Building Political Power for a New Economy: Cross-Sectoral Approaches
This workshop will explore the work of organizers in Philadelphia and New York City in facilitating cross-sector organizing and building municipal-level umbrella organizations among alternative economic institutions. Corporate power is well-organized but new economy groups often lack the networks, alliances, and associations necessary to generate awareness, claim their economic impact, and organize stakeholders to push for grassroots economic development that benefits rather than harms our communities. Come learn how organizers and researchers are approaching this work, how they’ve used participatory research and mapping to support the organizing process, and what lessons they can share about winning economic independence and building political power.
Craig Borowiak is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Haverford College near Philadelphia. He is the lead researcher on a team that is mapping and analyzing the economic impact of the solidarity economy in Philadelphia. In this research, he has been working closely with the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, a new cross-sectoral organization of cooperatives in the Philadelphia region. He has also been heavily involved in the development of national and international mapping platforms for the solidarity economy. He is the author of Accountability and Democracy: The Pitfalls and Promise of Popular Control (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Olivia Geiger is a PhD student in the UMass Amherst Department of Economics, where she is active in the Center for Popular Economics, the Community Economies Collective, and UMACEC, an academic community partnership that has created a worker coop economics curriculum and coop internship program. She is also a member of SolidarityNYC and collaborating with other organizers and practitioners in NYC’s alternative economy to facilitate participatory action research exploring cross-sector strategies for building economic and political power.