4th Good Economy through Good Examples Conference held in Zagreb this Month

Daniela Rogulj

For the fourth consecutive year, the Good Economy Conference will be held in the great hall of Matica hrvatskih obrtnika at Ilica 49 in Zagreb from March 23 to 25, 2017.

The Good Economy Conference, which is in its 4th consecutive year this year, brings together a range of international and local experts and practitioners of a good economy – creating a space for inspiration and learning of the practical application of economic models that are based on the principles of caring for people, the environment and fair distribution. 

This year’s conference will bring a series of recent discussions and practices for a “collaborative economy”, introduce you to the concept of an ”open factory” owned by its employees, present hotels and successful social enterprises operated by former immigrants and refugees, talk about inspiring examples of participatory governance of the city, bring the first Croatian presentation and discussion of the movement for democratic governance, collective ownership, and equitable future work based on the rich tradition of cooperatives and new technologies of the 21st century.

“The Good Economy Conference is not only a place for practical learning and getting acquainted with the many examples of good economics, but it also raises awareness of the fact that there is a large global movement for a good economy which can provide and meet the needs of the world’s population, without jeopardizing resources for future generations,” said Drazen Šimleša, one of the organizers of the conference and manager of the Cooperative for a Good Economy (ZDE).

Guests at the 4th Good Economy Conference

The conference this year will host Christiana Iaionea, the main author of the city management model as a common good – City as Commons. The City of Commons is an innovative model for the inclusion of citizens in decision-making, management of urban areas and infrastructure, and social services. At first, the application was tried in the city of Bologna where the city government adopted and signed the official document regulating cooperation with the citizens on the management of common resources in the city. Due to the overwhelming success of the Bologna model, the model has been applied all over Italy and beyond.

The first Croatian presentation and discussion of “platform cooperativism” will be held by Thomas Dönnebrink, expert and practitioner of a collaborative economy and the economy of sharing which operates in Berlin. In addition to work on the application of the concept “Sharing Cities”, Dönnebrink is one of the European leaders for a visionary concept of a good economy called “cooperative platform” – the movement for democratic governance, collective ownership and equitable future work based on the rich tradition of cooperatives, the new technologies of the 21st century, and an analysis of current relations in the labor market.

Albert Canigueral is a connector at OuiShare international network, the largest global network of a collaborative economy that brings together ideas, people, and organizations around creating a model of social organization based on sustainability, cooperation, and solidarity. He will present a participatory model of action and global network and application models of a collaborative economy from Barcelona where lives and works.

Luca Federici from the factory RiMaflow will speak about the successful example of a good Italian economy where fifty workers jointly took over the management of a factory that failed during the last economic crisis, and, guided by the concept of an ”open factory”, founded a successful cooperative that sells recycled electrical components, and also carries out numerous development activities for the local community.

The conference will be attended by Andrea Amann, Representative of Magdas hotel who carries out and promotes a model of cooperation and tolerance through the employment of marginalized social groups. Of the 28 employees at hotel Magdas, 20 of them came to Austria as a refugee, and they now jointly run the environmentally friendly hotel.

Nigel and Karen Lowthrop from Hill Holt Wood will present the work of one of the most successful social enterprises in the UK. Sustainable forest management, carpentry, ecological construction, management of bars and restaurants with organic food, educational activities, and natural therapies for people with mental disabilities are just some of the areas this social enterprise has received numerous awards.

Workshops and open dialogue

With a range of inspirational lectures, the conference will introduce some new formats and bring even more practical workshops. The conference program will include three discussions: How to use crowdfunding for social enterprises – crowdfunding and cooperative financing, an open dialogue with foreign and local social entrepreneurs, and a discussion of social cooperatives in Croatia.

There will also be three practical workshops: 

– How to use crowdfunding for social enterprises? A workshop that continues the open discussion for persons or groups who already have a ready idea of social entrepreneurship

– Kitchen B, a project by the collective Biceps Cultivatus from France, which is an innovative model of sustainable cuisine in which, through clever design and DIY culture, has united urban gardens, recycling and composting of kitchen leftovers

– Biotecture, a workshop for making green facades and walls that will be lead by Wiartalla Werner, a member of one of the most popular social centers in the world – ufaFabrik from Berlin.

Get your tickets

The 4th Good Economy Conference is organized by the Green network of activist groups (ZMAG). Ticket prices for the three-day conference are 90 kunas, two-day tickets are 70 kunas, and one-day tickets are 50 kunas. The ticket price includes translations, lunch, and coffee. Tickets are available here.

The detailed conference program can be found on the websiteFacebook page or Facebook event.

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