The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 5: Community enterprise: diverse designs for community-owned energy infrastructure

Jarra Hicks

Abstract

To realize community economies we need enterprises that are capable of enacting ethics that depart from dominant economic norms. Community enterprises are businesses in which individuals come together as active communities to create an enterprise around a perceived need, issue or opportunity. Like other forms of ethical enterprise, they are motivated by a dual ambition to participate in economic activity while also contributing to social or environmental goals. This chapter explores how two community-owned wind farms have drawn on and fostered a diversity of enterprise design features to realise their ethical visions for democratized energy systems, sustainability and local regeneration. These community enterprises have used different legal structures, modified and supplemented in various ways, in order to manifest community visions. These examples help reveal the opportunities for protecting ethics within community enterprise structures and help us to see beyond the sometimes-stifling boundaries of status quo thinking about existing legal structures.

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