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.
What will an anti-imperialist, economy look like? What will it take to decolonize economic structures in pursuit of liberation? After introducing frameworks for building a movement for sustainable business, community and worker ownership, workplace democracy, and thriving family businesses, we go local. We hear lessons from Boston, where grassroots organizations, small businesses and investors are working together to model an alternative to the capitalist economy at a local level. Participants learn from leaders of the Boston Ujima Project about their efforts to fight poverty and displacement through the formation of a community capital fund, a Good Business Certification, and an alternative local currency. Participants learn about Boston's unique new economy project and engage in the opportunities and limits of this community development strategy.
Community Development Credit Unions have long been working for racial justice and innovating in economic justice. Part of the larger community development finance institution (CDFI) movement, these institutions are today boldly lending to undocumented immigrants, fighting predatory lending, preserving historic Black and farmworker CUs, financing worker coops and land trusts, and building partnerships to fund the new economy. Part history lesson, part show and tell, and part participatory debate, three practitioners from the field lead a session to engage participants in how they might access, build, challenge and partner with CDFIs in their own geographies to sustain the new economy.
How can we assure that the material resources and tools are available to communities to meet their needs and elevate the quality of life? This panel explores the movement to create democratic sources of financing to enable communities to build a democratic, just and sustainable economy. Leaders discuss the role of finance, fundamentals of non-extractive finance, and principles being used to develop a financial cooperative nationally, in close connection to grassroots front-line communities.The panel will use concrete examples of existing models.
View the recordings of these online discussions, organized by Local Futures, which address key issues in the debate around economic globalization and localization - from food and energy to education, trade, and the role of activists. Guests include Bill McKibben, Charles Eisenstein, Richard Heinberg, Manish Jain, Michael Shuman, and more.
Which kinds of renewable energy production really build community power? Rather than prescribe a single vision of what "energy democracy" might mean, this resource lets you explore and remix the basic elements of an inclusive and sustainable energy system, grounded in the agency of communities to shape their own ecological and economic futures.
This paper, released in the wake of the 2015 Paris climate talks, argues that globalization, the deregulation of trade and finance through free trade treaties, is the driving force behind climate change. As a result, the climate problem can only be tackled effectively if governments stop subsidizing globalization, and pursue localization instead.
This toolkit is a do-it-yourself tool for those who want to kick-start effective global-to-local action in their community or within an existing group. The toolkit uses the award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness as a springboard to discuss the broad impacts of the global economy and localization as a strategy for systemic change.
Want to understand the alternatives to business as usual? We know the current system does exactly what it was designed to do: line corporate pockets at the expense of real people’s health and livelihoods, destroying the environment while fueling the war machine. But we also know that another world is possible. Many models for radically different, sustainable, inclusive and democratic societies exist and this CommonBound workshop features a few of their proponents to present their ideas, debate the options and answer questions about what a better world looks like in detail.
This shortened version of the award-winning documentary spells out the social, spiritual, and ecological costs of today's global economy. Importantly, the film also highlights the many benefits of a shift towards the local and showcases some of the steps people are already taking worldwide.