It is clearer than ever that it is time to transform our food systems and the economic models that created them: to create a new normal that puts the health of planet and people over profit. The alternatives for transformative change already exist – social solidarity economies.
Unlike growth-driven capitalist economies, solidarity economies are a commitment to community, to localized economies focused on mutual benefit, sufficiency for all, and frugal yet radical abundance for everyone. They value the labour of growers, makers, and thinkers; privilege connectedness and relationships over consumption and transactions; and encourage social organization and democratic participation in decision making in decentralized governance models
AFSA is hosting fortnightly online Solidarity Economy Sessions to explore the many existing examples of social solidarity economies, and share knowledge, ideas, and experiences about how to grow more.
Find upcoming sessions, catch up on past sessions, and check back for more sessions to be announced soon. You can also keep up to date with new sessions on social media (links at the bottom of this page).
Victory Gardens with Cultivating Community
Tuesday 8 Sep 2020, 6:00pm – registration opens soon
Cultivatin Community create spaces that provide opportunities for communities to access healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate food, while connecting with each other, learning skills, and sharing cultures. We talk to Rob Rees about why they work to foster and empower communities through food, and what it means for food security and resilient food systems.
Making Solidarity the New Normal with New Economies Network Australia
October 7 2020, 6:00pm – registration opens soon
The alternatives to our current growth-focussed economy are being built all over Australia, tackling a range of connected issues that influence our food systems: ecological health, industrialised supply chains, democratic governance, Indigenous sovereignty, and more.
The New Economies Network Australia works to connect and promote such projects, build peer-to-peer learning and use collective strategies to create and advocate for change, to build a movement of people working in solidarity to create a ‘new’ economy. Join Dr Michelle Maloney to talk about how and why NENA is making solidarity the new normal as it works to transform our economies.
Watch previous sessions
Building a CSA with AFSA
AFSA farmers Tammi Jonas, Ant Wilson, and Dan Cordner talk about the whys, hows, highs, and lows of starting and running a CSA.
Collaborative Economies with the Open Food Network
Jen Sheridan & Lynne Davis of the Open Food Network share OFN’s work in building and growing collaborative economies – connecting growers with each other and their eaters, harnessing logistics, going global, and how the network provided critical infrastructure for farmers and eaters during the current crisis.
30 Years of Co-operatives with Friends of the Earth & Earthworker Cooperative
24 June 2020 6:00pm
This session we’ll be discussing all things co-operative with Beth Cameron of Friends of the Earth, talking about 35 years of the FoE food co-op in Melbourne, as well as talking to Katherine Cunningham and Ellie Coffey of Earthworker Cooperative, which works to establish a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise – including Australia’s first worker-owned factory.
Replacing Growth with Belonging Economies with Artist as Family
Wed 1 July 2020 6:00pm
We sit down with Meg Ulman and Patrick Jones of Artist as Family to talk about radically regenerative living, antidotes to cultures of disposability, and how belonging economies can help grow better relationships with country and the communities of the living.
Permaculture Solidarities with David Holmgren
Wed 15 July 2020 6:00pm
Join David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept and co-creator of Australia’s best-known permaculture demonstration site, Melliodora, to explore how we can build home and community economies based in permacultural ethics as a foundation for a better and more just future.
Resilience in Community-Owned Value (Chains) with Food Connect
We’re talking to Robert Pekin and Emma-Kate Rose of Food Connect about building community-owned food systems: how producers and eaters together can reclaim ownership of value chains and infrastructure, why community ownership matters and how it strengthens the food system for all of us.
Food Connect have been building their food community for 15 years, and last year crowd-funded the Food Connect Shed – Australia’s first community owned food hub. Join us as we explore how they did it, what it means for their food community, and how we can grow more community-owned food systems.
Growing More Solidarity Farmers with Farmer Incubator
Farmer Incubator’s mission is to grow new farmers through a collaborative model that reduces risks and costs for young farmers, while supporting them into farming models that nurture food sovereignty and security.
We’ll be talking to FI about how they provide opportunities for new farmers to start small and work cooperatively, how a collaborative models helps new farmers gain the knowledge, confidence and resources, and why mentorship and empowerment of young farmers is key to a strong food system.