What is the New Economy?

The New Economy is a movement to build a society that prioritizes people and the planet over profits. It is not about a single alternative system but about many possible alternatives united by a set of common values. These values—the democratization of wealth and ownership, localism, protecting the commons, community sustainability and resilience—help us to envision what a prosperous and sustainable future should look like.

Of course, there are many movements that are trying to change the system. What makes the New Economy movement unique is that its primary approach is solution-based. The core belief of New Economy practitioners is that together we can build a different system and we can build it now. From worker cooperatives like Equal Exchange and the Evergreen Cooperatives, to “Move Your Money” efforts supporting local community banks and credit unions, to the proliferation of CSAs and Community Land Trusts, New Economy initiatives are gaining traction throughout the country.

The New Economics Institute is an organization with a 30-year history engaged in the work of building a New Economy. We were instrumental in the establishment of America’s first CSA with Indian Line Farm, and we founded one of this country’s most successful local currencies called BerkShares in Great Barrington, MA. Today, we’re focused on growing the New Economy movement by building coalitions, raising awareness, and organizing communities. That’s what our Campus Network for a New Economy is all about.

Of course, this is just a brief overview; there's a lot more to the New Economy. If you want to dive deeper, I recommend exploring our website. A great place to start is the landing page of our June 2012 Strategies for a New Economy conference, which brought together an unprecedented number of organizations and leaders around the country engaged in New Economy work. I've included a recent article by NEI board member Gar Alperovitz that I think does a great job of telling the story. You can also contact me anytime, or leave a comment at the bottom of the page with any questions or insights that you want to share.

Eli Feghali
Communications and Online Organizing Manager
New Economics Institute

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