Post by Synergia Institute

Synergia collaborates with practitioners, policymakers, and academics to create and advance change that makes a difference in communities, regions, and broader systems, especially alternatives responding to local and global crises.

Cooperative economic democracy is a central theme throughout our work- a framework of concepts, values, and practices that give priority to

  • resilience over economic growth
  • co-operation over competition
  • sufficiency over efficiency
  • well-being over the right to possess
  • fairness and equity over the primacy of markets, trade, and capital
  • decentralized and democratic ownership over centralized power and private ownership
  • climate justice and just transition
  • the commons over the rights of private property, and
  • our dependence upon nature over our right to dominate it.

These are not merely theoretical propositions. They are choices about what is paramount for transition in a perilous century. They are the basis for a comprehensive alternative to the status quo – a compendium of ideas, models, and movements that are essential to our collective capacity for transition and survival. These alternatives, and the means to apply them, are the focus of our work.

Several questions frame our thinking and guide our work:

  • How can we meet our basic needs in ways that advance fairness and resilience where we live and contribute to the restoration of ecosystems and GHG reduction?
  • How do we shift the narrative from the mantra of endless growth to one of well-being, sufficiency, solidarity, and living within the natural limits of the planet?
  • How can citizens, communities, organizations, institutions, movements, and progressive businesses co-operate to craft and execute strategies that build solutions that counter the status quo?
  • How do we diffuse and amplify the impacts of existing models and solutions to advance system change, and best navigate energy descent and climate disruptions?

Our contribution to this global call for a transition to sustainability is threefold:

  • Designing accessible, high-quality educational resources and training programs that can be leveraged by change agents everywhere to navigate systems change and adaptation where they live and in collaboration with others working in different spaces.
  • Providing training and education programming through intensive, face-to-face courses.
  • Seeking collaborative relationships with all like-minded networks and organizations to advance our collective goals.

Synergia’s mission to inspire, educate and animate people to act is relevant to both those beginning the transition journey and those who have been in the trenches for years.

Our invitation to the 2023 MOOC embodies these principles and aims.

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