Categories
Art & Craft Education Projects & Ideas

OurGoods

With a little help of your friends, so it goes the song. And it also seems to be the motto of OurGoods, a peer to peer social network that puts in contact people with a “have” with people with a “need”. It also provides the tools to facilitate the bartering between people. The project is intended to be used primarily by artists, with the aim to support that community in times of economic pressure, when resources are scarce.

OurGoods supports the production of new work through barter, because resource sharing is the paradigm of the 21st century. OurGoods is a scaleable, local initiative and part of the growing landscape of alternative models of exchange in art, design, and culture. OurGoods is specifically dedicated to the barter of creative skills, spaces, and objects. OurGoods helps independent projects get done.

The bartering platform is currently being tested as an aplha version, restricted to New York City only, but as the project matures, it will allow participation from people from outside the arts community and from other locations around the world to form local exchange networks.

One of the interesting peculiarities of the project is that it forbids the participation of organizations, requiring you to participate as an individual.

The starting point of the OurGoods project was the Trade School, in which you could register for classes in a range of different subjects, as long as you provided something (a service, a good, a space) to the teacher in return. The Trade School is scheduled for a re-opening in September.

You can find out more on OurGoods in this presentation or ask here for an invite code to participate in the beta.

Categories
Environment Projects & Ideas

Guerrilla Gardening

When your city council neglects to take care of the public green spaces in your city, who you gonna call? Not the city council gardeners, but your own neighbours and friends.

Guerrilla Gardening is a loose network of local groups that want to regain control of the public space, and more precisely, of the green spots in our cities, from the institutions. The act of citizens looking after their own green spaces fosters consciousness of public spaces, improves their involvement in city matters, and of course, makes better looking gardens. And maybe some vegetables and fruits for tasty victories over concrete and ugliness.

Guerrilla Gardening

In the Guerrilla Gardening website you can find a community posting board with local groups in your country, with sub-boards for states and cities. If your country or city is not listed, you can send an email to open up a new board and start organizing a local Guerrilla Gardening group.

The Guerrilla Gardening groups are totally independent from each other, there is no central organization nor do you need to affilliate or even sign up to the website. You can just set up your own website to organize your community, as this group in Madrid has done (weird copyright legal notice and all).

Categories
Environment Production Projects & Ideas

Open Source Ecology

Open Source Ecology is a movement dedicated to collaboratively build open source tools for communities who want to be independent of global supply chains, human exploitation, and environmental degradation, creating infrastructure for local technological agricultural self sufficiency.

We are farmer scientists – working to develop a world class research center for decentralization technologies using open source permaculture and technology to work together for providing basic needs and self replicating the entire operation at the cost of scrap metal. We seek societal transformation through interconnected self-sufficient villages and homes. This is a stepping stone to transcending survival and evolving to freedom.

For three years they have been taking their theory into practice in the Factor e Farm, in the fields of Missouri.

Take a look at their blog and their wiki for more info, and find out how you can support them.

Categories
Unrest

Sourcemap

Cartography has been always one of the prime tools for control and domination, because of his apparent truthfulness, like media. Those who make a map also decide where the borders lay, what is the name of everything, how to represent other countries, or their own (bigger, greenier), etc.

For this very same reason, cartography has also been used as an activist tool, way before Google Maps was invented, but the recent trend in mapping and data visualization has meant an increment in the use of cartography as a mean to represent reality from a radical stance.

Surveillance camera maps and other countless mashups of economic and geographic data are now joined by Sourcemap. The project taps into the local consumption angle and sustainability that we have covered here before, and wants to show in a map the supply chain for a given product, calculating the carbon footprint of producing and delivering that product.

Sourcemap is a platform that enables users to contribute to and share ideas about sustainability. Whether you are inviting people to an event, buying ingredients for a recipe, or designing a product, your choices have a significant impact. Some decisions have impacts that stretch across the world, whereas others are entirely regional. Understanding the reach of our actions and facilitating positive change is fundamental to improving economic, social, and environmental conditions.

Sourcemap, sponsored by the MIT Medialab is looking for volunteers.

Categories
Production Projects & Ideas

Local Food Systems

There has been a lot of debate lately on the issue of regenerating local economies and production, instead of relying on globalized, delocalized products. This has even spawned new social consuming trends, like the localvores, people committed to consume only locally produced food. Farmers also are eager to revitalize local production, consumption and networks, to strengthen their economy, reduce their carbon-footprint and depend on less mediators to reach consumers.

Local Food Systems is one of this networks, located mainly in the american states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. They state:

  1. We have the people, land and climate needed to produce fresh, affordable, and healthy food.
  2. Our growing community of producers and consumers can create strong local food systems, reduce use of fossil fuels, and create businesses and jobs.
  3. Vibrant local and regional agriculture generates wealth in communities, establishes healthy environments for families, and enhances quality of life for all.