20 + Latin American Cities Celebrate Collaborative Economy This Week

From May 4th to the 11th, more than 20 cities around the world will celebrate the  Collaborative Economy Week: eight days to celebrate, practice and promote the culture of sharing.

Everywhere around the world new ways to do things, think, design, work, shop, sell, exchange, manufacture, travel, teach, learn and finance partnerships are emerging. In cities in Latin America, co-working spaces and makerspaces are blooming, the first platforms for carpooling are being tested and free public bicycle systems are surfacing. The traditional markets from producer to consumer are widely being promoted thanks to the internet, just like community gardens.

The web is intensifying the circulation of used objects between people, through buying and selling, gifting, donations, lending and leasing platforms. Crowdfunding is becoming more popular, for artistic and social projects and private financing allows economic needs to become not depend on the banks. More times people forget about hotels and stay at private homes. Goods and services in our everyday life are absorbed by software and digital content: what matters is not to possess them but to have access to them.

Every day, the leading newspapers from Latin America reflect upon these changes. However, they tend not to mention collaborative economy: there is no awareness that each of these trends form part of a greater movement. For this reason, the Collaborative Economy Week proposes to promote the idea of a transformational change that will make power relations and means of production more horizontal. It is an initiative of Minka Banco de las redes to make these new models more visible and to support and promote the work of those who inspire them, together with other local, national and regional networks and organizations.

To achieve this, free of charge, decentralized and self-run activities are being prepared in more than 20 cities from Mexico to Patagonia. Exchange markets, digital production sessions, open co-working sessions, debates on collaborative financing, workshops about creative economy, free fairs, collaborative consulting meetings, joint projects, carpooling, and crowdfunding parties are some of the suggestions on the agenda. 

Minka is a network of people and collectives interested in promoting, learning and articulating experiences around collaborative economy. In their new website you will be able to access an online catalogue with tools and collaborative solutions from around the world, find necessary resources to carry on with different projects (financing and volunteering, know-how and knowledge, equipment and infrastructure, contracts, support to manage different issues and more) and to exchange experiences with groups from around the world through the open map of organizations.

The actors around social and solidarity economy also join this presentation and exploration of alternative models which make up the Collaborative Economy Week. The complete program can be viewed on our website minka.me, city by city.

The Collaborative Economy Week coincides in time with other collaborative events that take place in different parts of the world, such as #Sharing Spring – South of the Ecuador it will be autumn season – and the OuiShare Fest which is happening in Paris from May 5th to the 7th. From the South, we give impulse to this global movement, aiming for more participation, sustainability, horizontality, transparency and humanity.