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GEO's Mission: To help build a nation- and worldwide movement for a cooperative social economy based on democratic and responsible production, conscientious consumption, and use of capital to further social and economic justice.
Updated: 7 min 47 sec ago

Activists Take the Mystery Out of “Mystical” for Movement-building

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 15:31

Inner Landscapes Activists' Community-of-practice

Pamela Boyce Simms

The Inner Landscapes Activists’ Community-of-Practice seeks to democratize and operationalize sustained “mystical experience” in service to movement-buildingMystics worldwide describe resting in, and obtaining guidance from undifferentiated consciousness as the ultimate state of bliss. The Activists' community-of-practice takes the mystery [but not the awesomeness] out of "mystical." 

Mysticism is the science of essential, undifferentiated consciousness which incorporates, yet is beyond the limitations of sense perception. Mysticism defies intellectual analysis and reasoning, emphasizing direct experience of a larger field of consciousness.

Mystics live in the awareness of interconnection which transcends the illusion of separation, and experience the world as one field of universal, intelligent consciousness.

The Inner Landscapes Activists’ community-of-practice ushers the mystical experience out of the esoteric closets of the few by participating together in practices which democratize the opportunity for ALL.  We cultivate direct, frequent, and sustained experience of the undifferentiated field.  "Mystical experience" is where deep contemplative practice melds with reality as a probability distribution as explained by quantum science, digital physics, and neurobiology.

Thinking about "unity," conceptualizing oneness, is easier for the western mind to fathom than living into "non-duality" which calls for a more stark reckoning with non-material reality. The community-of-practice consciously chooses to live into non-duality. We foster and hone ongoing, conscious alignment with universal intelligence lived daily, for our evolution, and that of society.

Global society is on an unsustainable course because the meaning we’ve collectively made of the world has been based on the illusion of separation and disconnection. The Inner Landscapes Activists’ community-of-practice engages in the "Great UNLEARNING" of material causality and a mechanistic worldview to enhance clarity for informed movement-building.

Westerners are conditioned to view dualities as polar opposites: good/evil, mind/matter, rational/emotional self/other, wave/particle, spiritual/material, male/female. Mystics know these to be two sides of the same coin, two vibratory frequencies on the same spectrum. Mystics have long recognized that duality, or separation between the observer and the observed, is an illusion which Western science now demonstrates through quantum mechanics.

The community-of-practice acts on the recognition that truly sustainable and transformative social change requires clarity of perception which is grounded in direct co-creation with the undifferentiated field, and is as free from cognitive distortion as possible.  Contemplative practice honed to the level of sustained still-point consciousness, (state of stillness detached from physical input) and informed by a scientific understanding of the language, architecture, and function of the mind and brain can facilitate clear, unified vision.

Community-of-Practice Goals

1. Foster personal and societal transformation: Evolve individually and as a community toward consciously becoming, generating, and transmitting Love as THE evolutionary Spark — the nature of our true selves AS consciousness. 

2. Contribute to the evolution of the larger consciousness system, (the field of universal intelligence, spirit), of which we are part by intentionally expanding our awareness beyond the personal self, to align with the universal Self.

3. Serve as conduits for the infusion of universal intelligence into the apparently afflicted physical realm by learning to consistently function simultaneously  in more than one dimension —or reality-frame.

Community-of-Practice Processes

Deepen Contemplation/Self-Observing Practice

  • Consistently and easily achieve a deep, stable, still-point consciousness —a state wherein we are keenly awake and aware yet disconnected from physical sense data input.
  • Observe conditioned self and its egoic structures that generate the illusion of apparent duality and induce suffering.
  • Realize our true self as consciousness rather than identify with our avatar —the physical body subject to a materialistic rule-set.
  • Sustain still-point consciousness.
  • Consistently, easily access and retrieve useful, clarity-enhancing information from the undifferentiated field using the still-point consciousness state of contemplation as a springboard.

Unlearn That Which Limits Evolution and a Full Experience of Consciousness 

  • Clear away limiting beliefs and reference points, cultural conditioning, emotional and cognitive distortion which obscures or inhibits clear apprehension of interconnected reality which is not objective, but is a probability distribution.
  • Function as much as possible in a "core being," true-self state rather than from the intellect.

Experience, Growth Through Practice, and Understanding of the Overlap of Ancient Spiritual Wisdom with Emerging Scientific Discovery:

  • Neuroscience: neural plasticity, neural linguistics, cognitive restructuring.
  • Quantum science yielding to digital physics — reality as a data stream which is a non-material probability distribution.
  • Contemplative spiritual traditions.

