Best of Shareable | 2021 Reader's Digest

Since 2009, we’ve made it our mission to bring you impactful and engaging stories centered on community, collaboration and collective wellbeing. In the ten+ years following Shareable’s inception, we’ve seen firsthand the restorative, transformational power of sharing and delighted in the possibilities of building a brighter, more equitable future.

As 2021 comes to a close, we’re looking back on the best of what Shareable had to offer this year and looking ahead to what’s sure to be an eventful and inspirational next chapter. Covering everything from fan favorites to feature stories, this round-up isn’t just a snapshot of our annual editorial catalog, it’s a celebration of our ongoing commitment to uplifting the stories and voices that make up our global sharing community. 

We hope you enjoy our Best of Shareable 2021 | Reader’s Digest!

1. How to give the land back

Best of Shareable

How do we address the sins of the past while building collaboratively toward a more equitable future? This inspirational story took us to Humboldt Co., CA, where the Wiyot tribe and settler-colonizer organizations are working together to form a first-of-its-kind community land trust returning land sovereignty to the people.

2. Acquisition-conversion: the promising new strategy for scaling worker ownership

Our best feature story of the year, this article detailed the simple, innovative, and wildly effective strategy investment funds are implementing to establish employee-owned operations. As the name suggests, “aqui-version” sees firms acquiring traditional businesses, then converting them into cooperative operational structures. 

3. Heatwaves and energy poverty in the Mediterranean

Best of Shareable

One of our most engaging Response episodes of the year asked: When temperatures rise to the point where they become dangerous, what happens to people who can’t escape the heat?” In this episode of our award-winning podcast series, we track the southern European region’s record-breaking, climate-fueled heatwaves and chat with city officials who are implementing changes to help cool their sizzling cities. 

4. Rules of the road: Partnering with public libraries for collective impact

In the United States, 92% of public library funding comes from local sources. With no national standards to determine what libraries can and can’t do, these often-overlooked community cornerstones have quickly become beacons of sharing potential. From community gardens to parkour classes, our most popular library story of the year explains how we can utilize libraries to mobilize and empower our communities.

5. Native American new urbanism: How the poorest county in America created a vision for the future of cities

Best of Shareable

Adapted from Bright Green Future (a book that chronicles a global renaissance in people-powered solutions to climate change), this article was a Top 10 reader’s choice. In colonially-recognized South Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC), uses Indigeous-informed approaches to establish and maintain placemaking that centers people, planet, and prosperity.

6. Rural Power Coalition asks Congress for clean energy in Rural America

Best of Shareable

Earlier this year, we joined the Rural Power Coalition’s campaign urging our national leaders to prioritize rural communities by investing in their transition to clean energy. The effort was a resounding success! Through their organizing, RPC, their partners and a host of other dedicated climate activists were able to secure a $9.7 billion investment for “Clean Energy for Rural Utilities” in President Biden’s Build Back Better recovery plan. Follow the campaign’s progress here

7. From green privilege to green gentrification

Best of Shareable

Our most popular story of 2021, this recap of Isabelle Anguelovski’s insightful Cities@Tufts Spring 2021 presentation dutifully navigated the intersection of structural inequity, environmental justice and greenification practices. Drawing on examples from European and American cities, Anguelovski mused about the impact these interrelated trends could have on our most vulnerable communities.   

8. How laid-off coal miners are reclaiming their own economy

Best of Shareable

In our second most popular story of the year, we visited the American Appalachia, where a unified team of worker organizers are recovering from the legacy of coal’s decline by establishing a regeneration of local economies from the ground up.

9. Racism in finance has sparked a grassroots response. Meet the Boston Ujima Project

Best of Shareable

In this article, we profile the Boston Ujima Fund who’s aiming to build an elightened movement that reinvests into the neighborhoods and dreams of communities, families, and people who have experienced generations of financial discrimination, barring them from acquiring generational wealth.  

10. How to start a community composting project

When it takes place at the community level, composting proves a terrific strategy for unleashing the power of collaboration and civic engagement to move toward a zero waste economy that puts people and planet first. Read all about how to harness this power in your own community in our most comprehensive how-to guide of 2021.

11. How I became hopeful again through a year of local, grassroots action

Best of Shareable

Penned by Shareable’s own Neal Gorenflo, this piece summarizes his experience taking on the Year of Living Locally Challenge. Expunging on the lessons he learned along the way, it captures a personal tale of learning, unlearning, communal collaboration and the transformative power of creating change exactly where you are.

Interested in taking on your own #YearLocal Challenge? Start here: 8 steps to take right now to live a more local life  

12. How to start a back-up battery collective

From California wildfires to Texas snow storms, this year saw a slew of extreme weather conditions. Faced with inadequate responses from government officials and utility giants, many communities chose to tap into the power of collective ownership and community networks. This how to guide article, penned by Susan Park of the The SF Bay-based People Power Battery Collective, explains how you can do the same in the event of an energy emergency.

13. Meet the co-op activists who are changing Oakland’s real-estate game

Best of Shareable

Decades of redlining, structural and environmental racism, and widespread resource extractions pushed many Black & brown residents out of Oakland, California. In this most recent addition, we see the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative using cooperative organizing to tackle the affordable housing crisis by taking land off the speculative market and into community stewardship.

14. How to implement Doughnut Economics in your community

Best of Shareable

You don’t need to be an economist to change the goal of your economy to well-being for people and the planet. From Amsterdam to California to London, everyday people are adopting the ‘Doughnut’ in order to encourage sustainable and equitable economic systems change. This optimistic article explains how you too can transform Doughnut Economics from an inspiring idea into practical action.

15. The DAO of decentralization: Can co-ops thrive on the blockchain?

Our final feature story of the year is an informative exploration of one of the year’s most popular (and enigmatic) subjects. Discover how the latest string of letters to emerge from the depths of the blockchain universe — DAOs, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations — might have something to offer to those interested in advancing the power of labor, specifically when it comes to employee ownership.

None of these amazing stories would be possible without our extraordinary team of writers and editors, and the dedication and continued engagement of readers like you.

It’s our goal to produce high quality content that connects with, emboldens and inspires our readers. If you have a favorite feature you’d like us to highlight, give us a shout at! And, if you’d like to support to keep our movement going, you can donate here.

Zanetta Jones


Zanetta Jones

Zanetta Jones is a marketing and communications specialist with a background in digital media and content strategy. After falling in love with advocacy work while working as a staff writer

Things I share: inspirational quotes, knock-knock jokes, local off-beat eateries