A new digital map locates all the activities based on mutualism in the big apple...watch out Gordon Gekko, NY is starting to change!
It's called Solidarity NYC and it is the digital map which allows you to locate all the activities based on mutualism in the Big Apple . Launched by a group of activists , artists and volunteers , some of whom , from the Occupy Wall Street movement , Solidarity NYC, is supported by the Sustainable Markets Foundation and aims to promote a more fair and secure economic model, which can be meet people’s needs by reinforcing the values of justice , environmental sustainability, cooperation and democracy. " If you're a consumer , most of the time you have to accept the effects of decisions made by others . " Says Lauren Hudson , coordinator of the project and Cooperative Finance Leader at Bethex , a credit union in the Bronx . "Knowing where the products we buy come from, who produces them it’s some sort of agreement with the community, to care for one another . "
The Solidarity map is divided into different categories , including food, transportation, banking , education, health and housing . Housing cooperatives, community gardens, schools and childcare services based on the cooperative model are included in the categories, such as Beyond Care Childcare, the cooperative founded by a group of immigrant women which trains and employs its members to become nannies and babysitters .
"The community -based mutualism has always existed to give people the opportunity to help , when resources are limited. " Says Hudson. The objective of Solidarity NYC is to connect this type of initiatives , making them more visible and giving them the chance to get out of their niche.
According to Hudson a tool like Solidarity can be extremely useful in a big city such as New York, “you often feel disconnected from processes that affect your life in one way or in another."
Solidarity NYC is a further stimulus to the vital social innovation scenario in New York. Over the past months the city has become a testing ground for different projects.
New York University has devoted an entire program to social innovation, the city administration activated a social impact bonds project last year which saw Goldman Sachs invest $ 9.6 million in the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the boys of Rikers Island , the largest prison in the city. There will be a return on investment only if the reoffending rate will decrease by at least 10% .
And if Solidarity NYC aims to promote the activities of the so-called "solidarity economy" , collaboration keeps being a drive for many new business projects. The city can be considered the US capital of crowdfunding initiatives (Kickstarter was created in the Lower East Side) and co-working spaces continue to grow. The Centre for Social innovation , which is one of the most recent, is entirely dedicated to the promotion of social entrepreneurship .
The line between the economy of solidarity and the sharing economy is very thin, Hudson acknowledges it, however she thinks there is a difference: “ People have struggled with the precise definition of a solidarity economy, but it's perhaps more political than the term "sharing" implies.”