Glasgow: Putting the pieces of an alternative economy together

An apprentice at Galagael, a boat-building social enterprise in Govan Photo: Heritage Lottery Fund Glaswegians are unconventional and often disrespectful of power. But can they bring together the disparate pieces of the city’s emerging alternative economy and challenge the status quo? ‘All these planks somehow go together and make a boat. And that boat somehow can hold us, take us all on a voyage. The voyage of a busted-up community to a better future.’ Colin MacLeod In a forgotten corner of Govan in Glasgow you can glimpse how regeneration could be if it was driven – not by spreadsheets and buildings – but by trust, empathy and strengthening the individual and collective agency of people. Galgael is a social enterprise set up by Colin Macleod after his failed attempt as leader of the ‘Pollak Free State’ to stop the M77 motorway being constructed through the park … (To read more, subscribe below)

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Clare Goff

Clare Goff

Clare Goff is editor of New Start magazine


  • Edgar Cahn

    There are two major issues we face in the future:
    1. What is the future of work as we co-exist with robots, 3-d printers and artificial intelligence?

    The work of the future that will not vanish is raising children, building strong families, caring for the elderly and disabled, making safe, vibrant neighborhoods, holding officials accountable, making democracy work, protecting the environment and preserving the planet.

    2. How do we enable the work done rebuilding and renewing the core economy to earn a sufficient share or allocation of the abundance that the monetary economy generates (sustenance, housing, health care, education, opportunity) and that is necessary to live, develop and contribute.

    My effort with TimeBanking is predicated on the belief that the work of the future must somehow entail strengthening what I call the Core Economy. That involves finding a way to value people that the market does not value and types of labor that the market does not value.

    The Core Economy is our species’ “ecosystem” – and we can no longer neglect it, exploit it, extract functions from it or ignore its present state of fragmentation any more than we can ignore the hole we have created in the ozone layer. Right now that work rebuilding the human “ecosystem” tends to be invisible, unpaid, undervalued. And it is largely carried by women (or minorities) in ways that perpetuate past subordination.

    The question is how to bridge two worlds – the Monetary world and core economy world – so that those who rebuild, restore and renew the core economy can share in the abundance that the monetary economy (with all its technology coupled with new social media) has the capacity to produce and distribute.

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