut down solely on moral grounds — social media being most affected by both extremes.

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