Version 3.2

Incubators for a Community Economy

Aligning with the political economy of degrowth

Today’s major societal challenges require require resilient and democratic solutions. The call for a different economy is heard everywhere: what kind of economy do we actually want?

Ecological limits, inequality, extractive business practices and lack of democracy poise us towards self-organization and a stronger local economy. New models of collective organisation are emerging everywhere, such as energy co-ops and housing co-ops, or innovative practices in healthcare and in the neighborhood. Elsewhere, we see alternative business forms emerging to challenge the power of big tech companies in the form of platform co-ops. In these organizations, common goals and values are linked to economic and social issues.

Yet initiatives face many obstacles: institutional frameworks are not geared up for this and there is a lack of knowledge about collective processes, financing, technical and legal possibilities and best practices. It is necessary to support these initiatives and boost this sector.

Different cities in Europe, such as Barcelona and Amsterdam, have initiated incubator programmes to stimulate this community/commons/cooperative economy. These are often driven by social movements in partnership with progressive city governments or departments. Yet - what principles should these programmes follow to be truly transformative?

This session will address that question. Several cases of these incubator programmes will be presented and participants will workshop the following questions: How can these programs can be aligned with the political economy of degrowth and its values?

Sub questions include: What are financing models? What kind of business models can work, what types of governance and ownership?


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 16:30
Duration: 01:30
Room: ZV-8-8
Type: Non-academic Session
Theme: Alternative economies


Concurrent Sessions