Sister Sites Overview

We’ve graduated from ‘pilot sites’ to ‘sister sites.’ Our new MAN Sisters are

Costa Rica:

ThSustainability Demonstration Center is a non-profit community based organization located at the base of the Monteverde Cloud Forest in a rural community called Guacimal which lies amidst rivers and mountains.  The Center was born out of a great need to protect a river from developers, and since 2014 is collaborating in Costa Rica to improve the quality of life of all sentient beings through trading and other ways.  We have our own unit of exchange called the Guacimo and a trade route called RuTaCom that we are actively expanding to the entire territory and which includes people who produce food and items and people who provide services of all types including dentistry and medicine.  We have limited participation from abroad, but hope to bridge the gap in 2021. In 2020, MAN and the SDC became Sister Projects.  Visit us at www.sustainablecostarica.org and write to sdccostarica@gmail.com to find out more about our programs and our intentional community.

 

France: 

Bien Sur Terre

“Learning Third Places, places of cultural transformation”

The mission is studying, developing and putting into practice the concept of Learning Third Places, embodiment of successful learning cooperation.

This is manifested in emergence dynamics where idea grows, a dynamic gets organized.

Consultancy and management dynamics for structures willing to evolve and focus on their core.

And finance dynamics so that money is a tool at the service of the Solidarity economy.

Key Projects:

We are setting up different cooperation packages including methodologies training + apps

BST idea: to make fruitful ideation (design thinking + IdeaLoom)

BST net-up: to empower synchronization among network members (projects community + Nextcloud-OnlyOffice-Rocket.chat)

BST team: to empower projects team (group dynamics, projects management + Nextcloud-OnlyOffice-Rocket-Open Project)

BST co-op: to boost coop management and development (strategy and operational skills + Odoo)

BST room: to allow fertile and secure visconference (collective intelligence + BigBlueButton)

Lodève Tiers place: we may accompany an inclusive Third place in a devastated area

Commons Digital co-op: we are since 3 years nourishing a coop project based on a disruptive political and economical model in order to be able to develop and serve all digital services needed while giving jobs to youth and old excluded people.

 

US National: 

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief 

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is a parallel network of formal and informal local groups bringing together diverse neighbors to aid each other in times of crisis through “Solidarity Not Charity.”  Responding in the last few years to unprecedented hurricanes, fires, and floods, this network has grown rapidly and increased local groups’ skills and connections exponentially, really making a big difference in communities’ abilities to respond to the pandemic crisis.  During 2020’s unprecedented uprising for human rights and dignity, many pandemic mutual aid groups, as well as more experienced street medics, community kitchens, and all kinds of organizers, collaborated to supply the people with food, water, and safety gear, vividly demonstrating the better, more compassionate and loving world that we know is possible.  Alongside HUMANs and so many other (often unnamed) mutual aid networks, MADR local groups are actively creating a new paradigm based on shared responsibility, egalitarian cooperation, and imaginative innovation.  The MADR network has a different style than HUMANs, with local groups completely independent (and with a variety of names and priorities), and the all-volunteer non-profit organization that maintains the Mutual Aid Disaster Relief website acting solely as a conduit for information and resources, interconnecting local groups, finding grant money (which is passed 100% to those who need it most), and organizing trainings and skill-shares.  Some local groups engaging in mutual aid disaster relief (it’s an action, not a brand!) will join us for the Solidarity Summit.  Any groups or individuals running mutual aid or related community uplift programs are welcome to join this expanding movement, because in the face of climate catastrophe and hateful violence, only “WE keep us safe.”

 

Community Rights 

Community Rights US is a fledgling organization – small but inspired! – that is educating communities across the nation about Community Rights, an innovative new strategy also sometimes called “Community Bill of Rights,” which opposes corporate rule and asserts communities’ autonomy to stand up for themselves and decide their own destiny.  CRUS builds community connections and helps to further a movement that seeks to upend the ridiculous privileges of fictional “citizens” called “corporate persons” and return to the path that We the People have been forging over generations, insisting on human rights and dignity as well as responsibility and care for our shared home.  So far, the community rights strategy has been used to block extraction and pollution in hundreds of communities, including a fracking ban in the entire state of New York.  The concept is closely allied to the idea of “Rights of Nature,” which is beginning to take hold in many other countries.  Visit CommunityRights.US to learn more.

