[Short Course] The Synergia Programme: Transition To Co-operative Commonwealth

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John Restakis, Molly Scott Cato, Michel Bauwens, Rob Hopkins, Cilla Ross, Tim Crabtree, Pat Conaty

An intensive two-week study programme with Schumacher College and the Synergia Institute

What is the ethical economy and how does it work?

The course will provide a critical overview of the contours of this new political economy and the mechanisms required for its realization through radical systems change.

The program focuses on introducing and integrating a range of social innovation models for harnessing sustainability transitions in applied contexts, including co-operative business models, social finance & democratic capital, commons and co-op solutions for housing, local & sustainable food systems, renewable energy, user-controlled social care, the commons, open knowledge systems, and many other topics.

A key purpose of the program is to provide a global context for these issues and to link models, practices, expertise, and action horizontally across these fields. The program has a strong emphasis on translating theory and scholarship into applied contexts and is delivered by experts with a strong emphasis on the importance of applied scholarship in the context of sustainability transitions.

The creation of new networks, relationships, and action alliances among change makers and program participants is also a primary objective of this program. The course also combines lectures and workshops with site visits to leading co-operatives and commons activities in the region.

Participants will gain an 
• Understanding of the basic history, theory and practice of economic democracy as the foundation for transition to a new form of political economy.
• Understanding of what a political economy for people & planet means and how it functions.
• Overview of best practices and models of system change in key sectors (food, land & shelter, labour, energy, social care, knowledge).
• Understanding of how the perspectives and best practices of key movements relate to each other and comprise a holistic approach to system change.
• Opportunity to share experiences & ideas with other practitioners and to forge new relationships & alliances.
• Understanding of how to apply the theory & practice of progressive system change to one’s personal work and context.

Complementary and Community Currencies will be covered in the two sessions on social finance and democratic capital, to be delivered by Pat Conaty.

Participants will create linkages both to participants and facilitators who have been part of earlier course offerings – both in-person and online.

The Synergia Programme will include

The Problematic with John Restakis
How might we frame the historic moment in which we find ourselves from a political economy perspective? This session presents both a historic retrospective on the movement for economic democracy and how the current configuration of global capitalism demands new perspectives, models, and action strategies for change makers world-wide.

The Partner State with John Restakis
The current crisis of the welfare state is the culmination of a process of de legitimation that has been in the making for more than a generation. For many, the very notion of the state as a force for the good is untenable. But is there a way to reclaim and re conceptualize the state as an institution in service to the common good? This session introduces the concept of the Partner State as an extension of the principles that characterize co-operative economic democracy as a political, economic, and social ideal.

Labour and the Precariat with Cilla Ross
With the emergence of revolutionary digital and informatics technologies, traditional forms of labour are rapidly being replaced with the rise of a new class of precarious and atomised work that threatens not only the livelihoods millions but also the very meaning of work itself. This session examines the implications of this revolutionary shift in the forms of labour, what this entails for the well-being of workers, local communities, and society, and how co-operative and human-centred models of work can challenge the dominant paradigm.

The Commons with Michel Bauwens
Over the last decade, the idea of the commons has emerged as a powerful antidote to the prevailing private property and free market notion of how economies, markets, and social relations might be organized. In particular, the rise of digital platforms and the restructuring of online work through the operation of peer-to-peer networks has offered a revolutionary re think of how co-operative and commons-based principles are redefining both economic and societal relations in service to the common good. This session examines what the idea of the commons means for re visioning models of political economy as alternatives to the status quo.

How to apply

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

*For more information, please visit the original website*

 

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