The international bank transfer system, SWIFT, is a form of contemporary digital colonialism and surveillance capitalism as it is run by US firms and provides data to US government agencies. Drives by governments and philanthropists to increase use of digital money will only strengthen it further.
Biagio Quattrocchi, Vanessa Bilancetti , Francesco Silvi
23 Enero 2019
Rome’s municipality has accumulated enormous debt, creating an emergency used to close any sort of public space, both physical and discussion. The narrative regarding the debt has been used to attack what we call the city of solidarity – groups, associations, and occupied places that are working to build community as opposed to accumulating profit.
Despite causing the worst financial crisis in decades, the financial sector emerged even stronger. TNI's eighth flagship State of Power report examines through essays and infographics the varied dimensions and dynamics of financial power, and how popular movements might regain control over money and finance.
The GoiEner Cooperative was founded in 2012 in the Basque Country as a response to both the energy oligopoly and the rise of the anti-austerity movement connected to the economic crisis. Over the past six years, this cooperative for renewable energy generation and consumption has grown to include nearly 9,000 members, and has become an inspiring model for the transition to a new energy model.
Key attributes of GoiEner's approach include the alleviation of energy poverty, democratic and participatory involvement, and equal representation of men and women. GoiEner also supports the creation of new renewables cooperatives in other regions of Spain in order to increase local, democratic and renewable energy resilience.
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.
Over several sunny days in June 2018, a diverse group of 60 activists and researchers from 30 countries convened for a multi-day meeting to discuss the collective building of post-capitalist futures. The meeting provided the opportunity for a rich exchange of perspectives and experiences, as well as deep discussion and debate. The goal of the meeting was not to achieve consensus both an impossible and unnecessary endeavour but rather to stimulate mutual learning, challenge one another and advance analyses.
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.
The UK's labour party is inspiring grassroots and workers mobilisation and showing increasingly credible leadership. Its recent annual conference and the concurrently run World Transformed Festival give hope.
Social movements need to grapple with not only building successful political parties and winning power but also with using that power strategically to best implement change. This report examines the critical role played by Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) government employees and the challenges they faced in advancing a social and economic justice agenda within Bolivia. How can progressive government employees remain true to their political ideology while ensuring the execution of a professional and fair public bureaucracy?
The growing call for the feminisation of politics – and energy politics for that matter – is about much more than merely increasing the representation of women in decision-making positions. We need to question the ways energy politics are shaped. We need to ask, energy for whom and energy for what?
When it comes to managing the energy transition the need for municipal level innovation has never been clearer. In recent years, we have seen some successes, where innovative ideas have led to more equitable, just and democratic energy policies. However, the sharing of these ideas has been limited, and they have tended to remain local and specific. To achieve large scale, replicable success we need a coordinated and integrated approach for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Enter: mPOWER
mPOWER is a 4-year programme that will enable in-depth, wide-scale and systematic city to city learning among at least 100 local public authorities, in order to replicate innovative best practices in municipal energy, and developing ambitious energy transition plans.
mPOWER is run by a consortium composed of the University of Glasgow (UK), Platform (UK), Transnational Institute (Netherlands), Energy Cities (EU-wide), IPE (Croatia), University of the Basque Country (ES), and Carbon Co-op (UK).
The mPOWER project and consortium are funded by the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme. The project started in May 2018 and will last four years.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, short papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2019 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2019, we are particularly looking for accessible, engaging essays and artistic explorations that explore the issue of finance and power.
Around the world people are developing radical local solutions to global problems. In 2017, TNI launched the Transformative Cities Initiative to find examples of effective people-led initiatives on water, energy and housing. We now want you to tell us which one inspires you to act.
Authoritarian politics have risen in the context of profound political, economic, social and ecological insecurity caused by corporate-led globalisation. The movement for economic localisation has the potential to unite communities, disarm authoritarian politicians, restore democracy and build a real economy based on sustainable use of natural resources.