A Growing Movement

In the midst of growing inequality and corporate power, government cutbacks, privatization and de-regulation, there is a quiet hum of people getting on with building economic alternatives grounded in principles of social solidarity, cooperation, egalitarianism, sustainability and economic democracy. Moved by desperation, practicality, values, or vision, many of these folks have turned their energy to building economic alternatives to provide jobs, food, housing, services, and money, as well as to create healthier communities, sustainable practices and economic democracy.Taken together, they offer stepping stones toward a new way of organizing our economy that is being called the solidarity economy. While elements of the solidarity economy have existed for hundreds of years (or more), the framework is very young and is still in the process of evolving and being defined. There’s a growing global movement to advance it as an alternative to the failed model of neoliberal, corporate-dominated globalization. While the U.S. has many solidarity economy practices and institutions, the term itself is almost unknown in the US. As of yet, we do not have a either a framework that unites them conceptually as an overall system, or an overarching network of solidarity economy organizations.