Kevin Stark

Kevin Stark is a journalist with Chicago’s Data Reporting Lab. His focus is environment, energy, and climate change, and he has written about sea level rise, industrial pollution, environmental justice, global climate research, and housing policy.

How the European Social Enterprise SMart is Creating a Safety Net for Freelancers

SMart is a social enterprise founded in 1998 in Belgium. The project’s aim is to simplify the careers of freelancers in cities across Europe where SMart operates. These days, there are many freelancer services — cooperatives, coworking spaces, unions — but at the time of its inception, SMart officials were focused on one subsection of this workforce: artists.

December 12, 2017

Barcelona’s Decidim: An Open-Source Platform for Participatory Democracy Projects

The word Decidim translated from Catalan means we decide, and it’s the name of Barcelona’s digital infrastructure for participatory democracy. One part functional database and one part political statement, organizers say Decidim is key to a broad digital transformation that is taking place in Barcelona — its institutions, markets, and economy.

September 12, 2017

How Community-Led Rights of Nature Initiatives Are Protecting Ecosystems

Mari Margil says there are many communities across the U.S. that are pressing the issue of rights of nature through law making, community mobilization, and within the court system. The communities are building a movement and advancing a new paradigm for protecting the environment. “It’s a movement that in the past 10 years has accelerated rapidly,” she said.

September 1, 2017

Q&A with Scholar Juliet Schor on the Striking Differences Between Nonprofit and For-profit Sharing Enterprises

There’s really no shortage of ways that people can pool resources. But there’s a huge difference in the goals between for-profit sharing economy companies like Uber and Airbnb and nonprofit groups like tool libraries, time banks, and makerspaces. Juliet Schor, professor at the sociology department at Boston College, explores this tension between for-profit and nonprofit sharing groups.

July 25, 2017