The Cowry Collective will travel with other Solidarity Economy St. Louis comrades to Madison Wisconsin this week to take part in the MAN Up Summit and solidify plans for our pilot site launch in St. Louis. This article was posted originally at Shareable where you can read more from Stephanie Rearick.
The move to a new economy is underway, whether we like it or not. The many cracks widening in latter-day capitalism are creating new pressures and opportunities for people to do things differently. The real question is whether we patch over those cracks with more of the same, or nurture the seedlings for a more beautiful world that are sprouting up and breaking through.
The amount of work we need to do to solve our social problems, take care of everyone who needs it (all of us), redesign our systems for sustainability, and restore built and natural environments, is vast. But we often have little to no ability to make a living doing this essential work.
Now we're launching a way to change that! Mutual Aid Networks are a new type of cooperative, designed to connect us in a network of mutual support that creates means for us to do exactly what we want to do with our lives, from solving hard problems to taking care of loved ones and neighbors to making art. To launch this effort we will host a MAN Up Summit in Madison Wisconsin August 20-28.
First, we have MAN pilot sites lined up in 16 locations, mostly around the US (including Detroit and St. Louis) but also in UK, Sweden, and France. With interest in Zambia and other farther-flung locations. We are connected to timebanks, transition towns, permaculture practitioners, restorative justice activists, health and wellness projects, and solidarity economy activists. I’m personally most excited by our collaborations with activists against police brutality and the prison industrial complex.
And many of these folks are coming to Madison! This summit will provide opportunities for in-depth exploration, learning, working, and getting to know each other, a rare and valuable treat.
If you can't be here in person you can join some of the activities online, and you're more than welcome to join the Main MAN – the umbrella Mutual Aid Network that connects all of the pilot sites and supporters of the new economy. And you'll see the fruits of the summit as all the pilot sites come online and start sharing their work and learning.