News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: Seizing the Machine of Capital in Belfast, Rural Electric Coop Empowerment and More!

Aug 16, 2019 | New Economy Roundup

This week we’re talking about a people-powered currency in Puerto Rico, our Rural Electric Cooperative Toolkit, a new worker cooperative start-up guide, and workers seizing the machine of Capital to demand renewable energy jobs. Plus, jobs and events from across the new economy!

PS: NEC is hiring an “Individual Giving Manager” to join our development team. Moving the money is* organizing!

Stories From the Field

Socialists of Color to the Front: The Economic Policy Institute projects that, by 2032, a majority of the American working class will be people of color. LeftRoots is a socialist group with majorities of women and people of color, and it is strategizing to win. Learn more about LeftRoots via In These Times.

A Promising Step Forward For Just Transition: While coal miners in Kentucky protest their withheld wages, Colorado has introduced the first of its kind “Just Transition” office to its Department of Labor and Employment. With 18,000 people employed by the state’s mining industry, the office is tasked with drafting a plan by July 2020 to mitigate economic hardship in the midst of energy transition. The program will begin dispersing grants for retraining in 2025. The just transition for coal workers is starting now. Let Colorado show you how.

How Much Is Too Much?: The moral math we do about wealth as individuals doesn’t carry as much weight without recalculating the whole system. This biographical comic by NEC member organization Resource Generation’s Adam Roberts tells his story of becoming aware that his family was in the top 1% — and the dilemmas that followed. RG is made up of millennials in the top 10% who take a giving pledge to voluntarily redistribute their wealth for systemic change. Read how an RG'er decided societal change starts with him.

Solidarity Economies Abroad

A People’s Currency for Puerto Rico: Money is just something to exchange. So what do you do when your colonizer doesn’t recognize the value you hold? You create a currency that reflects the values of your community. That is what the professor and artist Frances Negrón-Muntaner did with her team in response to the Puerto Rican debt crisis. After studying community currencies around the world, particularly in colonized islands like New Zealand and the Carribean, she created Valor y Cambio (VyC) for Puerto Rico. Unlike the US dollar, VyC features women, men, activists, poets, athletes, youth leaders, and doctors, broadening the net of what is considered valuable. Click here to read more or visit Valor y Cambio’s website!

Seize the Machine for Renewable Energy: In late July, it was announced that the storied Belfast shipyard which built the Titanic in 1909 would be shutting down after failing to find a buyer. Over 130 workers seized control of the shipyard, and now after two weeks, say that they won’t be leaving until the docks are nationalized and used to produce renewable energy infrastructure. Get the full story.

Global Cooperative Conference in Rwanda: The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) announced Kigali, Rwanda as the destination for their 2019 Global Conference, “Cooperatives for Development,” from October 14th to 17th. Structured around the UN Agenda of 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the conference will discuss the role of policies and programs in consolidating cooperatives around the world . View the draft agenda.

Rural Electric #PowerToThePeople

This week we launched the Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) Toolkit, a resource for the over 40 million electric cooperative members across America. Created by a group of organizations convened through a NEC working group, the toolkit aims to support co-op members who want to get more involved in their RECs. The toolkit is arranged in four different sections and includes beginner resources for those brand new to RECs, success stories and case studies, as well as mapping and popular education tools for those ready to get to work and organize their REC. Visit to learn about owning your power and see if you live in a region serviced by a REC.

Center for Family Life’s Start-up Guide

Cooperative development looks different in every community and every group of worker-owners, but there are many structures and resources that can be shared and adapted to advance the startup process. NEC member organization, Center for Family Life (CFL) is a nationally recognized leader in the development of worker-owned cooperatives in immigrant, low-income communities. Based on their experiences launching businesses for workers seeking safe and non-exploitative work, they are extremely excited to launch and share their Cooperative Startup Guide to share back their learnings and contribute a usable and useful tool to the cooperative ecosystem.

Movement News

#NP: Building Coalitions (With Keeyanga-Yamhatta Taylor) 
Who’s the Boss? In Worker-Owned Cooperatives, Everyone Is.
The Great Land Robbery
The Street-by-Street Battle Against Climate Change
Why Los Angeles Officials Voted to Cancel an Almost $2 Billion Jail Contract
“You Don’t Know Anything.” And Other Writing Advice from Toni Morrison
Amnesty International to Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies
Appalachia’s Story: How the National Media Gets It Wrong
An Apology from an Environmentalist
The Restaurant Owners Fighting Systems That Allow Abuse to Persist
How 2020 Democrats Plan to Fight Climate Change
A Giant Factory Rises to Make a Product Filling Up the World: Plastic
Post-Soviet Co-ops: Mongolian Herders Borrow a Tool From the Recent Past
A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism
Straight Capitalism: Brands Are Butting into “Hot Girl Summer” to Make a Quick Buck

NEC on The Gram

Follow NEC on Instagram – @NewEconomyCoalition – In case you forgot, there are humans behind these computer screens! We got to leave our computers behind for a bit and be together in-person at NEC’s July staff retreat and work on advancing our strategic planning process. We tried to set a rule that during beach time, we couldn’t talk about work — we failed. But at least we got this cute pic!

