A celebration of alternatives to "business as usual"

The green economy focuses on generating new jobs, goods, and services which encourage processes less destructive to the health of the planet. But not all economies are created equal. The Solidarity Economy is commercial and non-commercial activity oriented to meet individual and collective social needs over profit maximization. It is organized through various kinds of voluntary or cooperative associations within communities (for example, worker cooperatives, credit unions, co-housing, fair trade, local currencies, etc). The definition (re)centers the principles of solidarity, sustainability, equity, participatory democracy, and pluralism as the core values of interpersonal relationships and exchange. Taken together, the green solidarity economy focuses on building “sustainable”, “closed-cycle”, or “environmentally friendly” production processes and services which promote workplace democracy, social justice, and community empowerment.

The 2011 Green Solidarity Economy Conference in Worcester will bring together diverse individuals and organizations in central Massachusetts working towards progressive social, environmental, and economic goals to share resources and skills, discuss best practices, strengthen inter-organizational relationships, and identify actions we can take together to make a green solidarity economy for the betterment of our communities.

Why are we Making a Green Solidarity Economy?

This conference is a direct response to the social and ecological destruction brought on by corporate capitalism, as well as the need to think beyond the often problematic and insufficient practices of state intervention. In this critical historical moment, when corporate interests and policy makers are scrambling to patch over the crumbling structures of a failed economy, we have an opportunity to seize the reins of history and create a new world, a world in which the foundations of the economy are ecological health and social wealth.


We envision a Green Solidarity Economy as a set of strategies for resilience in uncertain times, as well as a move toward transformation and regeneration.  We understand the necessary components of this transformation as follows:

 

    Economy: The work that needs to be done by and for our communities.

    Solidarity: Seeking out common interests and building alliances across space, time, and difference.  

    Green: The inclusion of our non-human others in a solidarity economy.


Picturing the Solidarity Economy

A representation of alternative economic practices conceptualized by Ethan Miller and designed by Benjamin Stroud.  This and other solidarity economy images are available from the Community Partnering for Local Development website.


To learn more about solidarity economics, see our Resources page.