New Economy Roundup: Communal Living, Irish Divestment, and Democracy in the face of Wealth Dynasties

11/28/2018 - 3:27pm

This week, we’re talking about democracy in the era of corpocracy, a new report on wealth dynasties, divestment in Ireland and Planet Community video series!

PS: NEC is 75% of the way to our goal of $100,000 in our #MakingWaves fundraising campaign. There is a fierce power in many small donations. Will you make a contribution to change the current?


Stories From the Field

Shallow Democracy: When did we start thinking democracy is only about voting to make sure that the concentrated power of government is on our side rather than staying grounded in the principle that “concentrated power in any form can be dangerous” and that “institutions should be built to human scale, and we need, above all, to pursue human ends.” Tim Wu reminds us that big government and big business are both threats to the pursuit of human freedom. See his analysis here.

Billionaire Bonanza: On their website Inequality.org, NEC member organization Institute for Policy Studies published a report on family wealth dynasties including suggestions for solutions to channel that wealth towards needs like affordable housing and robust public education. Eillie Anzilotti, one of our New Economy Reporting Project journalist fellows, has more here.

The Student’s Budget: A recently passed ballot referendum in New York City now opens the door for participatory budgeting to expand to every city council district in the city. With voting allowed to those as young as 11 and not limited to just U.S. Citizens but instead open to community residents, this is democracy renewed. Chalk Beat explains some projects that have already funded and the inequities that they begin to balance. Read more here.


Solidarity Economies Abroad

Ireland DivestsA recently passed bill requires the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell off about €318 million ($361 million) investments in coal, oil, gas and peat assets over a five year period. Leaders affirmed the urgent action needed to protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and collaborate across parties to do so Read about it here.

Sharing Economy in Japan: The sparsity of multinational, corporate sharing platforms in Japan has given room for local sharing projects, startups, and cooperatives across the country to sprout up in both urban and rural areas. The emergence of these new initiatives across the archipelago could herald a new sharing model that places emphasis on solving social problems instead of just turning a profit. By involving the old — Japan's traditional concept of commons and its decades-old cooperative sector — along with the new, the country could show the way in building a democratic, cooperative sharing economy. Shareable dives deeper.

Spain Just Transition: Demonstrating increased urgency around mitigating our climate catastrophe with a mind to social concerns, Spain has set new goals for renewable energy development and total decarbonization. The Guardian has more details.

Tunisian Strike: Tunisian public employees are left wondering who is really in charge of their nation’s systems. Head of the UGTT Union, Nourredine Taboubi states, “negotiations had failed because the sovereign decision is not in the hands of the government, but of the IMF.” Learn about their latest efforts to remind their leaders who the economy truly relies on.
 

Planet Community Video Series

NEC Member organization, Fellowship for Intentional Community, is touring across the U.S. to document some of the most inspiring and cutting-edge residential communities and passing their findings along to us in their “Planet Community” video series. Season 1 has already launched! You can check out Episode 1: Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and Episode 2: Student Housing Co-ops and the Inter-Cooperative Council right now!


An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building

Stephanie Gutierrez, co-founder of Hope Nation LLC, explores hows effective community wealth building in Native communities depends on an active process of cultural translation. Drawing on the work done in the Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building—a peer-driven cohort of Native communities supported by NEC member organization, the Democracy Collaborative and the Northwest Area Foundation—Gutierrez explores how Lakota community wealth builders at Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation on the Pine Ridge Reservation worked to center their own experiences, language, and history in the process of launching two social enterprises. Gutierrez powerfully demonstrates how any community wealth building effort that does not commit to the work of decolonizing its concepts and strategies will fail to accomplish what it sets out to do. Find the description and a link to the report here!


Movement News


NEC on The Gram
 

Follow NEC on Instagram - @NewEconomyCoalition - where we’re sharing reminders that choosing to redistribute concentrated power is not a new idea and we’re going to need the art of words to get there.


Job Board
Cooperative Business Support Officer, Cooperative Fund of New England
Campaign Coordinator, NY Renews
Campus Organizer, Divest Ed
Various Positions, CODEPINK
Various Positions, Transform Finance
Various Positions, Real Food Challenge
Various Positions, The People’s Forum
Senior Program Associate, ReFrame 
Policy Director, National Family Farm Coalition
Program Manager, New York Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative
Open Society Fellowship, Open Society Foundation


Upcoming Events

PUSH Buffalo Environmental Racism & Climate Justice: Workshop Series
Come learn about these complex topics through simple terms and your own lived experiences. Think climate change doesn't affect you? We dare you to look again. The reality is people of color often don't know enough about how systemic structures are placed upon us, especially when talking about the environment. This lack of knowledge is not your fault, it is purposeful, because once you see how much more you're getting screwed than what you thought, you can't ever go back to thinking like you did before. (November 29, December 20 - Buffalo, NY)

