Just over a month out from CommonBound (July 8-10, Buffalo, NY), we’re excited to announce an important piece of this summer’s conference: our keynote speakers. Like the rest of CommonBound, we see plenary spaces as a chance to drive forward some of the most important conversations happening in our movements and beyond.
How can the new economy reach beyond pockets of activity, and into the mainstream? What can we learn from powerful stories abroad, and how might we adopt similar models in our own communities? What is our political and public-sector strategy? What are the big opportunities ahead of us and how do we move forward with plans bold enough to seize them?
To get out these questions and more, we’ll convene a series of all-conference conversations with those at the leading edge of the movement for economic democracy, in the United States and around the world. Here are a few of our speakers:
- Elandria Williams is Co-Editor of Beautiful Solutions and is on the Education Team and Organizational Leadership Team of the Highlander Research and Education Center. She coordinates the Southern Grassroots Economies Project, co-leads the Governance and Economics curriculum, and supports community leaders and organizers in the South and Appalachia.
- Federica Bandini is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business Economics at the Università di Bologna, where she coordinates the academic master on Social Economy. Federica is also Director of the Master on Management of Social Enterprises at L. Bocconi University in Milan.
- Kali Akuno is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of Cooperation Jackson. He served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. Kali is also an educator, writer, and an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots movement.
- Makani Themba is Chief Strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies based in Detroit, Michigan. Previously, Makani served as the Founder and Executive Director of The Praxis Project, a nonprofit organization helping communities use media and policy advocacy to advance health justice. She is author of Making Policy, Making Change, and she has also co-authored with Hunter Cutting Talking the Walk: Communications Guide for Racial Justice.
- Malachi Larrabee Garza currently serves as Director of the Community Justice Network for Youth at the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI). Before coming to the BI, Malachi spent 5 years at the School of Unity and Liberation (S.O.U.L.) as the Advanced Political Education Director. Malachi co-founded the Brown Boi Project in 2006 and currently sits as Chair of its Board of Directors.
- Nancy Neamtan is a Co-Founder and former Executive Director of Chantier de l'économie sociale. Over the past 30 years, Nancy has been at the heart of the social and solidarity economy movement, working first as a community organizer, then as Executive Director of RESO, a community economic development corporation, and since 1998 with Chantier.
In the coming weeks we’ll be announcing more speakers, workshops and other details for July. Don’t miss out: Register today for CommonBound 2016. And don't forget. If you register by June 1st, you'll get 2 original posters from artists Jennifer Luxton and Favianna Rodriguez made specifically for NEC.
See you in July!