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Community: no man (or woman) is an island

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Market trends

Community: no man (or woman) is an island

In barely half a century, we have moved in Europe from a society in which family was the cornerstone to a collection of individuals with few bonds or commitments to link them together. A reaction against this is now taking place, with an emphasis on more community, more cooperation and – why not? – more dreams.

 

Equal rights for women
To reduce poverty and ensure growth, it is essential for women to have equal rights. Unfortunately, cultural, social and political convictions oppose such equality in many parts of the world. In developing countries, women are much more likely to be affected by poverty and the things that go with it, such as malnutrition, ill health and illiteracy.
The organisation Women Like Us works globally for a better future for women who wish to carry on working after they have had children. Women get the chance to organise their work around the needs of their family, without losing their value in the workplace.

Cohesion
Social cohesion is a subject of increasing social importance. As European society grows more diverse and economic globalisation introduces new forms of social pressure and inequality, the question ‘What holds society together?’ becomes more and more relevant. Various potential threats to social cohesion can be identified: social and economic exclusion, discrimination and inequality, and lack of adequate access to public services. 
KaBoom! is a non-profit that creates playgrounds for America’s children through the participation and leadership of communities. KaBOOM! is using three strategies to tackle the shortage of playspaces.
Green Bronx Machine, also in the USA, is an initiative born of the belief that ‘Together, we can grow, re-use resources and recycle our way into new and healthy ways of living; complete with self sustaining local economic engines’. 

Collaborative consumption
Time called this new economic model one of the ‘10 ideas that will change the world’. It is about consumers moving from owning to sharing. There are various ways of doing this: renting, lending, swapping, bartering, giving away … Thanks to the new media, the possibilities are endless. Collaborative consumption changes our way of doing things, consuming and living to a more sustainable form that brings more satisfaction.
In many places, Repair Cafés are springing up: accessible meeting places where local people can repair belongings which are broken, under expert guidance and in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

 

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