Building sustainability in a solidarity economy

On a recent trip to Turku, I visited the Turku Book Café, which is located on the Old Great Square and has remained “a bastion of counterculture since 1981”. Today, the Book Café offers a delicious vegan lunch every day and hosts a variety of events that promote a sustainable future. Reading circles take a close look at the latest in literature and films are shown to see what ails the world. The Book Café is run by a co-operative, whose purpose is not to make a profit, but rather provide a foundation for enriching cultural activities.

The Book Café is part of the Solidarity Economy network, which aims to bring together those wanting to create a fairer, more sustainable and more democratic economy. The network contributes to building an international solidarity economy, in which practical alternatives based on the needs of people are created as an alternative to the for-profit mainstream economy. In practice, the solidarity economy is already taking shape in the form of co-operatives, social enterprises, time banks and eco-villages, which are being founded all over the world.

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