If you're up for a serious deep dive into new-economy ideas and action, check out the 4th edition of the Synergia Institute online course. It's an eight-module designed for activist-minded progressives that starts on February 7 and runs through June 24.
Each module runs for 2 weeks and requires between 1.5 and 3 hours a week, depending on the study track that you choose. Self-designated "Explorers" can expect to commit 1.5 hours per week while "Changemakers" will spend 3 hours per week studying and engaging with peers. "Deep Divers" will engage with experienced changemakers and supplementary materials.
The Synergia course is a MOOC -- a Massive Open Online Course -- that brings together some carefully selected readings, videos and other materials to show what progressive system-change can look like. The 2019 edition of the course had 1,060 registrants from 42 countries, and focused on such topics as co-operatives, alternative finance, degrowth, and the Solidarity Economy, among many others.
The new updated, upgraded course, "Toward Co-operative Commonwealth: Transition in a Perilous Century," focuses on four overarching themes -- solidarity, co-operation, reciprocity, and sustainability. It offers a rare opportunity to dig into the practical, legal, and policy particulars in a rigorous way, augmented by study circles and action groups of other learners.
Special attention is paid to six key economic sectors: Land and Housing, Food and Agriculture, Energy, Work, Social Care and Finance, with the following overarching themes:
- 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
- the commons over the rights of private property, and
- our dependence upon nature over our right to dominate it.
The full fee for the course is CA$140, but for those who can't afford that there is a reduced fee of CA$70, and a solidarity fee to ensure that anyone interested can participate.
The Synergia Co-operative Institute is an international network of experienced practitioners and educators who are focused on catalyzing system-change. The Institute was cofounded by three Canadians -- John Restakis, Michael Lewis, Mike Gismondi -- and American money and finance expert Pat Conaty, each of whom has extensive experience with co-operatives, community development, and community education.
More info at the Synergia website or at synergiainstitute /at/gmail.com.