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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Planet Local is Local Futures' project to highlight and catalog the diverse examples of localization springing up all over the planet. Our examples listed range from local business and finance to local food, health, community rights, place-based education, energy, eco-communities, and more.