The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


Leave a comment

Alternative Economy Promotes Gender Equality in Northern Syria

There is so little positive news coming out of Syria these days that I was surprised and heartened when I found this article published in Kurdishquestion.com.  Although it specifically covers the efforts in Rojava, a region in Northern Syria, to establish grassroots assemblies and cooperatives, it speaks to the larger question of how to democratise all sectors of society, including the economy.  For example, local cooperatives provide:

 …alternative means and avenues that allow traditionally marginalised groups such as women to actively participate and engage with the market…Further, this alternative model allows society to bring the lived experiences of democracy to the grassroots level by devolving and disempowering the capacity of the state to control and direct the market. But cooperatives allow the community to create jobs on the local level, produce locally sourced and generated products, create jobs that do not require specialised skills and allows unskilled workers to gain skills and access to the market.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

This Week’s New Economy News

There are a lot of interesting and exciting things happening on the new economy front this week.  This from New Zealand:

Jan. 24 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s top 30 cooperatives contribute more than $42.3 billion per annum to the economy in revenue, a new report has found.

The report, by industry body Cooperative Business New Zealand and researchers from Massey University and Auckland University, shows the top cooperatives and mutuals have a revenue-to-gross domestic product ratio of 17.5 percent. The data “confirms the importance of the cooperative business model to New Zealand as a country,” said Cooperative Business chief executive Craig Presland. A total of 1.4 million New Zealanders are members of cooperatives.

Yes! Magazine, always a great source for news regarding the new economy has an on-going series exploring innovative local solutions to business problems state-by-state.

In 2009, United Steelworkers … met with representatives from Spain-based Mondragon, the world’s largest worker cooperative, to develop a plan for industrial steel workers to transition into worker-ownership. Cooperatives, they believed, would put more power in the hands of workers.

The partnership sparked an idea with labor organizers in Cincinnati. And in 2012, labor representatives founded the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI), a union co-op incubator that nurtures startups, aiming to create an integrated network of union co-ops that sustain and support each other.

Another interesting concept is Platform Cooperatives:

‘Just like traditional co-ops, platform co-ops are organisations that are owned and managed by their members,’ says the Open Co-op’s Oliver Sylvester-Bradley. ‘While traditional co-ops are normally based around a physical community of members, platform co-ops live online and are normally populated by online communities of members.’

If you are interested and can attend, Open 2017: Platform Cooperatives will be holding a conference in the UK on Platform Cooperatives.  The dates are February 16th and 17th. Organizers of the event promise a gathering of “thinkers, practitioners and new ideas around the digital economy.”

To find out more about the event, and for the full programe, visit 2017.open.coop


Leave a comment

Natural Dyes Save Lives

Conventional textile manufacturing is poisonous to its workers and to the land, but there are alternatives.

A new crop of small businesses is investing in organic farming, natural dyes and a transparent supply chain that encourages shoppers to think about the effect of their purchases — and they’re selling their products online and in a small but growing number of US stores, from small trendy boutiques to Target.

These include Colorado-based PACT, which makes underwear and loungewear from all-organic cotton; New Jersey-based Boll and Branch, which sells organic-cotton bedsheets, blankets and towels, and two companies based in Los Angeles — Jungmaven, a hemp and organic-cotton T-shirt company, and Industry of All Nations, whose clothes are made with natural dyes and fibres from around the world.

Visit Gulfnews.com to learn more about the businesses using natural, sustainable textiles to produce their goods..


Leave a comment

Sikkim first fully organic state in India

Sikkim celebrates acheiving the status of the first fully organic state in India.  According to The Indian Express the plan was first proposed in 2003.  It took 13 years to convert 75,000 hectares (over 185,300 acres) to certified organic agricultural land.  It is also judged to be the cleanest state and best in education as well as a top tourist destination.

Sikkim Organic Day was observed at Saramsa Gardens on Wednesday. The day marks Sikkim being declared as the first organic state in India by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi last year.

While speaking at the function, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, said, “I am hopeful that organic farming will be practised by the Sikkimese people in all generations to come.”

Chamling further spoke on the importance of organic farming and how it could be a rewarding profession. “This kind of farming also leads to healthy soil, good health and healthy environment. Being totally organic does not only make farming an attractive profession, but also gives a clear message to the world that organic farming and chemical free agriculture is the only way to healthy living.”


Leave a comment

Unravel Documentary

This is the final resting place of your cast-off clothing

When people in the West throw their clothes away, their cast-offs often go on a journey east, across the oceans, to India’s industrial interior. From the Kutch District of western India to the northern city of Panipat, garment recyclers turn into yarn the huge bales of clothes that come from people and places distinctly strange. With little exposure to Western culture other than the Discovery Channel, the garment recyclers rely on their imagination and the rumours that travel with the cast-offs to create an an intriguing perspective on the West.

Director: Meghna Gupta

Producer: Meghna Gupta, Gigi Berardi

  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License


Leave a comment

Balinese School Provides Organic Diet to Autistic Students

I wish I could follow this story over time.  I’d be interested to see what kind of impact feeding only organic food to children with autism and other diabilities has in the long run.  From the article, in TheJakartaPost, it appears there are many other factors, employed by the school, that contribute to the positive outcomes reported here.

Today Yayasan Widya Guna provides daily schooling to over 100 students, both disabled and non-disabled. Besides providing English, exercise and art classes to the children, it also teaches organic farming and promotes a healthy diet among students.

“We’ve received lots of information suggesting that poor nutrition is a factor in developing autism,” said Sri Wahyuni. “Many people who visit want to offer candy to the children, but we don’t allow it.”

The foundation serves meals with lots of vegetables, and tries to not include too many fried foods. Sri Wahyuni says that kids who used to catch colds and the flu rarely fall sick these days. A student with epilepsy, whose parents complained was having three seizures a day, has stopped having seizures completely since he started attending the yayasan.