Let’s Communify the Collaborative Economy!

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Fifteen projects have been taking part in the La Comunificadora programme at Barcelona Activa, since mid-November. They are exploring the viability of a collaborative economy which considers the commons, looks at the social impact and seeks to establish fair relationships among agents.

All of these projects have already started training activities and will soon meet with mentors to define their next steps. On Thursday, December 1, at 7pm in the “Empren” room of the Barcelona Activa headquarters in Carrer Llacuna, 162, projects and their core teams will be presented to the public. Meanwhile, if you want to support, contribute to, or know more about any of these projects, write to us at <comunificadora@goteo.org> and we will put you in touch with them.

Som Mobilitat (“We Are Mobility”) is a non-profit consumers’ cooperative, which has recently been constituted in Catalonia. This platform works for a sustainable mobility, sharing cars, motorbikes and electric bikes among neighbours. Its members seek to hasten the transition to electric mobility. It offers tools, resources and services to its members, creating a community and using technology. www.sommobilitat.coop

Upcycling de Barri (“Neighbourhood Upcycling”) is a project offering a local service, for Barcelona dwellers, with simple recycling and reuse machines to transform home-generated plastic waste into something useful. It aims to facilitate waste management in smaller, closer circles of production and consumption, achieving a small-scale circular economy replicated in a number of Barcelona neighbourhoods. This could be very significant, in terms of environmental, social and economic impact.

Katuma is a free software online application being developed by Coopdevs association to facilitate self-management of proximity and ecological consumption groups, and direct purchase from producers, creating a fair commercial relationship. www.katuma.org

Llars Compartides (“Shared Homes”) is a non-profit social initiative which, through linking up home-sharers, aims to improve people’s economic situation and contribute to the well-being of their local community through cooperative social benefits (it plans to become a cooperative).

Aquapioneers promotes sustainable urban agriculture through open-source design and digital manufacturing of aquaponics equipment to grow vegetables using 90% less water and no chemical fertilisers or pesticides. This project combines the concepts of circular economy, open source innovation and local production.

Arts i Manigues (“Arts and Sleeves”), a collaborative web platform to create a community and a cultural ecosystem for home-delivered small-format performances, will be legally constituted as a work and consumers’ cooperative, offering shared resources and services, such as tax advice or creation labs, to artists and creators. The aim is to blur the roles of public and artist through the public’s participation in the creation process and through local promotion, producing a catalogue of bespoke shows.

CCWorld is a project to provide a horizontal and decentralised online platform for the CCWorld festivals network which promotes audiovisual works produced under the digitisation and free-culture criteria. At present each festival, acting as a self-managed, autonomous node, releases materials to encourage other members to re-use them. However, the need to strengthen co-ordination tools that guarantee the sustainability and visibility of common resources has been detected. www.bccn.cc/ccworld

Crowd-acting is a project to create an online tactical platform which facilitates the proposal of actions for social transformation and promotes participation agreements to carrying them out when a threshold of supporters is achieved. It uses crowdfunding methodologies to go beyond mere financing by helping groups to design the campaign and fine-tune psychology when searching for critical mass, with a tool that allows different thresholds and types of participation.

Lendi is a free software project working on a mobile application and cooperative platform as tools for an already forming community which facilitates local lending of tools and other objects, prioritising access to property. It is developing a reliable system with open accounts in which both hours of work and objects lent are valuable, so that everything related to the operation of the project is counted in an equitable way.

LibreBanco (“FreeBench”) is based on free design of benches for urban public space which seeks to redirect municipal investment in street furniture to neighbourhoods. The manufacture and maintenance of benches will be done in digital manufacturing spaces and already existing carpentry and hardware workshops.

Xerebere is a platform for exchanging products and services without involving money, aimed at people with few resources or who do not want to participate in the capitalist/consumer market. This would open up opportunities for people to enjoy things or experiences that were not possible before online sharing.

Mitjà digital sobre tecnologia i societat (‘Digital Media Outlet for Society and Technology”) is to be a trilingual (Catalan, Spanish, English) and multimedia environment, aimed at both the general and engaged public. It will offer journalistic articles on the impact of technology for access to resources, and the preservation of basic rights.

Footprint is a web platform and mobile application facilitating the socially-responsible involvement of tourists with places they visit. One example would be a pool of short-term activities leading tourists to work together to solve a problem for the city, thus leaving a good “footprint”. It aims to become a bridge between visitors -interested in participating and learning more about the reality of places they visit- and businesses, institutions and NGOs working on local social issues.

Sentido Común (“Common Sense”) facilitates co-creation processes using cooperative solutions to solve the challenges faced by a local ecosystem, identifying their causes, strengthening collective intelligence and common sense, generating environments of trust and transparency in order to exercise a real democracy. It plans to work on and promote projects using both digital and tangible tools which empower individuals and collectives, and are replicable in other local environments.

ITH Crowdfunding is a crowdfunding platform already working with literary projects in the Galician language and combining methodologies of collective financing, online work, training, advice and personalised monitoring. It focuses on one or two projects per semester. These can be editorial, but also concerned with heritage, creation or literary tourism. ithcrowdfunding.org