Members of AndelsTanken understands that most Danes readily agree on two long-term goals: CO2 neutrality and cooperative economic development. The first goal is a global imperative and the second is part of the Danish cultural and economic DNA. For 70 years, from 1882 to 1952, Denmark demonstrated a sustainable developmental model based on local resources and cooperatives. Many Danes have rallied around us in taking up these simple goals.
The enormous volunteer engagement that’s come to life is inspiring. Many experienced and engaged people have come forward to offer their skills and time — some to foster local sustainable development, some to continue working in the projects, and some who see localized coop development as the way to meet the challenges of transition.
AndelsTanken’s method is to seek out projects that people are inspired to be a part of, and then to develop concrete action plans in cooperation with these people. AndelsTanken’s role is to facilitate the co-creation of project descriptions and the plans for project implementation.
We’re involved in a number of projects that demonstrate ways for the green economy to grow and become a viable alternative. These projects work on different levels of the new green and sustainable market economy, retaking control over value chains and democratizing the economy and the planning processes. So far we’ve co-created nine projects, described below.
Developmental Boards (Udviklingsraad)
Our understanding of creating localized development is developing together with the great people involved in AndelsTanken Langeland. We have learned much more about the process and substance of creating localized development in present day Denmark. A developmental board and a support structure has been established and are active. We have recently been asked to help inspire three other localities to move forward with creating localized sustainable development based on cooperative principles.
Consumer Coops 2.0 (Den Lokale)
The Danish food value chain was historically controlled by producers (farmers) and consumers — through cooperative organizations on both sides — with no-one in between. AndelsTanken is working to revive this approach, bringing in new potentialities of the Internet. We seek to give consumers foods at full production price, including all externalities, but with no margin for middlemen. Neighborhoods organize consumer coop stores, producers organize coop trading companies, and the two trade with each other in an established, trust based relationship.
Sustainable Settlement (Bæredygtig Bosætning)
AndelsTanken’s team has initiated an ambitious settlement, having 200 houses in a self-sufficient coop village. On the design team are people with professional project development expertise and with experience in the sustainable settlement movement. AndelsTanken’s settlement project will demonstrate that a sustainable village is cheaper to live in because of its self-sufficiency. Such settlements can also be catalysts for local green development.
CO2 Neutral Farming (AndelsBrug)
Langeland will be the first place where CO2 neutral food production is systematized. This initiative has support from conventional farmers, politicians, and new generation homesteaders. Langeland farmers will sell food that cost exactly what it costs to produce — no externalized costs pushed onto next generations. This will be possible because city consumers are organizing themselves in new generation food coops that will support the CO2 neutral farming. The first two coop farms are under way, and more are to come. Land has been made available for these farms and there is interest from potential homesteaders.
Coop Farming School (AndelsHaverSkole)
A two-year course has been developed to educate and assist those wanting to establish CO2 neutral homesteads that includes: new farming techniques, business development, community organizing, and the practical process of establishing a homestead. This course is also offered to refugees, where a cultural integration component is added to the course.
Coop Festival (AndelsFestival)
During the first week of August we will hold a festival to celebrate Langeland’s first steps toward a sustainable future. The program will include a skill-share, a process for creating a vision for the future, and presentations of concrete plans for the next year. Festival events will take place all over the island. We have secured participation of local as well as global knowledge holders. Please come celebrate with us. Share your skills and participate in the visionary planning for Langeland’s green future.