Solidarity/New Economics Symposium

These seedlings will be planted in the garden soon!

The Monday program is starting to take shape!  This is going to be a high powered and dynamic day covering a wide range of topics about Solidarity/New Economics. We’ve got a range of presenters confirmed that we’re very excited about.  We’ll get to hear stories from the front lines by groups including The Baltimore Free Farm: a horizontally organized collective whose mission is to “create ecologically sound alternatives by combining the best of age-old and modern technologies,” in addition to promoting urban agriculture, creating community sanctuaries, and using reclaimed materials.  “By providing entertainment, educational opportunities, and ethically produced food to local residents, [they] hope to instill a sense of pride in one’s community and its ability to sustain itself.”

Casa Alma is the Charlottesville Catholic Worker Community and sustainable living center. They have 3 houses, including two hospitality houses for folks in need, as well as a robustly permacultured yard with vegetable gardens, fruit trees, bees chickens and goats.  They are committed to living sustainably, supporting their community, and standing for social justice.  They are supported by community donations.

Community Autonomy_1The Midden is the newest FEC community!  Here’s what they say about themselves:  “We call our house The Midden because we make use of the artifacts (groceries, furniture, shoes) thrown away or overlooked by mainstream society. And all the while, we’re using this stuff to build more whole and meaningful systems to provide for ourselves.  We also love to care for each other, share our skills and ideas, and do what we can to confront systems of oppression that bring us all down. We’re eco-Community Autonomy_1activists, prison abolitionists, housing justice advocates, writers and theatre artists, adventurous human beings and more.”

We’ll get a regional perspective from Solidarity Piedmont, who are doing some interesting online mapping of the new economy in their region. They are focussed on building the Solidarity economy both by transforming current economic institutions and by growing alternatives to them.   We’ll also have a presentation by Lyle Estill, author of several books and co-founder of several businesses, who will help give us the big picture. Lyle is an environmentalist, activist and social entrepreneur.SmallStories-books


The program will be a mix of presentations, panel discussions and knowledge cafe-style interactions by presenters and participants alike.  While we will have some straight ahead presentations we also want to draw out the wide range of wisdom and experience that we know many of the participants will bring.




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