 

United States / Washington, D.C.

LinkUp/Mutual Aid

LinkUp is a collective of organizers, artists, and entrepreneurs building a cooperative ecosystem with a community-involved process for the collection and distribution of resources to communities. Our model includes (1) a digital crowdfund and community organizing tool, featuring opinion-based surveys and cash prize competitions, where winners are selected by participants through a live and transparent voting process, (2) a digital banking platform that facilitates the exchange of skills and services using a time-credit currency, (3) a prisoner-centered magazine to elevate the voices and political agenda of the most oppressed, (4) a gaming tournament, and (5) a business directory. The LinkUp model addresses three primary challenges that communities face in these unprecedented times: low wages, lack of safety net, lack of access to resources to positively advance youth and communities.

Our original pilot sites:

1. Madison WI

Madison Wisconsin is the hometome of the HUMANs, and the Madison MAN Cooperative is a partnership of organizations and individuals working on a variety of mutual aid projects, including our cooperative co-working and collaboration space the Mutual Aid Workspace at the Social Justice Center. Read more…

2. Fertile Underground Natural Cooperative, Providence, RI

This Cooperative was independently seeking and developing many of the collaborative online tools, outlined governance models, and resource-sharing strategies, which have now been found in the MAN!  The effect is akin to a time-warp, bringing us presently ready to engage regional membership, create, grow and road-test these elements in a mutually supportive global environment.  Starting from urban gardening and a worker-cooperative local grocery store, we are now contacting and educating current and former members of Fertile Underground about HUMANs.  Our already common trades, barters, exchanges, and work parties are a stepping point for integrating into the MAN processes and technologies, to gain a wider reach, and potentially involve many more people, projects and resources in our activity. Read more…

3. Lehigh Valley, PA

Based in the Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, The Mutual Aid Network of the Lehigh Valley (MANLV) will utilize the mission and core values of Time Banking to develop and sustain a network of reciprocity, social support, and increased community engagement. Read more…

4. Lansing, MI

The micro-bioregion containing and surrounding Lansing, Michigan is to become the Mid-Michigan Mutual Aid Network (MMMAN). Lansing, the Capital City of the US State of Michigan, is home to a number of cooperative New Economy initiatives, including the Mid-Michigan Time Bank, the Lansing Maker’s Network, the Capital Village Trade Cooperative, the Greater Lansing Food Bank, and others. The region is ideally situated to conduct an asset mapping project with which to inventory and evaluate its considerable natural, agricultural, manufacturing, energy, transportation, intellectual, cultural, and social resources. Read more…

5. Solidarity Economy St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Solidarity Economy St. Louis is a coalition of social justice organizations, small businesses, and individuals striving to build and grow a “solidarity economy”; that is, an economy that embodies the values of social justice, ecological sustainability, mutualism, cooperation, democracy, and innovation while resisting the notion of “every person for themselves.” The work of our pilot site consists of three components: coalition and base building, campaign work, and capacity building to support the work of individual members. Read more…

6. HUMANE – Hull’s Urban-Scale Mutual Aid Network Economy, Hull, UK

Hull has developed a new vision for tackling poverty that concentrates on long term cultural change as opposed to short term, fragmented response. This approach draws on the time and assets of local people and organisations in a community wide response. Each society has under used resources, e.g time/buildings and unmet need for these same things. The solution will link these units through mutual aid, co-production and ownership, inclusion, collaboration and social innovation and build a second layer collaborative economy where these values are practised and embedded in organisational culture, creating opportunities for citizens to co-produce and access goods and services independently from local and central government. Read more…

7. Bergnek, South Africa

Bergnek, South Africa has been selected to be among the first eight pilot sites of a new worldwide group of Mutual Aid Networks. The BIG challenges in the Bergnek Community are the total lack of access to Water, Food, Education, Employmen. Read more…