Job Board

Campaign & Statewide Organizer, Southerners On New Ground – Tennessee and Virginia
Cooperative Housing Specialist, Vermont, Cooperative Development Institute – Vermont
Digital Engagement Organizer, Corporate Accountability – Boston, MA
Digital Product Manager and Developer, Green America – Washington, DC
Director Advising Department, Way to Win – Remote/Austin, Texas
Individual Giving Manager, New Economy Coalition – Cambridge, MA
Learning Manager, The Prosperity Agenda – Seattle, Philadelphia, or remotely
Marketing & Communications Manager, Recompose, Seattle, WA 
National Membership Organizer, The Majority – Remote
Press Officer, Corporate Accountability – Boston, MA
Senior Staff Attorney, New Economy Project – New York, NY
Senior Editor – Institute for Self Reliance – Washington, D.C. or Portland, Maine
Organizing Fellow, We Own It (Extended, 8/19) – Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska & Wyoming
Various Positions, Democracy Collaborative – Washington, DC
Various Positions, Action Center on Race and the Economy – Location is flexible
Various Positions, The Laura Flanders Show – New York, NY
Various Positions, Opportunity Finance Network
Worker, Palante Technology Cooperative

Upcoming Events

Decolonizing Our Hearts, Minds & Movements
This gathering, led by and held for Indigenous, Black, and Latinx Peoples, is both a leadership exploration and a healing retreat focused on mindful decolonization strategies intended to help undo the legacy of colonization in each of us and within our practice of activism. Throughout the week the group will be joined by guest presenters Leah Penniman, Sachem Hawkstorm, Naftali Duran, David Ragland and Stephanie Morningstar. (Aug 18-23 – Rhinebeck, NY)

AORTA Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
As part of their ongoing professional development series, The Democracy Center in Cambridge is excited to present the Anti Oppression Resource and Training Alliance’s training on Conflict Resolution in the Workplace. (Aug 19 – Cambridge, MA)

WEAll Citizens Offers and Needs Market
Join the first WEAll Citizens Offers and Needs Market! This is a fun and effective way to connect, get more comfortable expressing your offers and needs, and begin conversations with interesting people. We all have amazing things to offer the wellbeing economy movement. And when we share what we have to offer, life becomes easier for us all! This event will be led by Donnie and Crystal from the Post Growth Institute, who have been running successful Offers and Needs markets for a long time. (Aug 19 – Online)

WEBINAR: Leveraging Investments in Support of Social Justice
The webinar will explore how to leverage invested assets to support social movements and to redistribute land, wealth and power. The webinar will feature Ed Whitfield of the Fund for Democratic Communities and Jennifer Near of Justice Funders, with RG’s Lane Fury facilitating. The call will serve as an introduction to core concepts in social movement investing, and equip participants with a starting place from which to further explore how to leverage their invested assets. (Aug 26 – Online)

Second International Congress on Cooperativism and Solidarity Economy
The National Network of Researchers and Educators in Cooperativism and Solidarity Economy (REDCOOP) and the Chapingo Autonomous University call on researchers and teachers focused on the study and teaching of the ESS, to public officials of any of the three levels of government, to cooperatives and associates of ESS companies and, to the general public, to participate in the work of the Second International Congress Analysis and Evaluation of the institutionalization processes of the Social and Solidarity Economy in Latin America. (Aug 28 & 29 – Chapingo, Mexico)

Open Buffalo: Justice Leadership Institute
NEC member organization, Open Buffalo are now accepting applications for their newest Leadership Development initiative, the Open Buffalo Justice Leadership Institute (JLI). Apply today for this FREE community leadership workshop offered September 6th – 8th, 2019 and you will gain community organizing skills, find power in your personal story and have the ability to make systemic change within your community! (Sept 6-8 – Buffalo, NY)

United for a Fair Economy’s 25th Anniversary Celebration
A celebration of United for a Fair Economy's past, present and future! For a quarter century, UFE has been at the forefront of supporting movements for economic justice in Boston. In honor of our 25th anniversary, you are invited to come share in community, view performances by local and national artists, and enjoy free food. (Sept 13 – Boston, MA)

3rd Annual Worker Co-op Jumpstart 
Interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of starting and operating a worker cooperative in your community? Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED) will be hosting our third annual Worker Cooperative Jumpstart! It will be a day long series of workshops focused on establishing and running worker cooperatives. So whether you've been a worker-owner for years, are thinking about starting a co-op, or just want to learn more this event is for you! (Sept 14 – Baltimore, MD)

Econous 2019
Over 500 leaders from across Canada’s social innovation landscape will gather in London, Ontario. EconoUs2019 will feature dynamic speakers, interactive storytelling and skill-building sessions, local and regional tours, a day for turning learning into action, and plenty of opportunities to network. (Sept 16-18 – London, ON, Canada)

Dialectical Humanism: The Thought of James and Grace Lee Boggs
Through a close reading and engagement with the ideas of James and Grace Lee Boggs, the class will explore: How the Boggses understood the historical development of capitalism and revolution, how the Boggses understood the relationship of racism to capitalism and technology, what the Boggses meant by “dialectical humanism” and “Change yourself to change the world.” The class will be taught by Matt Birkhold via zoom. Matt holds a PhD in historical sociology, worked with Grace Lee Boggs for almost ten years, and has published widely on the Boggses. The Class Syllabus and readings will be made available to participants during the first class. (Sept 18 – Online)

7th Climate Justice Youth Summit
Save the date for Uprose Brooklyn and the Climate Justice Alliance’s 7th Youth Climate Justice Summit. (Sept 20-21 – New York City, NY)

Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD)
The ECWD, founded in 2002, is a conference that builds awareness of worker-owned businesses while strengthening existing worker co-ops. For 17 years, the ECWD has forged relationships between democratically-owned businesses, labor institutions, and cooperative resource organizations to expand workplace democracy. (Oct 18-20 – Baltimore, MD)

North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) Institute 2019
Cooperatives have long embodied self-help and mutual aid. This year’s theme will encourage us to take a look at how we have built cooperatives with and for our whole community. This theme will delve into the hard work of community organizing as well as the mindfulness it takes to co-create with existing communities when starting a new cooperative. (Nov 8-10 – Austin, TX)



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