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Alternative economies

In a context of crisis and recession caracterised by increasing inequalities and precarisation of living condition, the need to change the way economy works is felt as being urgent for a growing part of the population. Local initiatives and global movements are proposing paths towards an economy that is more respectful of human dignity and the environment. One of the key point is to rethink exchanges in society and advance towards a more equal access to resources.

Image Picture by Ray

Below are listed examples of actions (in orange) and policies (in green) collected that design paths towards a new type of exchanges and access to resources.

Non-monetary exchanges

New systems have appear and develop in order to provide access to resources without using monetary exchanges.

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Author: Lorna - Published At: 2013-05-23 09:14 -

Local Exchange Trading Systems

Time Banks

Author: Lorna Muddiman - Published At: 2013-05-23 09:05 -

Time banking is a means of exchange in a community, where time, not money, is the principal currency.

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Sharing resources

In various fields and regions there are many ways in which resources – human, social, material, financial and cognitive – are wasted (including misuse, over‑exploitation and under‑utilisation). Sharing appears as a way to better use resources and also to provide access to them to a larger number of persons.

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Sharing a place to stay

Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-27 09:16 -

Worldwide, a variety of on-line platforms have been developed to facilitate the hosting of persons.

Sharing means of transportation

Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-27 08:30 -

All over Europe, citizens practice different ways of sharing means of transportation (cars, bikes, etc.) that facilitate access to mobility for everyone.


Author: Lorna Muddiman - Published At: 2013-05-23 15:36 -

Freeshops, Giveaway Shops, Umsonstladen, Weggeef Winkel etc. are stores where all goods are free. They propose new ways of accessing goods that are based on the sharing of resources and avoiding waste.

Community gardens

Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-14 13:27 -

Community gardens are those that are shared, cultivated and managed by a community of residents.

Cultivation and production on all terrain

Author: Anne-Iris Romens/ Lorna Muddiman - Published At: 2013-05-15 08:06 -

Particularly in the context of the present economic climate, initiatives are emerging in communities across Europe that involve the planting of any suitable piece of land and sharing the produce grown. The benefits of these kinds of movements are multi-fold.

Commonification of public services

“Commonification” of public services means first and foremost managing them in a not‑for‑profit‑oriented way, and therefore as commons to which each and every individual must be able to have equal access, regardless of his or her ability to pay. In other words, “commonifying” public services serve to satisfy essential needs and enable the full exercise of fundamental rights. But “commonification” also implies a process of democratising the management of commons.
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There is a need to create the right conditions that will enable the people concerned (regardless of social status) to take an active part in setting priorities and organising services. This gradual transformation process could be based on experimental models and should satisfy at least two requirements: first, that members of the public services’ board of directors include representatives of active citizens, people’s movements, NGOs and service staff; and second, that there are participatory forms of result evaluation.
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Civil Union for Energy Democracy - Bulgaria (CUED-BG)

Author: Maria Jeliazkova - Published At: 2013-08-14 09:58 -

Creation of a common structure, through which to combine the potential of citizens and experts, as well as the inclusion of the structure in a global network, to help address and solve the problems of growing energy poverty in Bulgaria in the last decade.


Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-22 15:32 -

Societal progress towards well-being of all

Relocalising economy

  • Community Supported Agriculture

The CSA initiatives consist in creating a direct link between consumers and producers, taking into account the environmental and social impact of the production process.

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Network of CSA initiatives : http://www.urgenci.net

Below are examples of types of actions (in orange) and policies (in green) that relate to CSA.

Sharing a building

Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-15 08:38 -

Shared housing experiences, such as neighbours living in the same building, may result in better organisation and sharing of resources, thus facilitating greater access to all involved. Take for example, the sharing of food through the establishment of a group-purchased building, or organising shared care of loved ones.

GAS (Gruppi di Aquisto Solidale)

Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-14 13:22 -

Most notably developed in Italy, GAS ("solidarity purchase groups") bring together consumers who wish to buy products as a collective from one or more producers.

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Separating income from work

Although the money that results from paid-work activities is still the main way of having access to resources in European societies, it is not the only path. Other initiatives and practices proposed different ways to access them.

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Introducing a basic income

Author: Anne-Iris Romens - Published At: 2013-05-16 14:15 -

The introduction of a basic income – now demanded by numerous movements in Europe – consists in a regular income paid by a political community to each of its members on an individual basis and unconditionally.

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All Examples of Action and Policies


Author: alessandra sciurba - Published At: 2013-08-30 08:47 -

Activities of Design / Recycling, with workshops and training courses aimed to act against waste and to develop income in the sector

Genuino Clandestino

Author: alessandra sciurba - Published At: 2013-08-30 08:34 -

Genuine Clandestino is a national campaign promoting the free processing of farm products considered "illegal" by Italian law, the “km zero” production and the ethically sustainable and direct sale of items.

ViviBalon Flea Market

Author: Alessandra Sciurba - Published At: 2013-07-31 14:50 -

Based on principles of solidarity and sharing: organisation and management of an old, important flea market that is run by a cultural association composed of Italian, migrant and Roma workers (about 300).


Author: Louise Hain - Published At: 2013-07-30 18:36 -

Crowdfunding is a participative financing tool relying on social networks and communities (online) where people collectively fund a specific project.

Released Ex-colorificio /Project Rebeldia

Author: alessandra sciurba - Published At: 2013-07-22 11:03 -

The Project Rebeldia, a social center which was for two years without a space to carry out its activities, together with the Municipality of the Commons (consisting of groups and citizens' associations that have always worked with the Project Rebeldia) occupied a former paint factory (Ex Colorificio), located in an industrial area of a multinational of about 14,000 metres, and which had been abandoned for 5 years. The main purpose of the occupation was to return it to the associations and citizen groups as a shared and common good; a place for the provision of many different activities and services to the city.

Favara Urban Network - F.U.N.

Author: alessandra sciurba - Published At: 2013-07-16 13:44 -

The non-profit Association Favara Urban Network is the laboratory for development of the City of Favara (AG). F.U.N. has the task of supporting, from a scientific and cultural point of view, the transformation processes of Favara and the metropolitan area.

Officine Zero

Author: alessandra sciurba - Published At: 2013-06-12 13:33 -

Conversion of an abandoned factory into a space for sustainable production, co-housing and co-working.

Bring and Fix

Author: Philippe Granger/Lorna Muddiman - Published At: 2013-06-04 07:39 -

Bring & Fix events are intergenerational community fairs where people share their skills and knowledge freely with each other to 'fix' problems (material and non-material), recycle and reduce waste. The aim is to stimulate sustainability and contribute towards generating resilient and empowered communities in the locality.

Time Banks

Author: Lorna Muddiman - Published At: 2013-05-23 09:05 -

Time banking is a means of exchange in a community, where time, not money, is the principal currency.

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Page last modified on Monday 27 of May, 2013 11:29:35 UTC
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