News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: #NowWeOwn The Code, Global Transformation for Reparations, & Highlander Center

Apr 25, 2019 | New Economy Roundup

This week we’re talking about the evolution of tech ownership, the system change needed for true reparations, and reflections on recent conversations of reactions and impacts of burning of well-known buildings.

Stories From the Field

When Organized Workers Own The Code: Coding isn’t the hardest thing about the tech industry – learning how to manage its ownership is. Including a mention of NEC member organizations, Cooperative Development Program at the Center for Family Life and the Platform Cooperativism Consortium, check out WIRED’s latest article about platform cooperatives and open source coding.

A Building Burned, A Spirit Sustained: A month ago, the main building at the Highlander Center was burned. Two weeks ago Notre Dame burned. This sparked a grappling with what attachments we feel to what structures, resulting in articles asking questions like what if we treated our civil rights buildings like cathedrals. Read Robin D.G. Kelley and Makani Themba’s explanation of Why the Highlander Attack Matters.

Climate Change Is Already Reshaping How We Farm: What do you get when you pair a New Economy Reporting Project journalist fellow and an NEC grant recipient? You get a thought provoking piece about the current state of agriculture and the movement to reimagine it – like this one.

Solidarity Economies Abroad

Reparations Means Global Social Transformation: Real redress can only come when the system that cannibalized tens of millions of Black bodies and underdeveloped most of the world for the benefit of the Lords of Capital, is demolished root and branch — along with just settlements made among the peoples of the Earth. As debates swirl around reparations, remember that reparations cannot just be a single transaction – they must instead be a lasting transformation of systems globally.


South African Dock Workers Unionize for better pay: A recent Salon article details the latest research of Peter Cole of In These Times. His book spells out a history of ongoing solidarity between South African and San Francisco dock workers. Read more about the international history of dock worker organizing in the midst of international trade. 

What Would an ‘Open Borders’ World Actually Look Like?: With borders rooted in harmful colonial history and the possibility of hundreds of millions of refugees from climate and violent disasters, what would it mean to prepare to shape our economies around human needs for mobility?

In These Times Magazine

This month, In These Times Magazine focuses on climate justice and building a zero-carbon economy. The issue features articles by NEC member organizations like Cooperation Jackson's Kali Akuno, Labor Network for Sustainability’s Jeremy Brecher, The Democracy Collaborative’s Gar Alperovitz and Johanna Bozuwa, and Institute for Policy Studies’ Basav Sen. We encourage you to check out the online compilation of all of this work and forward-looking wisdom.

Workers in Control: Right To Own

Building on the 7,000 businesses already using some sort of employee ownership structure, this month the progress and arguments for developing infrastructure and cultures of worker ownership were on full steam:

– The Next System Project released their Right to Own segment and published in Jacobin about policies where workers can organize to match a non-employee buyer’s offer.

– From Colorado to Massachusetts, recent state agencies have been tasked with building state employee ownership incentives

– Melissa Hoover of the Democracy at Work Institute wrote about how employee ownership can serve as an intervention in the midst of corporate consolidation, automation and the gig economy.

– It remains clear that if we are to see through a vision like a Green New Deal, workers will have to be at the center of it and employee ownership can help us get there.

Movement News

NEC on The Gram

Follow NEC on Instagram – @NewEconomyCoalition – where we’re amplifying the ten solutions to bridge the racial wealth gap being offered in new research by NEC member organization, Institute for Policy Studies.

Job Board

Administrative and Finance Coordinator, Center for Economic Democracy
Chief Financial Officer, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development
Community Energy Advisor, PUSH Buffalo
Cooperative Business Director, Cooperative Development Institute
Cooperative Developer, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
Development & Financial Innovation Manager, Center for Story Based Strategy
Digital Engagement Organizer, Corporate Accountability
Editorial Associate, The Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
Listening Tour Facilitator, Responsible Endowments Coalition
Loan Administrator, Shared Capital Cooperative
Member Organizer, Boston Ujima Project
Programs and Operations Coordinator, Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC
Project Officer, Cooperation Richmond
Staff Director, Northern Plains Resource Council
State Organizer, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Various Positions, Beneficial State Foundation
Various Positions, Better Future Project
Various Positions, Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative
Various Positions, Center for Family Life
Various Positions, Cero Cooperative
Various Positions, Democracy Brewing
Various Positions, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Various Positions, Race Forward
Various Positions, Split This Rock


Upcoming Events

Post-Capitalism: Building the Solidarity Economy On The North Coast
Cooperation Humboldt, in partnership with the US Solidarity Economy Network, will present a conference  at Humboldt State University, sponsored by the HSU Sociology Department.
A wide array of workshops will be presented on Saturday including but not limited to ‘Solidarity Economy 101,’ ‘Introduction to Permaculture,’ ‘Democratizing Money: Public Banking,’ ‘Imagining a Post-Whiteness Society,’ ‘Humboldt County – Land of the Free,’ and many more. (April 26 – 27 – Arcata, CA)

Massachusetts Local Environmental Action 2019
Lcal Environmental Action is a one-day conference that brings together hundreds of activists from across the region to learn, connect and be inspired. Community leaders, environmental justice advocates and activists from come together to build skills, discuss new ideas, and get ready for the work ahead. (April 27 – Worcester, MA)

Building Community Wealth with Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Stories from the Field
Creating climate resilient cities means more than investing in infrastructure—it means tackling economic and racial inequality that leaves disinvested communities on the frontlines of climate damage. In this webinar, we explore how building green stormwater infrastructure (harnessing nature's innate ability to manage runoff), can be a key intervention point for also building community wealth, creating a vibrant economic system where democratic ownership and control creates more equitable outcomes. (April 29 – Online Webinar)

