What is a C-Lab?
Or better: what is a C-Lab team?
A C-Lab team is simply a group of local citizens who want to create a process for change in their own community. So that’s one of the C words we’re interested in here.
Another C word we like is Commons. The commons, of course, is everything we share, the stuff that belongs to everybody, like water, the air, the Internet or even human knowledge itself. (If this reminds of what is meant by the Sharing Economy, it should.)
Since our Solidarity Hall group blog launched about two years ago, we’ve become aware of the new threats to the commons—including especially the many ways the Old Economy, struggling to justify itself, attempts to privatize new areas of our life. That’s because our private wealth is superbly organized (through property rights, corporations, lobbyists, etc.) to expand at the expense of common wealth. So it’s time to exercise some citizenship.
We need to reclaim our own communities and we’ll need to do it ourselves. Neither the State nor the Market will be much if any help here. The situation calls for informed citizen action if we are to restore balance to our economy and livability to our neighborhoods.
In the bad old days, the Powers That Be held all the info. Today each of us has digital tools that empower us to analyze, plan and execute local projects and campaigns.
Therefore Solidarity Hall is launching a public conversation on how to form C-Lab teams in our own individual communities.
We have some partner groups in mind:
- Business Alliance for Living Local Economies (BALLE)
- Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR)
- Strong Towns
- Civic Innovation Lab
- Democracy Collaborative
- Propellor (New Orleans)
- P2P Foundation
- Commons Transition
And we are working on some tools you can use to assess your community’s civic and economic health. More about these soon.
If you’d like to be part of this developing C-Lab program, just sign up to be on our mailing list here.