development

Aug 072014
 
The Home Project, Berlin

Walking through Kreutzberg/Neukölin I was drawn to another minimalist window display of an unlit store in a residential street. Like most entrepreneurs of shops with obtuse names in quiet streets, the owner wasn’t all that interested in promotion. The Home Project is a project of two designers, Álbio Nascimento and Kathi Stertzig. “I’m interested in your project”. “Good.” “So?” She seemed comfortable with monosyllables, just my style, as I fumbled for a pen: “Why?” “Because we […read the rest]

Jun 152014
 
"To hell with the market" .... visit to my hero F.E. Trainer's sustainable world

“Composting and growing carrots is a nice start, but we need to get rid of the growth economy, make the global economic system work to meet needs, and replace capitalism with a different economic system that works for people. Most Green people are stuck at the level of compost heaps, which don’t have a chance of saving us. We don’t want to be a society full of compost heaps heading for disaster. Growing carrots locally is just the first step to changing the economy.”

Mar 302014
 
I want a Lab

LAB lab A Lab for Interventions, Innovations, Iterations to facilitate: Local Food, Objects, and Quality of Life – Artisan Economics and Meaningful Work – Biospheric ecological technologies and institutions. As Robert Pekins of Food Connect said to me “Academics need to get right out of the way. What they’re good at is asking questions. We need fora with practitioners in the audience practitioners doing the speaking, and academics asking the questions.”  

Feb 012014
 
25 ways to spend $25M on a secure future for Goulburn farmers instead of giving it to Coca-Cola Shepparton

Australia’s state government of Victoria has pledged $25 million in subsidy to Coca-Cola/Amatil to keep the SPC/Ardona produce cannery open in Shepparton. The federal government refused to match the funds to meet Coca-Cola’s demands. But even if the factory stay open for another period, with the farmers dependent on short-term contracts from the factory, their farms are insecure and their future precarious. Without domestic production, Australians become dependent on imported produce and global market prices. Here […read the rest]

Jan 142013
 
Spatiality and consumership

Exploring Melbourne, we chanced upon a parking lot transformed.   The People’s Market in Collingwood opened this December at 64 – 68  Stanley Street as a Thursday-Sunday destination with food, coffee, alcohol, art galleries, pop-up retail, and live music (even a “band in residence”). Many other public spaces could fit this description, but there was something special about this one, and we sat there looking at it and feeling it and trying to figure out what made it […read the rest]

Aug 052012
 

Last night I went to see some art, without knowing the topic in advance. And it was another post-apocalyptic.global-warming theme. It was indeed frightening. (Fake smoke is amazingly moving –and versatile– with the right lighting and sound.) It seems many artists have taken it upon themselves these days to frighten viewers into action on global warming. It’s good to see artists embracing activism, and it’s good that people are taking these issues seriously. I want […read the rest]

May 292008
 

No one existed for them who could not be governed by their intentions, Patricia Wiliams, The Alchemy of Race & Rights M.I.T. has recently discovered third world poverty. A number of institutional projects have emerged which endeavor to put M.I.T.’s considerable resources to use in service of poverty alleviation and development. In 2007 and 2008 I had the opportunity to spend nine months doing ethnographic observation of these projects.  As a sociologist of political economy, […read the rest]

Apr 132008
 

I’ve been writing about the ravages of globalization and peoples’ ferocious rejection of its conditions for a long time. I researched and wrote about the emergence of an anti-globalization movement before the Seattle protests of the WTO in 1999.[1] Now that circumstances are…er…changing, it’s time to get serious about finding alternatives. Thirteen years of avoiding corporations has delivered a detailed knowledge of alternative production and retail. In addition, I’ve been part of the local food […read the rest]

Oct 112007
 

J. K. Gibson-Graham, A Postcapitalist Politics. 2006: U Minnesota. This book finds a new way of thinking about and working on economic development based on a critique of “capitalocentrism”, a sophisticated and useful concatenation of theories of resistance, and a surprisingly practical approach. The critique emphasizes that “capitalocentrism” is endemic to both neoliberal and left economic discourse. Capitalocentrism privileges “commodification (marketization), the concentration and centralization of capital, capitalist expansion (capital accumulation), labor-saving technological change”. It […read the rest]