Free Webinar: Assess Your Facilitation & Leadership Skills for Healthy Stronger Cooperation
Our most “powerful” leaders in 2018 have been problematic and disappointing. With many examples of damaging leadership and the immediate consequences… we need to reflect and embody healthy leadership. And, as the year ends, this is the perfect time to look back. You’re invited to this FREE webinar to explore how to make healthy shifts in your leadership (consistently and intentionally growing is key) and a guided exercise to reflect and assess your collaborative leadership skills and facilitation this past year. (November 30 - 12PM EST - Webinar)

Our Economy! Economic Democracy and System Change
Can the economy be democratized? How can we transform it into a more socially inclusive and ecologically sustainable system?  How can we combat the growing concentrations of power and wealth? What current practices point toward a participatory democratic and resilient next system? Our Economy! Economic Democracy and System Change is a conference designed to stimulate and explore these questions, to be held April 12th, 2019 in midtown, Manhattan. (Abstracts and organized panel inquiries due by December 1st)

The Centrality of Land in a Just Transition - A Webinar
The Climate Justice Alliance explains how a Just Transition is based on asserting the right of our communities to the resources required to create productive, dignified and ecologically sustainable livelihoods. Members of CJA are engaging in land-based interventions and strategies to build power and create the world we need. Join to learn about some of these strategies and to share your experiences. (December 4, 10AM - Webinar)

Unleashed: The Social Enterprise Event
Unleashed is a half-day conference powered by the Centre for Social Enterprise Development. This year's focus will be on social purchasing, highlighting the incredible work of the sector while defining the different roles that are involved in the social procurement process. Expect to be inspired while exploring how social enterprises enhance corporate supply chains and at the same time contributing to a positive environment and social impact. (December 5 - Ottawa, CA)

Tools for Collective Self-Governance: A Nonprofit Democracy Network Gathering
This three day gathering will include education, conversation, and co-creation around common themes of collective leadership. The first day will focus on frameworks for organizational design and how those relate to systems change, identity, and liberation. On the second day, participants will break into smaller groups to dive deeper into specific issues and growing edges (e.g. staff/board structure, compensation policies). The third day will focus on identifying next steps and how to integrate learnings into your organizations. (Applications Due December 5 - Oakland, CA)

CPS Community Gathering
How are you putting Partnership principles into action? Join The Center for Partnership Studies Fall, 2018 Global Community Gathering to connect with Riane Eisler and CPS Studies program staff, alumni and community leaders worldwide who are creatively implementing partnership systems one relationship at a time with clients, at work and in their communities. Share success stories, exchange resources and inspiration, hear CPS project updates, and re-inspire yourself to continue this vitally important work. (December 6 11:00am-12:30pm PT/2:00pm-3:30pm ET - Webinar)

Sustainable Energy Summit and Co-op Power Annual Meeting
NEC Member organization, Co-op Power and many allied organizations gather in Springfield for a day of workshops, stories, and future visioning. You have a variety of choices of workshops to learn about worker co-ops, how to talk about climate change, Community Choice Aggregation Combined with Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Generation, and new business models for the new economy. Plus two inspiring keynote speakers - Denise Fairchild, President of Emerald Cities Collaborative and Sandra Steingraber, a Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine, a Person of the Year by Treehugger, and one of 25 “Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” by the Utne Reader. (December 8 - Springfield, MA)

Center for Story-based Strategy's Training: Intro to Story-based Strategy Application
This interactive session will provide participants with a practical framework to create powerful stories and hands-on tools for framing your issues.  We will explore what it means to apply a “narrative analysis of power” to social change work and share the story-based strategy approach for developing campaign narratives. This training is perfect for organizers looking to ground themselves in winning framing and communication strategies, as well as anyone working for progressive change who wants to become a more strategic storyteller and story-changer. (December 10 - San Francisco, CA)

Apply for the Cooperative Leadership Intensive
Join members of NYC co-ops and solidarity economy enterprises for a 5-day deep dive into how we work—individually, collectively, and in community. With curriculum developed in partnership with the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance and delivered by skilled and seasoned facilitators. (Applications Due January 1st - New York, NY)

Think Resilience Guided Course with Transition US
Think Resilience is partnering with NEC member organization, Transition US, which supports grassroots sustainability and relocalization activism nationwide, to bring a special offering an online course complete with video lessons (about four hours of viewing), plus weekly, hour-long group webinars with course host Richard Heinberg from NEC member organization, Post Carbon Institute. (From January 10th to February 28th - Webinar)

Reading Marx’s Capital Volume 1 with David Harvey
A close reading of the text of Volume I of Marx’s Capital with Professor David Harvey. 
This semester-long class meets on Tuesdays from 6:00pm – 8:00pm beginning on February 5th and ending on May 7th. It will be 12 weeks total, and will not meet on February 12 or April 23. Registration is free, but required. This is an in-person class. If you are not able to be in New York City to attend the class in person, please do not register. We will make live streaming details available closer to the start date. (February 5 to May 7 - New York, NY)

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