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Soulardarity, Highland Park, Michigan

Organising for energy democracy in the face of austerity

In 2012, citizens from Highland Park, Michigan came together to form Soulardarity in response to the repossession of over 1,000 streetlights from their city. Their goal is to organise for community-owned solar street lights, energy production and equitable development. Since its formation, Soulardarity has installed seven solar streetlights and deployed over US$ 30,000 worth of solar technology in Highland Park and the surrounding communities through the PowerUP bulk purchasing programme. The group has also organised advocacy at the city and state levels for regulation, policy and local political leadership to support community ownership, transparency and environmental responsibility.

Soulardarity also advocates for a Community Ownership Power Administration (COPA) as part of the growing call in the United States for a Green New Deal to tackle climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice.

Energy Futures for Greater Manchester, UK

A vision for a democratic, fair and clean energy company

Energy Democracy Greater Manchester was established as a campaign group in 2015 to advocate for a municipal energy supply company for the region. Our goal has been to create a democratic, fair and clean company that would be a true departure from the ‘Big Six’ energy company model that currently dominates the UK's energy supply. So far, we focused the majority of our campaign efforts on education and research activities in order to bring together a diverse group of Greater Manchester energy citizens, each with their own interest in changing the current system. Strategies for envisioning a just energy future that involved workers and citizens included a YouGov poll, creative meeting methods, mapping the current energy system and learning from international examples.

GoiEner Cooperative, Basque Country

A renewable energy model based on participation, collective ownership and gender equity

The GoiEner Cooperative was founded in 2012 in the Basque Country as a response to both the energy oligopoly and the rise of the anti-austerity movement connected to the economic crisis. Over the past six years, this cooperative for renewable energy generation and consumption has grown to include nearly 9,000 members, and has become an inspiring model for the transition to a new energy model.

Cooperation Jackson, Mississippi

People power drives social and ecological transition

The vast majority of people in Jackson, Mississippi live at or below the poverty line, struggle with chronic unemployment and under employment, poor health and an extreme wealth gap between black and white that is the product of an apartheid-like economy and social order. Cooperation Jackson works to transform the city into one that is ecologically regenerative and centered on economic relationships rooted in equity, solidarity and mutual aid.