The Great Transition to a Post-Capitalist World- Conference Critical Theory Dept McGill U 
What could a post-capitalist world look like? A reclaiming of the commons? Can we reclaim the economy or should we just stop using that word? We're trying. Excited to attend this conference and to visit some neat community land trusts in Montreal.

CLTs grew historically out of the civil rights movement compensating black sharecroppers who had been stripped of their land for their activism. Links to the violent dispossession here in Africville. Virginia Hinch is writing an article linking these, part of a larger book on CLTs, cooperatives out of Quebec and Black Rose Press. As she said, "we only get our land back for a weekend in the summer."
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If we all lived like Vietnam 
Just had a great conversation with a friend Jayme about economics. She made me think of the Doughnut Economics approach by economist Kate Raworth.

It takes into account environmental elements (thresholds), social elements (found in the HDI) but including social capital and supports not often included or easily measured and more traditional economic measures. The weight is put on social and environmental, living well within our means.

No country, as you can imagine, is completely in the "zone" but Vietnam is an extreme outlier in being close. The question is: could you live like that? With that close a relationship to food and resources.

I have some critiques about the indicators they use (and in many iterations such as the online platform) leave out around equity and gender, but broadly it is more on the right track than anything we currently have. And truer to the Latin root of the word economic which actually means household management of resources. Pulls in Schumaker, Polayni and others around the importance of attention to scale and where we find that sweet spot in embedding our resource management and use in solid, trusted relationships.

See more on the link below...

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Side Hustler 
I spoke on a panel at the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network last week with a few other "side hustlers." I haven't heard the term before but I like it. It fits along with the mosaic economy. Was once given the title "wild card." I've always called it piecing together a livelihood. Parts I do for money, parts volunteer. Parts with others in Sisters Inc and part on my own. Really, I explained in my talk, for me, it's a lifestyle that fits my rhythm and energy levels better. I'm not made to be at a desk all day. Working half time lets me work in fits and starts as seems to be more my nature. I've never fit the "driven entrepreneur" though. I don't live and breathe my business. I have structured my life this way to have down-time, play outside if it's lovely. Yesterday I went for a long motorbike ride and a run in the park. I can spend some time writing and thinking, doing things for my own curiosity. Volunteer where I learn potentially more than my work. Day dream. We underestimate the importance of idleness.

North End Land Trust 
Working together with a group of people to ask the question: what is the role of a community-led organization in setting aside land and property for public good, particularly affordable housing but not only. Possibly community gardens, affordable rental space for community agencies.

We're in a neighbourhood, the North end of Halifax where gentrification is a serious issue. We're interested in ensuring development without displacement and linking it to neighbourhood employment and community building.

Tenants are in dire living situations and are being displaced. Those on assistance can't afford to live on the $535 stipend they're given so it cuts into grocery money, other things. There are community agencies that are looking for places to rent. Non profits that are losing or unable to upkeep their properties. How to safeguard and watchdog and develop opportunities for and by the community? Then there are those in the community who might be able to donate some of their property or equity. Who can pay market rates and give back to the community to ensure affordability. Maybe even a connection with rural land trusts where swaps are possible.

One thing I've learned from my work in economic organizing. The strongest alternative economic models are built on community networks. Wide networks. The community land trust models seems to have had the most success in providing affordable housing and community building and accountability. We'll have to see what works in our neighbourhood, political context, housing situation.

It's the beginning of discussions and connections that just take time. These aren't technical problems. It's about finding common ground to move forward in the same direction.

Research on Women's Economic Empowerment 
Leading a team through Universalia Management Group (Montreal) to assess GrOW research on women's economic empowerment funded by IDRC, DFID (UKAid) and Hewlett Foundation. Over 30 research institutions in 50 countries.

The definition of WEE is "far more than women’s ability to compete equally in existing markets, or than the beneficial outputs of their contribution to growth; it should include women’s access to and control over economic resources, access to decent work, control over their own time and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions. In turn, WEE will only be achieved in cooperation with progress in other areas of gender equality like women’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, meaningful participation in political decision-making and freedom from violence " (AWID, FEMNet, Gender and Development Network).

Most of the research entails a partnership between North-based and South-based universities or research institutions. There is a wide range from randomized control trials to mixed methods, participatory and feminist research. Three broad aims: quality research; policy uptake and capacity building of in-country researchers. Still very much in process but important questions are being raised about what quality evidence is and how it can best be used to influence thinking, policy and practice.


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