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Lessons Learned – What Alternative Economics in Berlin Can Learn from Its Own Beginnings

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The solution to ecological and social problems is urgent. In the process, questions about meaning and co-decision-making opportunities in companies are becoming louder. There are more and more cooperatives and other alternative forms of organization, commercialization is increasingly being questioned, and concepts such as solidarity-based direct trade are supposed to offer solutions. Sound familiar? Exactly, these motifs of the current alternative economy already shaped the alternative movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Berlin in particular can look back on an eventful history of the New Social Movements. Numerous Berlin pioneer organizations from back then are still active: Kraut & Rüben, the Schokofabrik, Oktoberdruck, the Regenbogenfabrik and many others. At the same time, many new alternative-economy companies are currently emerging in Berlin – the city that is considered the melting pot of the alternative economy.  

So, is it all just old wine in new bottles? Or, what is new about today's ideas compared to the motives of more than 40 years ago? What can those active today learn from the successes and failures of that time? What experiences can, and should, they build on? And: What role do changed framework conditions play? What has become possible or impossible today compared to the past?

Two experts in alternative economics discuss this in the tenth issue of Wandelwecker:  

  • Elisabeth Voß is a business economist, freelance publicist and journalist. She is involved in urban politics and networking; writes and lectures on solidarity-based economies, cooperatives, self-organization and democratization of economy and society; advises collective enterprises and house projects. Articles by her also appear on the post-growth blog. More information and texts:
  • Sabrina Schmidt is a research associate in the research field "Ecological Product Policy" at the Institute for Ecological Economy Research. Her research interests include sustainable business structures and processes, diffusion of sustainable innovations, and sustainable business models and gender equity of alternative economies.

Moderation: Valentin Tappeser, Overall Coordination Ecornet Berlin, IÖW

Berlin, more than almost any other city, has a long tradition of alternative economy. How can today's generation build on this wealth of experience?

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German
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Germany, Berlin

Source URL: https://www.ecologic.eu/18559