What is enabled when the economy is represented as a heterogeneous series of lived practices — as opposed to a singularly capitalist, space?
The Community Economies Initiative works with a representation of a diverse (rather than a capitalist) economy and fosters economic experimentation premised on shared values, ethical practices and acknowledged interdependencies. This initiative is part of an international Community Economies Research Network (CERN) of over 210 members across 23 countries. It is co-ordinated by the Community Economies Collective, initially founded by J.K. Gibson-Graham in the 1990s. Research engagements include reappraising the resilience of community-based economic practices in South East Asia that have the potential to contribute to present-day climate-change adaptation; studying the capitalist and non-capitalist enterprise diversity of the Australian manufacturing sector as a contribution to highlighting production cultures with expressed social commitments, including to economic equity and ecological sustainability; exploring how diverse tenure systems and forms of co-operation can be used to address the housing crisis in metropolitan Australia and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Community economies research is driving the theorisation of ‘commoning’ as an everyday act with potential to contribute to the kinds of social transformation called for in a climate-changing world.