2nd MACED/Project Equity Eastern KY Worker Co-op Training
More than 26,000 Kentucky businesses, employing more than 300,000 people, are owned by baby boomers. Many have not identified the next generation of ownership and could be at risk of closing their businesses when they retire. One way to keep these businesses thriving and locally-owned is transitioning to a worker-owned cooperative or other form of employee ownership. Presented by Project Equity, these workshops explore worker-owned cooperatives and other employee-owned models, as well as best practices in helping businesses transition to employee ownership. (April 30 – Morehead, KY)

Thank U, Next (System): a May Day Party for a Solidarity Economy
Enjoy a powerful evening of solidarity this May Day as the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC) invited you to dance, drink, eat, and play to support New Yorkers advancing a cooperative future for New York City. (May 1 – New York, NY)

Sociocracy for All Online Conference
This conference is for people who love thinking about new ways of working together: organizers, leaders, consultants, trainers. 20 organizations with presenters from 14 different countries will tell their stories of using sociocracy. People interested in self-governance will come together in an online conference to connect and share their experiences with each other. (May 2 – Online Conference)

People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature and Environment Conference 
PGM ONE convenes emerging and established professionals of color/the global majority who work in the environmental and outdoor movement to share, learn, collaborate, heal, celebrate, build community, find support, and sharpen their analysis of racial equity in their fields. PGM ONE is a project of NEC Member, Earth Island Institute. (May 8 – 10 – Philadelphia, PA)

DAWI What Works Webinars: Open-Book Management Practicum
This four-part interactive practicum goes deeper into the social system that lays the groundwork for open-book management to take hold in a business. Led by Jen Briggs, former HR director at employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Company, it will address how organizational citizenship connects to open-book management. You'll also develop your own blueprint for change with three immediate steps to put into action. No need to have taken previous open-book management webinars to attend! (May 8 – June 26 – Online Webinar Series)

2019 Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise 
Social enterprise is a growing movement in communities across Canada. For 10 years, the Social Enterprise Council of Canada has been bringing community developers, social entrepreneurs, and policy makers together to envision how these businesses can solve our biggest problems. Join NEC Member, the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) to learn together, celebrate incredible progress, and set the stage for the next decade of social impact. (May 8 – 10 – Quebec, Canada)

2019 Spring RootSkills
The RootSkills series is about building networks and strengthening movements by making powerful, intersectional connections between a broad spectrum of participants all working towards a common goal. The workshop agenda and learning objectives are co-created by a planning committee. An open call for workshop sessions has resulted in offerings that are about helping grassroots organizers develop their own solutions to complex environmental and social justice issues that affect where they live. Workshop sessions are both process- and issue-based. This event will focus on racial and economic disparities to consider in/equity in rural, New England communities. (May 18 – Brattleboro, VT)

Grounding Reparations: Community Land Ownership & Racial Equity
The control of land determines who is displaced and who reaps wealth. Communities of color, in particular Black and Indigenous communities, have suffered a long history of displacement from land and housing leading to instability and contributing to the racial wealth gap. Can grassroots efforts to create community land trusts offer an alternative framework for just land use and permanently affordable housing as a human right? And can this model offer a strategy of reparations for historical injustices stemming from the ongoing effects of slavery and the racialized systems it generated? Please join this conversation on how we can move from profit and evictions to inclusive democracy, repair and liberation. (May 21 – Online Webinar)

TRANSFORM 2019: Climate, Communities, Capital
The TRANSFORM gathering is the centerpiece of an always-on convening that includes labs, working groups, and editorial content. Transforming climate, communities, and capital to create a safer, regenerative, more just world is the context for a deep focus on HOW to accelerate these changes. (May 22 – 24 – San Francisco, CA)

10-Year Anniversary Party for the Participatory Budgeting Project
For the past ten years, PBP has been the lead organization growing participatory budgeting across North America. They've launched and supported PB processes in over 30 cities, empowering 400,000 people to decide how to spend $300 million, funding more than 1,630 community-generated projects. To celebrate, they’re hosting a 10th Anniversary Benefit at Prime Produce in New York City. Come toast to the past 10 years, and many more ahead – reflect and share what we hope to accomplish moving forward. (May 23 – New York, NY)

5th Annual Conference of the Cooperative Professionals Guild
The Cooperative Professionals Guild is a home for attorneys and accountants who specialize in cooperative business models. The Guild provides a forum in which its members advance their professional development and jointly promote a cooperative economic future for the United States. (May 30 – June 1 – Chicago, IL)

The New Trusts: Democratic Ownership Beyond the ESOP
The employee stock-ownership plan, or ESOP, is one of the most powerful legal innovations in recent US history. Since its introduction in the mid-1970s, millions of employees have benefited from being co-owners of the companies where they work. But ESOP formation has slowed in recent years, and it has come with shortcomings. In this interactive webinar, we'll hear from some of the leaders of this emerging conversation about the promise and pitfalls of new strategies for democratic ownership. (June 6 – Online Webinar)

2019 Summer Institute: Economics for Emancipation
Designed to address the movement’s knowledge gaps and counter conservative economic myths, the Center for Popular Economics' Summer Institute in partnership with the Center for Economic Democracy, provides an intensive training in the economics needed to advance a different vision. CPE and CED are committed to popular education, relating political and economic concepts to people’s concrete lives and using games, theater, music, and film to make this information accessible and fun. (June 25 – 29 – Boston, MA)



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