CORES (the Italian acronym of COnsumi, Reti e pratiche di Economie Sostenibili) is an interdisciplinary research network whose aim is to investigate the social processes behind the current growth of a wide range of grassroots economic practices (solidarity purchase groups, socially responsible investments, social enterprises, alternative currencies, alternative economies, fair trade, microfinance, new consumer-producer cooperatives, local savings groups, time banks, LETS, etc).
These types of practices are often developed at the grassroots level as a way to re-embed the economic system into social relations, and thus reorganize economic life on the basis of human and social needs.
Initially established in early 2012 at the University of Bergamo (Italy), CORES has further developed into an international network of scholars working on three interrelated themes:
- Sustainable Consumption and Lifestyles: What fosters the increase, diffusion, scaling-up, replication and translation of individual and collective, collaborative consumption and lifestyles?
- Sustainable Production and Distribution: What allows business engagement with key stakeholders (e.g. consumers, investors, communities, etc.) to foster more sustainable economic practices?
- Sustainable Provisioning Systems: How do practices of co-production and innovative social network models promote sustainable livelihoods, especially agricultural production and distribution?
Each of these themes is developed through a number of research projects, several of which are externally funded.
CORES embraces a community-engaged research approach, which involves a collaborative process between the researcher and community partner that creates and disseminates knowledge and creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community.