STIR Issue 07, Autumn 2014

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  • Commons Column: David Bollier reports the success of the 2011 occupation of the grand public theatre in Rome, Teatro Valle. After intense negotiations with the city government, it has been decided that the building would remain in public hands for 100 years, and a series of structural renovations would begin immediately.
  • Climate Column: John Stewart looks at the current airport protests, comparing them to the success of the 80’s anti-road protests to argue that “environmental organisations [need] to understand that they might be gaining a lot more ground than they have imagined.”
  • Dan Gregory opens the new issue with his article – There is No Such Thing as Capitalism – arguing that the majority of our needs and services are met through public, co-operative, voluntary and shadow economies not private markets. He claims this “knowledge can be a weapon with which to fight against the dominance of conventional business news on the radio, assumptions of TINA (There Is No Alternative) in politics, the laughable emphasis on GDP in economic commentary and so on.”
  • Interview: We talk to US co-operator and founder of the Democracy Collaborative, Gar Alperovitz, about the strength of the co-operative movement, how it needs to scale up, connect the economy with the movement and the success of the Evergreen model.
  • Brett Scott, author of the Heretics Guide to Global Finance, looks at the promise and problems of open source hacking culture. He also describes his plans for The School of Financial Arts as “a space with maps of global financial flows, libraries holding communal books, and rooms to design campaigns in. LSFA will be a place to explore the nature of money, host workshops, and build installation art, films and even phone apps that explore the financial system.”
  • Anna Laycock, of Ecology Building Society, argues that we need to stop the encroaching financialisation of our culture, to have non-financial values, and then make homo economicus an endangered species.
  • Sion Whellans of worker co-operative Calverts and co-founder of Principle 6, looks at the commons in the worksplace: Common Ownership. He takes a historical tour of the UK labour movement – through the Rochdale Pioneers to the Fabians – to understand different perspectives and the odd resistance to the idea of worker-ownership.
  • Bristol Cable Co-op is a newly forming citizen media co-operative in Bristol. As a blend of community action and journalism, The Bristol Cable is concerned with redefining local media through self-organisation, community ownership and local creation.
  • Annemarie Naylor writes about the Common Libraries initiative that aims to rethink and reform the library space for 21st Century, transforming passive consumers into co-producers of knowledge, ideas and social enterprise.
  • Tom Hirons demystifies acupuncture and shows at how it can be affordable and accessible with his new worker co-operative Source Point and Acupunk.
  • Dark Mountain’s Dougald Hine reviews storyteller Martin Shaw’s Snowy Tower and A Branch from the Lightning Tree, looking at how myth, wilderness and wildness should be part of our lives and not “sanitised, moralised and packed off to the nursery.”
  • The Funding Network’s Charlotte Milner-Barry explains how crowdfunding is democratising philantrophy with its inclusive and participatory approach to sourcing money for projects and business.
  • Rory Ridley-Duff presents Social Enterprise Europe’s FairShares Model, which “places more emphasis on a shared return and solidarity between stakeholders”.
  • Clare Milne writes on transformative collaboration and the problems experienced with the use of collective decision-making prcoess in recent social movements, as she prepares to lead a workshop at Ecodharma Centre, Catalunya, Spain.

And we have original artwork from Germán Gullón (cover), Luke Carter, Kathryn Corlett, Summer McClinton, Gemma Cotterell and Pete Osmond.