I’ve been interested when people get together and build their own structures to create the world in which they want to see.
The co-operative movement in Europe shows many great examples -
from its early days with the Rochdale pioneers of England who banded together in 1844 and quickly grew from strength to strength
to the Mondragon co-operatives started about a hundred years later in the Basque region of Spain
The growing financial crisis sees ever increasing interest in self help groups who are building their own independant economic strength, not entirely rooted in the wider economy. The severity of the crisis, the way it spreads through the whole financial system threatening to bring increasingly great turmoil sees people looking far and wide for inspiration and a growing innovation to achieve some economic resilience.
Co-operative Integral Catalonia is an interesting new co-operative enterprise which is forming a network which aims to become largely slef sufficient http://s.coop/pv9t (web translation from Spanish) It is drawing upon numerous influences from modern day innovative enterprises such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banco_Palmas to the experiences operating within a different economic framework within Catalonia during the civil war.
The Transition Towns network has seen a large network of people all aiming to increase the resilience of their communities against economic, resource or environmental shocks.
The ‘open source’ movement has shifted into the physical. A number of groups are begining to explore how the dynamics of open software and web services can shift into the physical world. There are a number of European Open Source Economy groups opensourceecology.org but there is more going on which ihas not got the high visability of OSE. Happily I find many people involved in these kind of projects here at Edgeryders!!