Towards a radical cooperativism against the crisis of imagination: Speech at the Athens Biennale 2015-2017

A needs-based economy and a radical cooperativism can help us overcome not only the tyranny of the market, but also our own inability to imagine our welfare outside of it.

This session explored four institutions of human economy – alternative currencies, cooperativism, urban welfare and commons – and reflected on how these forms can become permanent and sustainable alternatives.

Theodoros Karyotis is an independent researcher, translator and social activist. He was trained in sociology and social anthropology and he is active in grassroots movements related to direct democracy, solidarity economy and defence and self-management of the commons. He has translated many relevant books and articles, and he is a regular op-ed contributor to in English and in Spanish. He is the coordinator of, a multilingual resource on workers' self-management, and sits on the advisory council of the Transnational Institute of Social Ecology.

Synapse 1 is the first of a series of OMONOIA events or ‘synapses’ running over the next two years. The aim of Synapse 1 is to consider the common ground between groups of scholars, activists, self-managed organisations, cultural producers and other civic subjects involved in urban practices of commoning, solidarity, urban welfare and participatory democracy. Synapse 1 asks participants to imagine how these urban experiments developed in times of crisis may become permanent and sustainable alternatives to the dominant economic and political model. Synapse 1 also asks to imagine the grassroot economic and political practices developed in Greece and Europe’s South as new common ground for an alternative European project.

Video Production: Dimitris Diakoumopoulos

Graphics: Studio Christos Lialios

Video Editing: Georgia Nikologianni

#AB5to6 Documentation & Communication Teams


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