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Alternative Economies in and for Berlin A project of the joint program ‘Knowledge. Transformation. Berlin’ by the research partnership Ecornet Berlin

The project examines the transformative potential of concepts and concrete practical examples of alternative economies for a social and ecological development of Berlin. It develops suggestions how this potential can be tapped more than before. Approaches such as commons, solidarity economy, economy for the common good, social entrepreneurship and new cooperative approaches are examined. The project builds on the long tradition of the Berlin alternative economy and refers to ongoing activities (in particular the “Social Economy Berlin” project of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises). Practitioners from the broad spectrum of the alternative economy in Berlin are closely involved in the project. There is also an exchange with relevant actors from politics, administration and business development. The transdisciplinary research project attempts to take into account the wide variety of alternative economies.

First, the project makes conceptual contributions that clarify what distinguishes alternative economies. On the basis of the criteria developed for this, an initial inventory of the Berlin alternative economy and an assessment of social-ecological transformation potentials are made. The next step in the project is the development of strategies and instruments of economic policy and promotion targeted effectively unfolding the identified transformation potentials of alternative economic approaches. In order to stimulate the (economic) political and public debate and to generate a high level of resonance at the federal level, a report “Alternative Economies in and for Berlin” will be developed for the first time together with the practitioners involved. The report is the integrative, central product of the project and will be presented at a transdisciplinary conference with a high public visibility. It is also intended to stimulate further activities of the city society as well as new research projects and serves to establish Berlin as an outstanding case in the international specialist discourse on social enterprise and solidarity economy.

The project is part of the joint program “Knowledge. Transformation. Berlin. – Transdisciplinary research for a social and ecological metropolis” of the research partnership Ecornet Berlin and is carried out with the financial support of The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research.

IÖW Project Team