Inner Landscapes Activists’ community-of-practice is composed of activists who are passionate about:

  • Experiential rediscovery of the vast energetic nature of their true selves as one with the field of universal intelligence for longer and longer periods of time until this becomes the norm.
  • Observing, calming, stilling, and mastering their mind-brains in order to experience the deeper magnetic field of impersonal love, THE evolutionary spark  —which is the sole force with the power to make a dent in multi-layered complex 21st century challenges. 
  • Awakening from intellectual constructs, limitations, and drama of the egoic self.
  • Retaining equanimity and not be unseated, irrespective of outer circumstances.
  • Ceasing all inner resistance to all ever-changing phenomena without exception.

Author - Pamela Boyce Simms , Information about Inner Landscapes Activists’ Community-of-practice: pbs9@georgetown.edu

Institutions & Structures: Support OrganizationsPractices, Tools & Strategies: Networking & CollaborationRegions: United StatesEconomic Sectors: Religion & Spirituality
Categories: News

Detroit's Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 16:55
Link: Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit's Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet

“When you kind of think about all the ways the internet affects your life and how 40 percent of people in Detroit don’t have that access you can start to see how Detroit has been stuck in this economic disparity for such a long time,” Diana Nucera, director of the Detroit Community Technology Project, told me at her office.

Nucera is part of a growing cohort of Detroiters who have started a grassroots movement to close that gap, by building the internet themselves. It’s a coalition of community members and multiple Detroit nonprofits. They’re starting with three underserved neighborhoods, installing high speed internet that beams shared gigabit connections from an antenna on top of the tallest building on the street, and into the homes of people who have long gone without. They call it the Equitable Internet Initiative.

Read the rest at Motherboard

Watch the video

 

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Categories: News

A grass-roots approach to financing the clean energy movement

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 16:29
Link: A grass-roots approach to financing the clean energy movement.

Please join us in supporting the clean energy movement! Together, we can make a difference for our environment and our economy.

WHAT IS CLEAN ENERGY CREDIT UNION?

We’ve started a new financial and lending institution called Clean Energy Credit Union, focused solely on loans that help people afford solar electric systems, electric vehicles, home energy efficiency retrofits, electric-assist bicycles, net-zero energy homes, etc.  Clean Energy Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial services cooperative and a federally chartered credit union. As a cooperative, it’s democratically owned and controlled by its members on a one-vote-per-member basis.

Our short video (embedded at the top of this page) explains it best.

Still have questions? Learn more about Clean Energy Credit Union or contact us via cleanenergycu.org.

Support the Clean Energy Credit Union

 

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Categories: News

Athens Integral Cooperative: Building Alternative Economies in Greece

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 17:47
Link: Athens Integral Cooperative: Building Alternative Economies in Greece

Athens Integral Cooperative: Building Alternative Economies in Greece from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.

Anti-capitalists in Athens are creating alternatives to capitalism. In the summer of 2017, Unicorn Riot's Niko spoke with Theodore from the Athens Integral Cooperative about the alternative economy they are creating and how it works to integrate "individuals, collectives, and social forces, that already make a social economy" into a substantial, alternative, and autonomous economy.

Watch more video from Unicorn Riot

 

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Categories: News

Community shares and the Unity Works collapse

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 17:39
Link: Community shares and the Unity Works collapse

Firstly, despite the Unity Works story, community share issues are still, clearly, a Good Thing.  Millions of pounds of investment capital have been raised for a wide range of community ventures, from locally run village shops and pubs to small-scale wind turbines. My own community land trust will be asking our local community for investment capital in a new affordable homes development next year when we launch our own community share issue, so I have a direct interest in this whole subject.

But we need to remember that community shares investment can be risky.  Some groups launch community share issues without adequate business plans or prospectuses, and some investors – carried away by commitment to the idea – fail to read the small print. The way forward here is to encourage best practice, and the community shares Standard Mark is an excellent initiative in this respect.

Read the rest at Bibby on Cooperatives

 

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Categories: News

Webinar: Worker Co-ops — A solution for an economy in crisis

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 17:21
Link: Worker Co-ops — A solution for an economy in crisis

We are standing at a pivotal time for the political and economic future of the country, and worker cooperatives are a solution to many of country's issues. These businesses that are owned and governed by their employees represent an opportunity to build good jobs, strengthen the community, and empower workers.

