The United States’ partial and uneven recovery from the 2008 financial crisis calls for a new economic platform that would unite the employed and the unemployed, strengthen worker power, and point the way to a more democratic economy for the country as a whole. Two such policy proposals have recently been gaining traction on the left: a universal basic income, on the one hand, and a job guarantee on the other. As part of New Economy Week 2015, Dissent, Jacobin Magazine, and the New Economy Coalition brought together activists, journalists, and scholars to discuss these two proposals.
An overview of The Next System Project and the need for systemic solutions for systemic crisis.
The Next System Project is an ambitious multiyear initiative aimed at thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Responding to real hunger for a new way forward, and building on innovative thinking and practical experience with new economic institutions and approaches being developed in communities across the country and around the world, the goal is to put the central idea of system change, and that there can be a “next system,” on the map.
How do low-income communities learn to advance economically and build wealth? Low-income communities and communities of color, in challenging structural economic and social inequality, have historically grappled with tensions inherent to development. Who participates in, directs, and ultimately owns the economic-development process? In creating and sustaining new, inclusive economic institutions, how do community members cultivate and pass on skills, commitment and knowledge—especially among those who have long faced barriers to education and employment? And how should communities strike an appropriate balance between utilizing local knowledge and accessing outside expertise? This report draws on case studies of 11 different community economic development initiatives from across the United States to highlight a diverse set of powerful answers to these critical questions.
In this Next System Project second official report, project co-chair, and NEC co-founder, James Gustave Speth details the steps that must be taken to change the status quo of the political-economic system.
In an era of persistent urban inequality and chronic unemployment disproportionately impacting historically marginalized communities and communities of color, new alternatives to the traditional economic development strategies that have failed to bring broad and evenly distributed prosperity to America's cities are clearly needed. The Democracy Collaborative's new report, Cities Building Community Wealth, responds to this challenge by highlighting best practices in inclusive innovation from twenty cities across the country, and offering a unified vision of the underlying new paradigm of community focused economic development.
How can ordinary community members begin catalyzing a local conversation around building a stronger, more equitable local economy? How can you leverage volunteer power, public resources, and in-kind sponsorships to convene a community wealth building summit? In this new whitepaper from the Democracy Collaborative's Community Wealth Innovators Series, Justine Porter maps out how she and her grassroots team pulled this kind of powerful event together in Poughkeepsie, New York—and highlights the lessons learned so that you can benefit from their experience in planning your own community wealth building summit in your community.
This CommonBound 2014 opening plenary panel explores what it means for our movements to “win.” Grounding us in a framework of decolonization, community self-determination and sovereignty, we dive deep into why we do this work. Each of the panelists share their perspective on what is unique about this moment in history — from the political and economic level, to the cultural and ecological.
Cuba has been transforming its economic model since 2011, and re-established relations with the U.S. in 2014. By engaging in an active question and answer format this CommonBound 2014 workshop explores what these profound changes mean for a socialist economy and the challenges of protecting the social gains of the Cuban revolution while creating a more robust, efficient economy.
This is an "Energy Democracy for Beginners" session from CommonBound 2016 in which a few panelists draw out the vision and political framework of Energy Democracy and what it means in their respective communities and organizing work. They each provide an example project and briefly share their perspectives on strategies for Democratizing Energy and building the energy democracy movement.
If our movements are serious about changing the system, what are the strategies that get us from here to there? We know this work is about more than just building projects or winning elections. It’s about governing society for the benefit of all and implementing our visions for the economy at all levels. With that in mind, what do we need to shift in our thinking for our movements to succeed? What are we not doing enough of? What are we doing too much of? What are the opportunities in front of us in this particular historical moment? This CommonBound 2014 closing plenary reflects on these questions with a powerful line-up of community leaders who bring their diverse and broad experiences to the table.