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How can the Alternative Economy contribute to Environmental and Economic challenges?

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The Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) 2016 conference took place between 8 and 10 June, and was once again held at multiple sites across the USA and Europe. The London site was hosted at University College London (UCL), with Foreign Correspondent Jonny Hankins attending on behalf of the Foundation and presenting his work looking at alternative provisioning networks in Italy and the USA.
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Jonny Hankins presenting his research on alternative food procurement practices in the USA and Italy. Hankins compared models of Community Supported Agriculture found in Massachusetts to models of Solidarity Purchase Groups (GAS) in Italy, arguing that the Italian models were much more geared to social participation and community building than their US counterparts. Slides of the presentation are available below.
http://www.fondazionebassetti.org/en/focus/2016/06/2016_inss_meeting_report.html

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How can the Alternative Economy contribute to Environmental and Economic challenges?

  1. 1. How can the Alternative Economy contribute to Environmental and Economic challenges? Comparative case studies, Massachusetts (USA) and Lombardy (IT) Jonathan Hankins, CORES, UNIBG, jonnyhankins@hotmail.com
  2. 2. GAS, solidarity purchasing groups • GAS mainly buy locally grown produce for internal distribution • Motivated by improving quality of life, solidarity to producers. • Each member family is responsible for one product. • Gas groups are self organizing, typically meeting once a month to discuss purchasing. • The groups are organized into a national network. • Typical groups contain about 20 families and often pool their resources. • Many also run time banks etc GAS spend approximately 10 million Euros per year nationally, mostly on food, but also natural cleaning and sanitary products, clothes and are expanding into insurance and power supply Jonathan Hankins, UNIBG, jonnyhankins@hotmail.com
  3. 3. Farmer Dave, MA • A commercial enterprise • CSA concept, supporting local production • Farming techniques aimed at preservation of land quality • Aimed at middle income families in Boston metropolis • Employs several workers, mixed farming techniques • Participate in a local production network • Yearly pot luck and farm visits • Farmer Dave currently work 80 acres, with customer numbers varying according to the seasons. Several different types of weekly food box on offer, plus market presence Jonathan Hankins, UNIBG, Jonnyhankins@hotmail.com
  4. 4. Similarities and differences • Aims to improve quality of life of consumers and producers • Non for profit • Monthly social meetings • Network factors: Expansion into related fields (cooking, self production) • Self determinant, close personal relationship with producer • Centralized collection point • Strong social element (as important as the food maybe?) • Decision on produce and production taken with consumer • Request trade model • Aims to improve quality of life for consumers and producers • For profit • Once a year farm day visit • Network Factors: Other best practices brought in (eco. storage and heating) • Typical economic relationship, one way information flow, pay for food in advance • Centralized collection points • No strong social element, it is a commercial relationship • Production and produce decisions made by producer, no coproduction • Offer trade model GAS Farmer Dave
  5. 5. For further information: • Meet Farmer Dave http://www.farmerdaves.net/ • Bergamo GAS website http://retegasbergamo.it/ • CORES, UNIBG. Research on GAS and other sustainable initiatives https://coreslab.wikispaces.com/ • Hankins, J. and Grasseni, C. 2015 Collective Food Purchasing Networks As A Case Study Of Responsible Innovation, in Glocalism online journal http://www.glocalismjournal.net/Issues/FEEDING- THE-PLANET-ENERGY-FOR-LIFE/Articles/Collective-Food- Purchasing-Networks-In-Italy-As-A-Case-Study-Of-Responsible- Innovation-By-J-Hankins-C-Grasseni.kl • Bassetti Foundation Website http://www.fondazionebassetti.org/ • Grasseni, C. 2013. Beyond Alternative Food Networks; Italy’s Solidarity Purchase Groups, Bloomsbury, London Thanks for participating. Jonathan Hankins is CORES Research Partner, and Bassetti Foundation Fellowship PhD candidate, University of Bergamo International Doctorate School, Italy. jonnyhankins@hotmail.com
  6. 6. For further information: • Meet Farmer Dave http://www.farmerdaves.net/ • Bergamo GAS website http://retegasbergamo.it/ • CORES, UNIBG. Research on GAS and other sustainable initiatives https://coreslab.wikispaces.com/ • Hankins, J. and Grasseni, C. 2015 Collective Food Purchasing Networks As A Case Study Of Responsible Innovation, in Glocalism online journal http://www.glocalismjournal.net/Issues/FEEDING- THE-PLANET-ENERGY-FOR-LIFE/Articles/Collective-Food- Purchasing-Networks-In-Italy-As-A-Case-Study-Of-Responsible- Innovation-By-J-Hankins-C-Grasseni.kl • Bassetti Foundation Website http://www.fondazionebassetti.org/ • Grasseni, C. 2013. Beyond Alternative Food Networks; Italy’s Solidarity Purchase Groups, Bloomsbury, London Thanks for participating. Jonathan Hankins is CORES Research Partner, and Bassetti Foundation Fellowship PhD candidate, University of Bergamo International Doctorate School, Italy. jonnyhankins@hotmail.com

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