Toward a New Mutualism
When you pick up your veggies from your CSA you’re doing it. When you make a connection on Craigslist you’re doing it. You’re even doing it when you edit an entry on Wikipedia. What is it? It’s all of us collaboratively building solutions to the problems we face, both big (like maintaining your financial health) and little (finding a place to stay on vacation). And with the power of technology, it’s getting easier and easier to share what we’ve learned and stay connected. We’re calling this movement New Mutualism, and we see its manifestations everywhere. That's why we’re using New Mutualism to build solutions to the problems freelancers face: At our Brooklyn, NY offices we're meeting with members every month to exchange ideas, build community and solidarity, and plan how we're going to use our powerful collective voice to make sure elected officials hear us. We've collaborated with members to build a Contract Creator to give freelancers a way to protect themselves and make sure they get paid every time. Using our story bank, The Freelance Life, members share their own personal stories and tips about struggling through dry spells, clients who don't pay, and more. And our member-to-member discounts give freelancers a chance to connect with each other and share their expertise – for a cut rate. Freelancers Union founder and Executive Director Sara Horowitz has been working on a series of articles in the Atlantic that explore these issues and show how they shape the way freelancers work. You’ll be hearing more from us about New Mutualism, but we’d also love to hear from you. What do you think? How do you work with other freelancers to make your life better or your work easier? Image: Mutual Support by George Hart.