In a webinar event cohosted by the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the Democracy at Work Institute, the New Economy Coalition, and the Democracy Collaborative, you'll hear about:
* the worker co-op movement's development over the last few years,
* newly-released data on successes and growth in employee ownership
* how the worker cooperative movement is raising money for the people and by the people, and
* exciting policy developments in the last year.

Moderated by John Duda, Director of Communications for the Democracy Collaborative, this interview-style event will go beyond the basics into the tangible, rapidly growing efforts to grow worker cooperatives across the United States.

Speakers:

Esteban Kelly, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives

Kate Khatib, The Working World National Peer Network

John O'Neill, American Sustainable Business Council

Molly Hemstreet, Opportunity Threads

 

Nov 20, 2017 2:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Register for the webinar on Zoom

 

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Categories: News

Solar Power Co-Ops Booming In Florida

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 17:07
Link: Solar Power Co-Ops Booming In Florida

Co-ops are being formed in Hillsborough County and northern Pinellas County by the League of Women Voters and Solar United Neighbors. The co-ops lower prices by using competitive bidding to attract solar power installers.

Rick Garrity used to head Hillsborough's Environmental Protection Commission. He now volunteers with the League, which has been planning for a year to start a solar co-op in Hillsborough.

"The price of solar panels have come down 65 percent over the past five years. You can get a 30 percent tax credit on it, and another 20 percent savings through the co-op," Garrity said. "It doesn't make sense not to think about going solar. This is the time to do it."

 

Read the rest at WUSF News

 

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Categories: News

Free eBook: A short history of co-operation and mutuality

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 18:29
Link: New book: a short history of co-operation and mutuality

When was the first co-operative or mutual? The spread of customer owned co-operatives in nineteenth century Britain is well-known and celebrated. Yet there are also precursors of co-operation and mutuality before this in countries right across the world.

In his new book launched today (14 November), Ed Mayo brings together this rich story for the first time in A short history of co-operation and mutuality.

Covering everything from the Commons to lending circles to labourer societies, this is a fresh take on the origins of co-operation form a leading voice in the global co-operative movement.

Download the book in English and Spanish

 

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Categories: News

A Tour of French Communities and Projects

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 18:25
Link: Summer of Commoning: a Tour of French Communities and Projects

When I left the metro station in Vanves, south of Paris, I discovered a pretty, modern and flowery city. Just a few steps from the station, I found the porch I had been told to look for, and crossed beneath it to find the participative habitat where I would spend a week. It was a large building, nestled between the wall of the cemetery and the surrounding houses, wrapped around a tree-lined garden. Suzanne, a young retired woman, welcomed me and gave me a tour of the property.

La Fonderie is a project begun in 1984. This building was first a factory, bought by a developer forced to buy it as part of a lot, but who didn’t know what to do with it. He was delighted when the families (first 3, soon 10) offered to buy it so they could do some work and make their participatory housing project a reality.

Read the rest at Commons Transition

 

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Categories: News

Campaign launches to fund driver-owned Uber alternative

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 19:38
Link: Campaign launches to fund driver-owned Uber alternative

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by the New Economics Foundation to set up a co-operative alternative to Uber.

It is proposing CabFair, a driver-owned minicab firm and ride-hailing app that will provide an ethical, co-operative alternative to Uber. The service will put drivers and customers in control of the co-op through an ownership and governance structure that ensures they have strong voices to guide the enterprise’s strategy.

Read the rest at Co-operative News

Visit the project crowdfunding page

 

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Categories: News

The Working World's Model Works

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:39
Link: The Working World's Model Works: Non-extractive Finance with Tailor-made Business Support

Brendan Martin is founder and director of The Working World, a cooperative financial institution and business incubator based in Argentina, Nicaragua, and the United States. Brendan originally moved to Argentina in 2004 to work with a group of Argentines in support of the “recovered factory” phenomenon, and out of this was born TWW and its non-extractive financing. Despite dire predictions of investing in the recovered factory movement, TWW achieved a 98% return rate across over 715 loans, and all with repayments only from profit sharing and without guarantees. This experience demonstrated both that grassroots cooperative movements can be economically viable and that finance can be non-extractive and subservient to people. After this success, Brendan helped open a second branch in Nicaragua in 2009, and another in the United States in 2012. The same grassroots cooperative efforts and have proven effective in the context of the US, where TWW has already funded 20+ cooperatives, including New Era Windows, which emerged from the infamous Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago. Brendan is a 2009 Ashoka fellow, a two time Ashoka Globalizer, a 2016 BALLE Local Economy Fellow, a nominated Prime Mover, and a frequent speaker on the solidarity and cooperative economy.

