In response to the European financial crisis, We-Traders creates a network of innovative initiatives to present opportunities for mutual learning.
We-Traders is a series of local residents transforming unused spaces for the public good. This ranges from urban gardeners accommodating unemployed young people to test their small business plans, to communities gaining legitimacy and being heard. We-Traders are civic actors that redefine the relationship between value, profit and public good and can motivate those around them. It’s a way of taking a civic stand when public levels of government have been unsuccessful. They combat the crisis economically, socially and environmentally; consumers become co-producers in diffusing the boundaries between buyers and sellers
For instance, the Exchange Crisis Suburb is a project of the Goethe-Institut that brings together initiatives, artists, designers, activists and many other citizens from Lisbon, Madrid, Toulouse, Turin and Berlin. It establishes a knowledge and production platform to discuss what methods work, and how cooperation is formed between private initiative and government agencies. The involvement of the various cities shows the way the European crisis is expressed in different urban contexts with social polarization and dwindling civic spirit. We-Trade seeks to actively involve citizens to create new meanings within urban spaces. Their focus is also grounded on the real experiences of the city.