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Grassroots Economy

JASecon organized an all day, free to the public, festival in Oakland at Humanist Hall on Sept. 26, 2009 in celebration of an emerging bottom-up economy for people and the planet. Approximately 450 people and 50 organizations participated, bringing together worker-cooperatives, urban gardeners developing food security measures, advocates of human powered transportation, gray water activists, complimentary currency promoters, and many others. Panels discussed how to start a worker cooperative, explained financial and other support resources for the grassroots economy, and a third outlined urban food security issues and projects. The final panel analyzed how to build an alternative by creating synergies between the different areas of the grassroots economy and with environmental and social justice organizations. The festival was a bottom-up trade fair that tried to show what people working together could do to help each other meet real needs. We would like to build on the festival by organizing workshops based on these themes. Also, we would like to find ways to extend resources both to and from grassroots organizations. Ultimately, we seek to build the capacity of local communities (esp. those most affected by economic collapse) to sustain the planet and themselves without exploitation.