 

Listen to more episodes of the LIFT Economy podcast

 

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Categories: News

Bioplastics: Not as Green as They Might Seem

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:36
Link:  BIOPLASTICS: NOT AS GREEN AS THEY MIGHT SEEM

You might think “What’s the matter with a little bioplastic mixed in with compost? So what if it takes a longer time to break down. It eventually will, right?” To shed some light on this, let’s look at the composting lifecycle. CERO Cooperative delivers food waste to local compost farms where it is carefully managed, turned, and composted in open-air windrows. Once finished, the compost is used by local farmers and landscaping companies to grow next year’s food and gardens.  The point of composting is to harness the carbon, nitrogen, and other valuable nutrients stored in our food waste, and recycle it into new vegetation rather than have it rot in landfills and generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Bioplastics don’t contribute to this goal, as they don’t have any significant nutritional value. Composting them simply dilutes the nutrients from the true food waste, or worse, leads to an ever growing heap of stubborn bioplastics that will not break down and can’t be returned to the earth as promised.

So what’s the solution? Ideally, it is to use reusable, washable cutlery and dishware whenever possible. When this isn’t possible and single-use items must be enlisted, those ‘green’ bioplastics might seem cool, but there are products out there that stand up better to consumer use, and also compost more reliably!

One such product is bagasse. Made from the fibrous material that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice, it holds up well to higher heats, while breaking down in as little as 3 months at industrial composting facilities. There are many food service products made from bagasse, such as these to-go clamshells.

Read the rest at the CERO blog

 

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Categories: News

Conceptual Framework for Cooperative Statistics

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 17:52
Link: Conceptual Framework for the Purpose of Measurement of Cooperatives and its Operationalization

At the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) held in Geneva  in  October  2013,  government,  workers’  and  employers’ representatives reaffirmed the importance of obtaining more comprehensive and internationally comparable statistics on cooperatives. Pursuant to this the ICLS adopted a Resolution concerning further work on statistics of cooperatives. The Resolution recommended that the International Labour Office,  in cooperation with the ILO’s constituents and interested National Statistical Offices, carry out further developmental work on the measurement of cooperatives, in particular on the number and characteristics of cooperatives, members of cooperatives, workers employed in cooperatives and value added by cooperatives.  

Since then the ILO Department of Statistics and the Cooperatives Unit of the Enterprises Department have been working together on advancing the understanding of statistics on cooperatives. Through this joint initiative, and in collaboration with other partners, a number of outputs, including an analysis of statistics on cooperatives in more than 70 countries around the world and 11 country case studies, have been produced. The “Conceptual Framework on Measurement of Cooperatives and its Operationalization” is the latest of these outputs which defines and describes key concepts concerning the identification and classification of cooperatives, including a discussion on core components and boundary areas, for measurement.

Read the full report on the ILO website

 

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Categories: News

Welsh solar farm named community renewable project of the year

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 16:59
Link: Welsh solar farm named community renewable project of the year

The Community Renewable Energy Project Award has been won by a Gower-based organisation, Gower Regeneration Ltd.

The award, sponsored by the Renewable Energy Association, is given to:The most commendable sustainable electricity generation project undertaken by a community group across Wales and England.”

The project, Wales’s first community-owned solar farm, has 3,658 solar panels and is based on top of an old coal mine and next to a school.

It produces enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 300 homes, and all profits  – estimated at more than £500,000 through the 30-year life of the project – will be reinvested in other eco-projects and education about sustainable development.

Read the rest at Co-operative News

 

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Categories: News

Biodiesel co-op launches in New Zealand

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 18:23
Link: Biodiesel co-op launches in New Zealand to recycle cooking oil as fuel

A group of friends are forming a biodiesel co-op in Kapiti, New Zealand, to reduce waste and lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 86%.

The co-op will collect cooking oil from local businesses and restaurants so they can filter and process it into a fuel that can be used in any diesel engine without modification. It uses biodiesel processor BioPro190 technology to convert the oil.

One of the key figures behind the project is Matt Lamason, founder and director of the People’s Coffee in Kapiti, who wanted a sustainable solution for the problem of waste cooking oil in his business.

“The idea came from visiting a small farmer in Australia who was making biodiesel in his backyard,” he said.

