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Mapping the 'Solidarity Economy'

Students in Assistant Professor of Political Science Craig Borowiak's research seminar on Solidarity Economy Movements have a handy new resource to turn to. With help from summer research assistant Christine Letts ’12, Borowiak created a Solidarity Economy webpage that offers links to articles, databases, organizations and networks around the world.

“I had a concept and some content and Christine really did an amazing job with it,” says Borowiak, whose seminar looks at alternatives to mainstream capitalism, such as consumer and producer cooperatives, microfinance and fair trade movements.

Information on the webpage is organized into several broad categories, including food and agriculture, land trusts, and currency and finance. The page also features links to initiatives that seek to map the evolving solidarity economy and boasts what may be the first such map of the Philadelphia area, developed by Cameron Scherer ’11.

“We came up with a list of close to 300 organizations that fit our criteria and Cameron went out into the field to check them out,” says Borowiak. “Then she created an interactive Google map that you can search by category, such as artist cooperatives or community gardens.”

Soon after the webpage went live in September, Borowiak made it available to members of an international research network he’s part of, and saw it spark immediate interest. “A sociologist at the University of Wisconsin recommended it to his graduate students,” says Borowiak, who expects to add new content generated by the research of his seminar students over the fall semester.

--Eils Lotozo

View the webpage:

The intersection of College Lane and Coursey Road in front of the Cricket Pitch.

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