Welcome to the 2nd Annual “New Economy Week.” The many thousands of ways that people are creatively working to build a new and more sustainable economy are being celebrated from October 13-19. In this week, NewEconomyWeek.org is exploring what it takes to build an economy that works for “people, place, and planet.”
Through a week-long series of online and in-person events, tough questions will be asked, successes will be illuminated, and creative public resistance will be explored. The aim of New Economy Week is equipping everyone to fight for a sustainable, equitable economy that prioritizes life.
Unsustainable growth in our current economy has led to systemic inequality – both racial and economic inequality. Our communities are more vulnerable to economic instability than ever before, especially our poorer communities. Under the current economic regime of mega-commercialization, the future offers fewer opportunities, and less hope, to a growing population of unsatisfied people.
People are Starting to Push Back
Democratic society is being undermined from the top down, but people are starting to push back. Cooperative and community-owned businesses and enterprises are growing in number all around us. Innovators of the New Economy are giving us new ways to measure success and to meet human needs in a more sustainable and responsible manner.
Democracy Collaborative’s Gar Alperovitz says, “The New Economy is building quietly in cities and states across the country, in a thousand and one innovative experiments with business, policy, and commitments to stable communities and a healthy environment.”
NewEconomyWeek.org has created networking space “for community leaders across the US and Canada to display their work to a broader public.” Finding new ways to share skills and products, New Economy Week is providing a week-long platform for discussing the big picture and analyzing the component issues standing between us and a new economy. Events range from conferences, workshops, and online panels and lectures hosted by New Economy Coalition. There are also parties, live music, movie screenings, and MapJams to help build up a good buzz.
A Week of Worthy Questions
The online panel discussions are being held in partnership with Yes! Magazine. They will be publishing written responses to the following daily New Economy Week questions:
● Monday: How can we honor and learn from the rich histories of communities building New Economy institutions on the frontlines of fights for racial, economic, environmental justice?
● Tuesday: How can we catalyze public conversation about the need for systemic change and the viability of economic alternatives that put people and the planet first?
● Wednesday: How can we connect and learn from successful experiments, pilot projects, and campaigns to build broad-based power and effect deep transformation at scale?
● Thursday: How do we transition to a renewable economy without leaving the workers, young people, and communities most impacted by extractive industries behind?
● Friday: How can we support neighborhoods, cities, towns, and regions as the fertile ground for the kind of economy we need?
Consult the Global New Economy MapJam
You can contribute to this conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NewEconomyWeek, or by hosting a discussion in person. Community events for New Economy Week have been added to a global New Economy MapJam, hosted by Shareable.net.
The folks at Shareable are facilitating the vision of the New Economy by putting it on the map. Through collectively mapping grassroots sharing projects, cooperatives, community resources, and the commons, activists are becoming more engaged in cities all around the world. In the first New Economy Week last October, 50 cities were collectively mapped in just two weeks.
What’s Up in Your Community?
If you’re looking for ideas about what you can do in your own community, visit the New Economy Week get involved page. One effective community event is film screening. This can be an easy way to encourage a community’s involvement. New Economy Week has information on their website about their favorite emerging New Economy films and documentaries .
Another inspiring community event planned for New Economy week includes New Economy networking through discussions hosted by their listed organizations with local chapters and affiliates from all over the US.
We Need to do This Together
Community skill-share events and “really, really free market” (RRFM) events are also planned, to help grow the sharing economy. New Economy Week is a good opportunity to learn how to host a RRFM to swap or give away clothes, tools, books, plants, produce and other items. The same hosting skills can be applied to convene a skill-share event, inviting folks to collectively share their skills.
A skill-share could be an ad-hoc musicfest, art session, garden deployment, small engine repair clinic, or all four at once. Bringing about a New Economy requires a collective shift in culture, and these are just a few ideas to get inspired by. Add your weight to the shift by hosting or attending a collective event in your community.
New Economy Week hopes to inspire more participation in this movement by calling attention to the thousands of things people are doing right now to build a new kind of economy. They are hoping to “catalyze a conversation on the need for deep, systemic change.” However, our participation is truly required. Building a new economy that works for everyone means basically changing everything. We’re going to need to do this together.
(Image Source: Shareable.net)