In this video, produced by Democracy Collaborative staff working with Softbox Films, Gar Alperovitz sketches the major institutions of a systemic alternative based in plural forms of democratic ownership, oriented around community at various scales—what he has called “The Pluralist Commonwealth.”
The Beautiful Solutions Gallery and Lab is an interactive space for sharing the stories, solutions and big ideas needed to build new institutional power and point the way toward a just, resilient, and democratic future.
Developed by Beautiful Solutions in partnership with This Changes Everything, this is an open-ended project that will continue to evolve based on the ideas you submit to the Lab, and the ongoing contributions of the thinkers and practitioners on the forefront of building alternatives.
Would you gamble away your rent money? How about your kids’ college fund, or the money you put aside for food and clothing? If that seems like a terrible idea, then why do cities, counties, and states gamble away our money by giving it to big Wall Street bankers, who throw it into risky derivatives and interest rate swaps? There’s a better way--and it’s one of our nation’s best-kept secrets. (This article originally appeared as part of New Economy Week 2015)
Marnie Thompson from The Fund For Democratic Communities addresses the Divestemnt Student Network on her personal journey toward reinvestment. (From New Economy Week 2015)
Today, the need to empower people left out of our investor-owned economy is greater than ever before, and co-ops are once again the engine of change. Electric co-ops, in whole or in part, serve over 90 percent of the poorest U.S. counties, making co-ops key to both energy democracy as well as creating an economy that works for all. (From New Economy Week 2015).
In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda.
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.
Fostering resilient communities and building wealth in today’s local economies is necessary to achieve individual, regional, and national economic security. A community wealth building strategy employs a range of forms of community ownership and asset building strategies to build wealth in low-income communities. In so doing, community wealth building bolsters the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, expand the provision of public services, and ensure local economic stability.
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.