Twenty Years from Now
Gar Alperovitz is one of America's finest political economists and historians; he leads the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland. At our recent conference "Strategies for a New Economy" at Bard College he had planned to speak about the role of multi-national corporations. However when he arrived early to Olin Auditorium, and saw the hundreds of people from more than 300 organizations who had come from around the world to participate and to create change, a new talk formed in his mind. He stood up and spoke from the depth of his wisdom.
To paraphrase Gar's remarks: Twenty years from now, those of us here will look back at this conference, this time in history, and will recognize that it marked a turning point in the way economics is conceived and practiced. What started as isolated projects in communities around the country, have grown in scale and visibility and are now seen as part of a single movement for change. What were long-standing assumptions about our banking and financing system, about the way corporations are structured, about ownership of the commons, about the way money is issued, about the imperative of growth -- have all been effectively questioned and challenged. The practical programs placed before us at this conference affirm the possibility of a fair and sustainable economy and the power of engaged citizens to implement it.
A threshold has been passed. There is no turning back to an old and failed economic system.
He went on to say that the knowledge that we are at a turning point implies a responsibility to act to the scale and consequence of that knowledge. Our behaviour should reflect the certainty of change. Our strategies no longer need to focus on criticizing the old, but rather on defining and catalyzing the new economy.
Working with others, the New Economics Institute finds itself at the forefront of this movement. We celebrate that we are not alone. Many organizations, many people in communities around the world, have brought us to this point of change. You are among them. Now we all must step up to meet the challenge and opportunity of leadership.
We need your voice, your participation, your ideas, and your engagement. And we also -- to help us in our next steps -- need your financial support. We are building on the momentum of the Strategies conference and have exciting plans to involve a new generation of young people who share our aspirations for the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants, who recognize the imperative of transforming our economic system, and who are seeking the tools for that change.
Please make a donation of whatever you can to help us continue and expand this important work. You can give online at:
Or you can send your tax-deductible donations to our office in the Berkshires: New Economics Institute, 140 Jug End Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230.
At the conference we asked a number of our speakers to describe their visions of a new economy. Those interviews may be viewed at:
Additional videos from conference plenary talks and workshops will be posted online later this summer. The Conference Resource Pages highlight the papers, people, and projects that characterize the history, theory, and application of a movement.
With your help we will continue to build these tools.
Thank you for your commitment and your support.
Bob Massie, President
Susan Witt, Education Director