“I thought, we can do that – and here in NZ, we eat a lot of fried fish and chips. So the waste oil was a factor in seeing the gap in the market for a local, small-scale fuel project that has the potential to reproduce around NZ and maybe in the Pacific islands where fossil diesel is at very high prices.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News

 

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Categories: News

Why there should be more support for co-op businesses in Detroit

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:59
Link: Cooperation is key: Why there should be more support for co-op businesses in Detroit

The good news is that cooperative businesses are not new in Detroit, and there's currently an increased effort to create more. 

The Detroit People's Food Co-op, a membership based cooperative, is in the final stages of planning before they break ground on a  brand new building in the North End. The Cooperation Group in Highland Park and The Center for Community Based Enterprise in Midtown are fully-equipped technical support service providers that help with cooperative business development. The recently founded Detroit Community Wealth Fund is dedicated to providing non-extractive loans to cooperative businesses in the city.

In Southwest Detroit, Grace In Action aspires to be a cooperative incubator, cultivating their collectives into fully functioning cooperative businesses. They recently incubated their first co-op, Cleaning In Action, a women-owned cleaning cooperative. The women had previously worked for temp agencies and now make a living wage.

Co-founder Maria Perez hopes her business will inspire others. "This co-op helps women in our neighborhood. If we tell others about it, the idea will catch on. I see that this will open doors for others, especially younger generations."

Read the rest at Model D

 

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Categories: News

Institute for Solidarity Economics relaunches as a co-op

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:47
Link: Institute for Solidarity Economics relaunches as a co-op

The Institute for Solidarity Economics has transitioned to a multi-stakeholder co-operative and relaunched as the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA).

Founded in Oxford in 2014, the organisation is dedicated to researching ways of bringing together organisations, initiatives and movements who are working to change the current economic system to address pressing social and environmental issues.

“The aim of the organisation has always been to find ways of bringing together the diverse range of movements within the UK working to create a fairer, more democratic society that works for everyone,” said SEA chair and co-founder, Colm Massey. “Now is a really exciting time to be relaunching ourselves, and to be clear about who we are and who we represent.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News

 

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Categories: News

Anti-Capitalist Practice & Local Organizing Work

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 19:02
Link: Marxism 101: Anti-Capitalist Practice & Local Organizing Work

As part of Center for Political Education's Marxism 101 class, Irma Salvatierra Shauf-Bajar (GABRIELA USA), Linda Evans (All of Us or None), Jill Shenker (National Domestic Workers Alliance) and Gopal Dayaneni (Movement Generation) discuss anti-capitalist theory and practice in grassroots organizing work. Irma Salvatierra Shauf-Bajar is the Chairperson of Gabriela USA’s National Executive Committee. GABRIELA is an alliance of over 200 groups in the Philippines fighting for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and for all Filipinos. GABRIELA-USA brings that struggle to the United States and operates in six regions of this country. She also has a history of organizing for queer liberation and community safety. Linda Evans is a life-long anti-imperialist and anti-racist activist. She was a political prisoner for 16 years, released from federal prison in 2001. Since then, she has been a co-founder and organizer with All of Us or None and works statewide and nationally to support other social justice organizations. Jill Shenker has been doing domestic worker organizing for the past 15 years, first with the San Francisco Day Labor Program Women's Collective and then with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and International Domestic Workers Federation. In addition, she has been involved in white anti-racist organizing & education; arts activism, including as a collective owner of Liberation Ink; queer and Jewish youth organizing, and Jewish anti-zionist Palestine solidarity work. Gopal Dayaneni is a staff collective and planning committee member for Movement Generation. He is a campaigner, trainer, advocate, and parent who has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980’s, and works at the intersection of ecology, economy and empire. www.politicaleducation.org

Watch more videos from Center for Political Education

 

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Categories: News

There is no hierarchy in sociocracy…right?

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:57
Link: There is no hierarchy in sociocracy… right?

[T]here is hierarchy, but it is not hierarchy of people. It is a hierarchy of levels of specificity. The questions a work group (circle) will deal with on a shop floor will be different from the questions asked in a circle that does 5-year planning. This does not mean that one tier is more valuable or more difficult. It only means that they are different levels to pay attention to. Everyone, in their personal lives, makes decisions in a narrow scope (What am I eating for lunch?) and decisions that have a larger impact (Am I moving abroad?). If we walk around addressing only the question of whether or not we are moving abroad, no one is cooking lunch. If we only focus about meal planning, then we will ignore other areas of our lives. But then again, if I think about moving plans while I am cooking, my meal might not be the best I ever cooked.

Read the rest at Medium

 

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Categories: News

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