ChristinSa's picture
FairCoop - Spreading the seed of cooperation to replace competition

FairCoop is, in fact, a lot of projects with a unifying mission behind all of them: to build alternative, grassroots-driven economy, which will be participatory, fair and belong to the people. All of the members of our global collective want to see that happen.

 

The FairCoop Thessaloniki is a local group linked to the global movement. We’re all dealing in different ways with the establishment of tools and processes that would bring about alternative, cooperative economies.

 

In the case of our city, to some extent, it’s done by implementation of alternative cryptocurrency, faircoin, developed by the FairCoop. We try to understand ways in which this currency, and a local currency introduced after the crisis, can coexist and supplement each other. In any case, the goal is to free ourselves from proprietary technologies and capitalist banking systems - by creating a parallel circular model, ideally connecting and supporting a whole ecosystem of projects locally and globally.

 

There is also the ambition to create a health care system within the communities by implementing the same solutions and building autonomous, community managed and driven scheme, highly independent from the existing one. For example, it could be done by using the percentage of community’s income to fund health care. It could even in the future take shape of an autonomous security system. Considering the increasingly ubiquitous 3D technology, many of the medical tools can be soon printed cheaply by anyone. Small ethical pharmaceuticals will be able to produce their own medicine. And all the wealth that is sucked up from the communities will stay there, making them stronger and independent. It is already the case in Spain, where after 6 years of experiments in the communities of all kinds a lot of generated income has been fed back and used to build, support projects, create systems of all kinds.

 

We also plan to replace the public system with a cooperative one. For now, it’s a hurdle - but in the future, it will be possible. The condition? The strong community behind it.

 

FairCoop exists since 2 years, and in Thessaloniki, it started a few months ago. We have links with dozens of cooperatives, organizations, initiatives and communities - such as Bitcoin community, P2P foundation, Catalonia Cooperative, etc. We’ve brought on board more than 1000 people so far. Yet, there’s still a lot to be done. We need to connect and build stronger alliances even in the cities - in Thessaloniki, many existing initiatives remain disconnected from each other. We need to develop models of integral cooperation on different levels. Bring decentralized technologies to local communities to make them more resilient. And seed the idea of cooperation, which will replace competition.

Comments

Personalized medicine

WinniePoncelet's picture

I'm very intrigued by this idea: "Considering the increasingly ubiquitous 3D technology, many of the medical tools can be soon printed cheaply by anyone. Small ethical pharmaceuticals will be able to produce their own medicine.". It would leave out the parties who suck the most money of out of the local communities. But more interestingly, it would allow for personalized medicine. People with rare diseases or allergies, who are often neglected by corporations based on economical incentives. Empowering these people with the tools to provide for themselves or have a close one provide for them seems like a revolutionary way forward. Then again, safety and legal hurdles quickly come to mind. I hope there's at least room for experimenting with it.

1000 people is already a lot... Congratulations! What do you feel is the biggest challenge in order to connect these existing, fragmented initiatives and replace competition in favor of cooperation?

no enemies be fully inclusive

Simonedb's picture

my friend, your peoject edvelop in really hard area and time. thanks you are doing it!

your peoject has a strong identity. it shows values. You agree with me that not everybody agrees on thos values and practises. it will come a point when (if the project arrive to a relevant size and numbers) you will be in signirficant touch with interests, groups, organizations...that let's say, have a more traditional view.

one side is big conflict othe side seam to be the death.

third way, try to include what you do with what others do, with the time things and realtionship changes and if it good and betetr, your stile will modify their ones...without conflincts...

I never understood this, but maybe you can enlighten me

Noemi's picture

Hey, I wonder if we have met before here and there..? Were you at some point organising the Fest of Solidarity, circa two years ago? anyway..

Is your group or another in Greece already using Faircoin, and where? Is anybody estimating how much use is needed in order to see communities or projects up and running and producing results thanks to it?

For detailed measurements feel free to point me to resources, I'm sure the story is longer..

PS @Simonedb @woodbinehealth make sure you ping @ChristinSa or any edgeryders if you want to be sure they see your comment, notifications can get lost in the long stream.

Hey everyone, thanx for your

ChristinSa's picture

Hey everyone, thanx for your comments!

Our group is based in Thessaloniki but it is connected with a global network of tools and projects with the vision to expand an alternative and fair economy through cooperation, or let’s say to create sustainable economic solutions through cooperativism. In Greece there is already many cooperatives, especially created as a result of the economic crisis, either under a legal form or remaining informal, and we want to support their networking as well as to expand the network through creating new cooperative initiatives.

One of the tools to connect those and at the same time to untie ourselves from the banking system is alternative currency networks and FairCoin is already doing this on a global level. However the currency is just a tool, what is most important is the vision and the values that incorporate the efforts. In Thessaloniki, we started quite recently but there is already some places that joined and we hope to see more of them joining very soon. In Greece there is more places in Athens and the island of Crete, where FairCoin is further connected to the local currency of Herakleion. @Noemi you can find a global directory with all the places using FairCoin here.

@WinniePoncelet this is certainly not an easy task, especially when the effort is being made on a global scale and you are trying to create change in a global scale. But we hope that cooperation can help with all the progress. The biggest challenge I see is trust and empowerment, people to trust each other and believe that collectively they can change things. So trust to each other and trust to collective power, rather than being disconnected and antagonistic. From so many sides we are being trained to not trust each other and our collective power, but I believe that culture is gradually changing and people are becoming more inclined to create communities and cooperate. Technology and to a certain extent the economic crisis have supported that.

@Simonedb I agree with you that it is extremely important to remain open to other ideas and projects, and this is why we were so happy to participate at the Edgeryders workshop in Thessaloniki where we met this amazing community of people! At the same time, it is also important to have clear values and objectives, so that people trust you. So openness, cooperation and values can go a long way and can bring very creative results, especially on a large or global scale.

I invite people interested in our efforts to visit FairCoop’s website and if you wish to be more actively involved or have ideas to share, please leave a message or join our telegram groups which we use for networking and communication, by sending an e-mail to: coop@fair.coop!

PS: @Noemi, I don’t think we have met before, do you mean the Festival of Solidarity and Cooperative Economy in Athens? I have been there, but since I live in Thessaloniki I am not part of the organizing team. However our group here is connected with the people in Athens and also people organizing the festival. There is another Christina among them so perhaps this is who you mean? :)

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