News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: The Future is Public, Policy Tools for a People’s Economy, Black Co-op History

Feb 14, 2020 | New Economy Roundup

This week we’re talking about global movements to reinstate public ownership, Black cooperative history, and the 2019 Worker Coop State of the Sector. PLUS, we’re talking about the exciting launch of Pathways to a People’s Economy — a policy toolkit developed by NEC members on how to build an economy by, for, and with the people. 

Stories From the Field

The Rising Majority: Last week, NEC Co-Directors Shavaun and Anand attended the Rising Majority’s panel discussion with “The Squad”. They talked about needing models for economic development that build community wealth and community control. See Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar respond to a question from Esteban Kelly of NEC member organization US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Community Wealth Hub in Mississippi: NEC member organization Higher Purpose Co has purchased a 13,000 square foot property in downtown Clarksdale to develop a regional community wealth hub. The hub — which will include a creative learning lab, co-working space, museum, food hall and more — will be deeply rooted in self-determination, collective work, and economic justice, with the goal of improving the quality of life for Black residents in the Mississippi Delta region.

Baby Boomers Go Co-op: A growing number of baby boomers—who own two-thirds of small businesses in the U.S.— are looking to convert their businesses to co-ops to keep them running after retirement. Read how NEC member organization the Cooperative Development Institute is helping small business owners leverage policy changes and financing opportunities for co-op conversions. 

Solidarity Economies Abroad

Transatlantic Public Ownership: NEC member organization The Democracy Collaborative and Common Wealth (based in the UK) have joined together to undertake a new transatlantic project exploring the frontiers of democratic public ownership of data, intellectual property, land, resources, and more. Their goal is to design public institutions that give people real control, and create a new economic common sense.

Community Wealth Building in the UK & Tanzania: In 2011, the city of Preston, England — “a place emblematic of the ravages of neoliberalism,” — began a radical experiment in community wealth building, investing in worker co-ops, public enterprise, community land trusts and public planning initiatives. Inspired by the huge successes of the ‘Preston model,’ cities like Kigoma, Tanzania have adopted similar community wealth building strategies to build local democratic economies.

The Future is Public: From Austria to Chile, Lagos to London, more than 2,400 cities in 58 countries have brought privatized resources back under public control in the last decade. In a special report, NEC member organization the Laura Flanders Show reports from Amsterdam at The Future is Public conference on this global movement to democratize economies and keep public resources in public hands.


Pathways to a People's Economy Toolkit

Yesterday, we launched Pathways to a People’s Economy — a new policy toolkit developed by a team of NEC member organizations to amplify on-the-ground policy wins and provide concrete examples of how to shift our economy from the bottom up.

The Toolkit contains 20 high-level policy demands, 70 detailed policy asks, and multiple organizing resources focused on four key new economy areas: worker ownership, community-controlled housing, financial justice, and climate justice. This work is the culmination of two years of research and collaboration with multiple networks, policy experts, community organizers, and stakeholders — and we’re excited to finally share it with you all!

2019 Worker Coop State of the Sector

Covering six years of business progress, the 2019 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector draws upon the latest developments in the field and deepens our understanding of worker-owned business in the United States. This report is a co-production of NEC member organizations Democracy at Work Institute and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. 

The 2019 report includes an updated map of metro areas home to concentrations of worker cooperatives, along with a breakdown of business number totals in the top 16 states. Notably, the map includes 50 confirmed worker cooperatives in Puerto Rico, greatly adding to the verified landscape of worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces. Read the 2019 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector report here and join their February 19th webinar on The State of Worker Co-ops in the U.S.

Movement News

Podcasts of the New Economy

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re pulling up an episode of Upstream from the archives this week. In this episode from 2017, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice,” talks about the deep-rooted history and origins of solidarity economics and worker cooperatives in Black communities.

Additional listens:
Momentum (Race Forward): Angela Glover Blackwell talks thinking radically and reframing hopelessness. 

NEC on The Gram

Follow NEC on Instagram – @NewEconomyCoalition – Where we’re sharing big facts from movement leaders like Colette Pichon Battle.

