> "stocks"
The Somerville Stock Exchange (SSE)

The Somerville Stock Exchange (SSE) ran from March 31, 2012 to March 31, 2013. It was a community forum, a fund-raiser, and a different take on what a stock market can be!

During the time the Stock Exchange was open, people could participate in two ways:

1. by letting us know about things they'd done to help Somerville's community, creative life, or environment; or

2. by making a donation to one of the project's nonprofit partners (the Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville Climate Action, and
the Somerville Arts Council).

Both options earned people "Somerville stock." These stocks didn't have any monetary value-- they were more of a metaphor. Or part of a game. Stockholders received "stocks," as well as periodic "stockholder statements," which told them how the cause they had supported was doing.

Almost 100 people participated. You can read about their actions in the "community forum" and "stock reports" sections, and you can see their names in the "stockholders" section.

The forum: A way to earn stocks, and see what others are doing to make Somerville a better place

People got shares by sharing what they'd done to make Somerville a better place. This included things to make the community a better place (helping a neighbor; volunteering somewhere). Or doing something for the environment, like composting or riding a bike. Or doing something for the city's creative life--like volunteering at an arts event, or writing a play, or being in a band.

All of this information then went into the project's forum and stock reports -where others can read them, and get inspired.

We also like to think the forum and reports make a nice snapshot of what Somerville was all about in 2012 and 2013.

Earning stocks by donating to a partner nonprofit

Another way people earned shares was by donating to one of our partner nonprofits--the Somerville Homeless Coalition; Somerville Climate Action; and the Somerville Arts Council..

These three nonprofits do amazing work for our community, so we think that donating money to them help make our community a better place.

How stocks work

Stocks weren't really worth any money--they're more of an indicator of how active people are in Somerville's community, environment, and creative life.

When stockholders told us good things they'd done for the city, stock prices went up. When we found out things that negatively affected Somerville, stock prices went down.

Think of it as a game. Or a metaphor.

Who's behind this

This project was run by Somerville artist Tim Devin. All proceeds from the sale of shares went to one of three Somerville nonprofits: the Somerville Homeless Coalition; Somerville Climate Action; and the Somerville Arts Council.




stock reports
  community forum
  contact / social media
  final stock values

Community: $27.10
Environment: $14.51
Creative: $17.33