Cities accumulate capital, people, aspirations, and power. But, whose power? Whose aspirations? How can we find in the city a place of possibility? Laura Flanders introduces TNI's Transformative Cities programme in Amsterdam during June 2018.
In a Europe governed in the interests of the few, where the far right is on the rise, towns and cities are building new ways to do politics and defend the common good from the bottom up. In Spain, 'cities of change' are combating speculation and defending the right to housing. In Italy, local governments are creating new legal mechanisms to protect the urban commons, and cities across Europe are taking energy and water delivery back into public hands after failed privatisations. Municipalism is transforming Europe from the bottom up.
How can clean and renewable energy remain in people's hands? Listen to energy experts and activists from all over Europe discussing energy efficiency, cooperatives, mobility, remunicipalisation and much more.
A hundred years after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and almost ten years after the financial crisis, TNI brought together leading activists and researchers in South Africa to talk about alternatives to both soviet-style socialism and Wall Street style financial capitalism. This video produced by the Laura Flanders Show shares the voices and perspectives of those articulating an inspiring new politics.
Join us on the 9th of November at CREA for our third open debate on New Politics in Europe! After hosting two events on what we can learn from Spain (and Podemos), we will now continue the conversation by focusing on new political movements in Greece.
Residents of the Dutch city of Groningen, where gas is being extracted by the Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM), have lost confidence in the company, and in the regulations intended to protect them. Social movements, civil society organisations and local political parties gathered and discussed the dismantling of the NAM and the need to democratise the energy sector.
The processes involved in working towards energy democracy are not limited to the local level. Energy democracy also means to envisage the energy transition within the public administration, the energy market and to democratize energy companies. A transition towards energy democracy faces major challenges. Institutions tend to resist the process towards energy democracy, even when left governments (local, regional and national) are in place. Nevertheless, many inspiring developments towards energy democracy are taking place at the municipal level – e.g. in London, Bristol, Nottingham, Barcelona, Pamplona, and Cádiz.
TNI is hosting with Platform London a 6-week pilot online peer learning course on energy democracy. The course will include lectures by experts and practitioners along with discussion and active participation, sharing and learning by all participants. It is intended for people who have some experience in working on energy systems, who wish to take a holistic and global look at energy systems and politics, and learn from others. Deadline has passed (3 October), but feel free to register to be on waiting list or for the next course.
With the topic ”Tipping points” , the 5th edition of the Green Academy 2020 will continue with modulary work in three thematic blocks (commons/degrowth/climate justice) but large parts of the program will be also focused on issues like suspension of democracy, strengthening of social movements, development of new economic alternatives, all aimed to identify terrain, topics and strategies for systemic change and bold political action.
How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector and re-imagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially and just energy system, with universal access, fair tariffs and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?
We Own It organised the conference Own the Future: Public ownership in the 21st Century on 7th May, 2016 in London. A group of innovative, inspiring individuals gathered to start imagining the public ownership of the future: A vision for 2030 and a roadmap to get there. They tackled the key issues - robots, big data, power, space - and made a conscious effort to embrace the future.
A return to public forms of administration in water supplies is a phenomenon that has been spreading globally. Over the past 15 years almost 235 cities around the world, among them Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur have either terminated or have desisted from renewing the contracts with private concessionary companies. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and the Scandinavian countries, for example, water delivery is, by a tradition, almost 100 percent public.
We often use the term "Commons" to explain, that we aim at transforming our societal organization. But which realistic concepts do we have at hand to regain the control over our energy system? We need to ask the question of ownership: Shall the energy system pass into public ownership? Shall we fight for it on all levels, at the municipal, regional and national level?
Thomas Marois, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies argues that until people regain control of money and credit, we will not be able to stop economic and ecological crises. Most people don't know that fortunately there is untapped potential in public banks, that make up a quarter of all banks worldwide. Drawing on his research on public banks in Turkey, Costa Rica and elsewhere, Marois points to the potential and problems of public banks and how we might harness them to deliver social and environmental justice.