Climate Justice Youth Organizer, Youth on Board – Somerville, MA
Communication Director, The Laura Flanders Show – Brooklyn, NY
Communications Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance – Various Locations 
Development Associate, 18 Million Rising – Oakland, CA/Remote – Deadline Feb 15
Director, Divest Ed – Cambridge, MA 
Director of Development, OPAL Environmental Justice – Portland, OR
Education Team Coordinator Highlander Center – New Market, TN
Education Team Member and Youth Organizer, Highlander Center – New Market, TN
Food Systems Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation – SE United States
General Coordinator, Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC – New York, NY 
General Manager, Yellowstone Valley Food Hub – Yellowstone Valley, MT
Hinge Arts Residency, Springboard for the Arts – Fergus Falls, Minnesota – Deadline Mar 2
Lending Director, MACED – Berea; Hazard; Paintsville, KY
Media Manager, Institute for Policy Studies – Washington, D.C.
ovement Storyteller, Working Partnerships USA – San Jose, CA
NEROC Admin Coordinator, Cooperative Development Institute – Northeast
New Economy Program Field Coordinator, Appalachian Voices – Norton, VA – Mar 10
Operations Coordinator, Democracy Collaborative – Washington, DC
Operations Manager, Institute for Local Self Reliance – Various Locations
Political Director, OPAL Environmental Justice – Portland, OR
President, New Media Ventures – Oakland, CA
Program Manager, Decolonizing Wealth, Decolonizing Wealth Project – New York, NY
Program Manager – Grow Grants, NE Grassroots Env. Fund – Newmarket, NH
Senior Policy Associate, Economic Opportunity Institute – Seattle, WA
Summit Organizer, PGM ONE – Chicago, IL – Deadline Feb 21
Various Positions, Action Center on Race and the Economy – Location is flexible
Various Positions, Color of Change – New York, Washington D.C., Oakland, Los Angeles
Various Positions, Demos – New York, NY
Various Positions, FairBnb – Bologna, Italy
Various Positions, Green America – Washington D.C./Remote
Various Positions, Groundswell
Various Positions, Groundwork Collaborative
Various Positions, Mothers Out Front
Various Positions, NAACP Legal Defense Fund 
Various Positions, New Florida Majority – Miami/Jacksonville, FL
Various Positions, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo – Buffalo, NY
Various Positions, New Economy Organizers Network – London/Manchester, UK
Various Positions, Project Equity – Multiple Locations
Various Positions, RiseBoro Community Partnership – Brooklyn, NY
Various Positions, Sunrise Movement – Multiple Locations 
Web Developer, Foundation for Intentional Communities

Upcoming Events

Where are we in the fight for Climate Justice for Communities of Color?
In recognition of Black History Month, Climate Reality Check Presents an Intergenerational discussion with black climate leaders: This is an important time to reflect on the past and future of the environmental and climate justice movements for Communities of Color. What progress have we made? What can we learn from the past to apply to the now? What are the most important steps forward that both climate leaders and allies can take together on climate wins? (Today 3PM ET – Online)

From What Is to What If: The Role of Imagination in Transition
In this online webinar, co-hosted with Transition US and the international Transition Network, Rob Hopkins will set out the key ideas behind his new book "From What Is to What If," and invite participants to reflect on the role of the imagination in their work in Transition. It will include some interactive exercises, stories from around the world, and a way of looking at it that you may not have experienced before. (Feb 18 – Online)

Cooperative Decision-Making for Distributed Teams
Remote collaboration is critical to the future of work. Join RoundSky Solutions’ collective decision-making webinar and learn to leverage the power of your team – aligning and clarifying decisions that improve your team’s performance. (Feb 18 – Online)

Remaking the Economy in the Black Belt
Join Nonprofit Quarterly for an interview with Dr. Shirley Sherrod, a cofounder of New Communities near Albany, Georgia, home to the nation’s first community land trust. Following the interview with be a distinguished panel of three individuals – Bill Bynum is founder and CEO of Hope; Cornelius Blanding, executive director of the Federation of Southern; and Leonette Henderson, Director of Development and Partnerships at NEC Member organization Higher Purpose Company. (Feb 20 – Online)

Appalachian Voices: High Country Energy Justice Summit
The High Country Energy Justice Summit will bring together young people, local elected leaders and electric ratepayers from across the region to develop a community vision for local energy systems that support an equitable economy and protect our planet. (Feb 22 – Boone, NC)

Affordable Conference on Affordable Cohousing
This online conference is a great opportunity to come together and learn about the challenges and successes of Affordable Cohousing. Because it’s online, there are none of the travel costs associated with a conventional conference, and with no food to buy, we’ve been able to keep registration costs low as well. (Feb 22 – Online)

Massachusetts Food Trust Program Information Session
Please join NEC Member organization Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF) and the North Shore Latino Business Association (NSLBA) for an information session about the Massachusetts Food Trust Program (MFTP) – a statewide healthy food financing initiative to increase access to healthy, affordable food in low-income urban, suburban, and rural communities. (Feb 26 – Lynn, MA)

Canadian Worker Co-op Fed.: Social and Solidarity Economy and Worker Co-ops
Co-ops inevitably overlap with other movements and in this webinar we will explore how worker co-ops fit into the Social and Solidarity Economy and with social enterprises. We invite participants to come with ideas of how to better partner in these spaces for mutual benefit, and will have shared with CWCF some ideas on how CWCF can partner for the benefit of the worker co-op movement. (Feb 28 – Online Webinar)

Social Justice & Media Symposium
The inaugural symposium on Social Justice and Media will convene for one day in Boston to explore the intersection of social justice and media as it relates to community and pedagogy in daily life. (Feb 28 – Boston, MA)

Going Local: Hope in a Time of Crisis Festival
In cooperation with New Economy Network Australia, NEC Member Organization Local Futures is organising an inspiring 3-day event – called ‘Going Local: Hope in a Time of Crisis‘ – with a focus on bridging the gaps between single-issue activist campaigns and presenting a holistic strategy for social, ecological, and economic renewal. (Mar 20th-22nd – Australia)

View all NEC member events on our website »



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