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MOVE UTOPIA 2017 – Get-together of movements

End of June 2017, a 5-day gathering of alternative movements called MOVE UTOPIA took place for the first time on Kulturkosmos Müritz, a festival site in rural Eastern Germany. The main aim of the get-together is to join forces with each other in the struggle for similar goals: “a world according to needs and abilities” that leaves the current capitalist system and market logic behind.  Continue reading

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Review: Take Back the Economy

Take Back The Economy by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy is a practical guide for the transition toward a postcapitalist society suited for amateurs, students, citizen, and activists alike. Through tools, tips, and examples from around the world, the book engages its reader in a very accessible way, dismantling the idea that the economy is separate from us and better left to experts. 

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Our first book

As our first project, AoA independently published the co-edited book ‘Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities’ in 2015; an open book exploring the visions, actions, tools and impacts of change agents, thinkers and ‘happeners’ (those who make things happen!). It shows the creative processes and tools for designing positive societal transitions. These transitions are revealed by showing the new hybrid relationships being forged between alternative approaches to learning, living, making, socialising, thinking and working. Continue reading

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Designing with(in) a community: Sharing insights gained through practice

Essay by Malin Bäckman, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)

I wanted to gain understanding of how to involve residents of a neighbourhood in a design process through a series of initiatives, referred to as ‘explorations’. These explorations were carried out between October 2011 and August 2012 in Kannelmäki, a suburban area of Helsinki, and formed part of my Master’s Thesis at the Creative Sustainability programme, at Aalto University.  Continue reading

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An experiment put to practice

Interview with Cordula Andrä, ZEGG Centre for Experimental Cultural and Social Design

ZEGG stands for Zentrum für Experimentelle Gesellschaftsgestaltung – Centre for Experimental Culture and Social Design. It is an intentional community living in the small town of Bad Belzig, an hour away from Berlin. ZEGG has existed for more than twenty years since its foundation in 1991 and reinvented itself more than once over the years. Continue reading

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European Alternatives

Interview with Daphne Büllesbach and Luisa Maria Schweitzer, European Alternatives Berlin

European Alternatives (EA) is a transnational organisation and network whose mission is to promote ‘democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state’.1 On a dark February evening in 2014, we met up with Daphne Büllesbach, Citizenship and Democracy Director at EA, and Luisa Maria Schweizer, City Coordinator of the local Berlin chapter of EA. Continue reading

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Learning by doing – the transformative power of do-it-together (DIT)

Essay by Katharina Moebus, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. (Aristotle1)

There are certain things you only learn through direct experience. Roughly four years ago, I had the chance to go through an experience which entirely changed the way I look at problems. Continue reading

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Lending actions power through pages

Interview with Amber Hickey, editor of A Guidebook of Alternative Nows

Amber Hickey is an artist, researcher and book editor who has a special focus on art activism and is currently based in Santa Cruz, California. She is editor of the book A Guidebook of Alternative Nows,1 an inspiring collection of essays and case studies by thirty-four different contributors. We met Amber on Skype for an interview to find out more about her work, the book, and the unusual process behind it.
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Culture as a uniting element

Interview with the editors of the Community Lovers Guide Berlin, Francesca Weber-Newth and Isolde Nagel

Francesca Weber-Newth and Isolde Nagel are the two editors of the 2013 published The Community Lover’s Guide to Berlin,1 a guidebook to non-profit community projects in Berlin. Francesca is a sociologist and Isolde an architect based in Berlin with a special interest in urbanity and curating. Continue reading

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The joyful experiences of making together

Essay by Anja-Lisa Hirscher, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)

There is an inherent pleasure in making … the sheer enjoyment of making something exist that didn’t exist before, of using one’s own agency, dexterity, feelings and judgment to mould, form, touch, hold and craft physical materials, apart from anticipating the fact of its eventual beauty, uniqueness or usefulness. (E. Dissanaykae)1
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