One of the richest experiences I have had in DC was to join the New Economy Movement. I’ve been part and a huge supporter of the Solidarity Economy Movement in Brazil and even worked for a few years implementing a community banks in some neighborhoods of São Paulo as an alternative for local economic development.
Solidarity Economy and New Economy Movements are part of a bigger global movement that seeks to empower citizens and communities and increase quality of life; names may be different but the essence is the same: transformation. We live in a world with more money, resources and technology than ever but we still have the majority of the global population struggling to survive the day, so definitely something is wrong with our system.
In many places, including the USA, people like to believe in the dichotomy of capitalism or communism, stating that whoever doesn’t like capitalism is communist and vice-versa and that type of discussion always bring tension and conflict. What amazes me about New Economy and Solidarity Economy is that we do not focus on that, we focus in what is needed to change the system rather than focus in that theoretical aspect or how is named.
I am an advocate for New Economy because is a concrete framework for change, it goes beyond band-aid actions or a theoretical discussion. People ARE changing communities around the world, people ARE tired of this economic system and ARE building a new one. We are not dreamers, we are builders. There are many places where you can find more information of concrete things taking place now, a great one is YES! Magazine.
I would like to share what the New Economy Working Group calls the nine (and interrelated) action clusters:
New Economy Story: because to change the human future we need to change the stories that frame our collective action. Inequality is not natural; climate change is caused by human activities and yes we can (and should) rule the financial market are just some examples.
Living Wealth Indicators: because we are using the wrong measurements, we need new indicators to address real progress rather than focusing on economic growth based on GDP calculations. Or do you think just because China’s GDP is huge does it mean all it citizens have a great life?
Living Wealth Money Systems: because we need to democratize the creation and allocation of money, we need to make sure that people rule the world, not bankers.
Shared Prosperity: because you must see it every day. We need to have an equitable distribution of money and real wealth for all the people.
Living Enterprises: because it’s too weird big corporations ruling the world and the way we do business. Isn’t much better going to that neighborhood shop? We need to promote locally owned enterprises that take in consideration their impact in the communities, employees and environment.
Real Democracy: because the “democracy” we have doesn’t seem enough for all that we dream for. We need to remove money from politics and increase real political participation, beyond the Election Day.
Local Living Economies: because do you really think that humongous corporation cares if they damage a region of the planet? They just buy another and keep doing what they want to. Regionally self-reliant enterprises, that take in consideration the people and environment, which respect nature cycles and long-term impact of our actions.
Global Rules: because globally economic power matters more than what is right or necessary and that is not okay. We need to protect the planet and the people, and we need institutions with real power for that.
Peace Economy: because a lot of us are tired to see non-sense wars destroying countries and killing innocent people due to political reasons and a bad foreign policy agenda. Money should be invested in protecting people not buying bombs to kill them.
I hope if you believe things are not good you will join us, or any other movement that is building something better, something better for the people and the planet.