The Sustainable Economies Law Center is proud to announce that our co-founder and Executive Director, Janelle Orsi, has just been named a 2014 Ashoka Fellow! Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who are recognized for their innovative solutions to social problems, and their potential to change patterns across society. According to Ashoka, Fellows "demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change."
Watch Ashoka's three-minute video showcasing SELC's work and vision for a more just, compassionate, and resilient world:
As the sponsor of the Neighborhood Food Act, we are so glad the bill passed through the California Assembly!
Now, we need your help telling the Senate that they need to follow the Assembly's lead and vote YES on AB 2561, the Neighborhood Food Act!Read more
The Blueprint Collaborative is excited to announce that applications for the Worker Coop Academy are now being accepted! The Blueprint Collaborative - the Green Collar Communities Clinic of the East Bay Community Law Center, Project Equity, and the Sustainable Economies Law Center - are working together to create a cooperative start up and growth assistance program providing education, business coaching, and legal advice! The aim of the Worker Coop Academy is to assist the formation and expansion of worker-owned businesses that will provide good jobs for low to moderate income workers.
Thanks to the hard work of our partner organizations, supporters (that's you!), and Assemblymember Bradford's office, the Neighborhood Food Act passed out of the Assembly!
On Thursday, May 29, the California Assembly voted 53-24 in favor of AB 2561, the Neighborhood Food Act. After several rounds of committee hearings and negotiations with the opposition, we are happy to report that the Neighborhood Food Act will continue through the legislative process and hopefully be signed into law before the end of the summer.
But we need your help!Read more
On access, scarcity, and trust
By Susie Cage, Medium
"...Sharing economy boosters repeatedly call the whole thing “empowering.” For them, it certainly is. And in some iterations, it can be for all of us. In its full scope, including barter and gift transactions and nonprofit collectives and cooperatives, the sharing economy is decidedly not all bad. Enabling peer to peer commercial interactions can save us time and money; it can lessen our impact on the planet. And it can also replicate old social and economic patterns and further degrade worker and consumer protections..."
by David Bollier
news and perspectives on the commons
"Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy will be a landmark reference tool for law and the sharing economy for years to come. May it inspire more law students to enter this under-served field of law, and may it help catalyze changes in law and public policy to affirmatively support the new modes of sharing that are popping up all over..."Read more
On the face of it, Loconomics and Bring It Local sound like typical tech startups.
But behind the scenes, both companies are fomenting a quiet revolution in their business structures. They are organizing themselves as cooperatives - for-profit enterprises owned by the people who work for and use the services.
Renowned author and activist David Bollier, well-known for his work on the commons, writes a raving review of Janelle Orsi's book Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy (ABA 2012). "...Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy will be a landmark reference tool for law and the sharing economy for years to come. May it inspire more law students to enter this under-served field of law, and may it help catalyze changes in law and public policy to affirmatively support the new modes of sharing that are popping up all over. The mismatch between the burgeoning sharing economy and legacy legal regimes urgently needs to be addressed." Read more.Read more
by Carolyn Said
EXCERPT: Janelle Orsi, executive director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, said the sector helps perpetuate income inequality. Its challenge will be to create structures that help return wealth to users, such as cooperatives, she said.
It's not all sunshine, as sharing start-ups tackle big issues at industry meet-up
By Caitlin McGarry (@Caitlin_McGarry)
EXCERPT: “[Peers] didn’t want this conference to be all sunshine and, ‘The sharing economy is magic and perfect,’” said Janelle Orsi, an attorney who gives legal advice to sharing start-ups at Oakland's Sustainable Economies Law Center, during a Tuesday panel. “We can step back and say, ‘What are the things we haven’t factored into our considerations yet?’”Read more
So there we were, on the brink of changing the world, and we still hadn't found a name for what we were doing! The sharing economy? The community resilience movement? The cooperative economy? The new economy?
Well, at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, our extensive and intensive research has finally uncovered a more precise phrase: The Beatles Economy! Yeah, Beatles. As in The Beatles, who managed to present a comprehensive vision for a better world...in their song titles. Check out our video to learn more!
From May 2nd – 4th, I was a guest at one of the most inspirational and motivating conferences I’ve ever attended, the Jackson Rising New Economies Conference in Jackson, Mississippi. The primary objective of the conference was “to educate and mobilize the people of Jackson to meet the economic and sustainability needs” of their community. The conference did much more than that.Read more
Legal problems have put companies like Airbnb and Lyft in the spotlight, revealing that our laws leave very little room for innovation. It’s not a matter of deciding whether it should be legal to use Airbnb and Lyft. It’s a matter of deciding how, where, when and how much. A more nuanced legal system could figure this out, by balancing concerns about housing affordability, health and safety, impact on neighborhoods, and the imperative to reduce consumption and carbon emissions....Read more
By Lori Aratani
EXCERPT: “These platforms are enabling people to do business in ways they never could before,” said Janelle Orsi, executive director of the Oakland, Calif.-based Sustainable Economies Law Center. “These platforms offer ways to connect with each other really easily, which has a lot of benefits in creating income for people but is really shaking up the market.”Read more