• Director Dispatches

New Economy Week shows the power of cooperation

Something exciting that’s happening across the country right now–as in, today, tomorrow and the rest of the week: It’s New Economy Week.

It’s a celebration of the different projects, large and small, that people across the continent are doing to build a new kind of economy—one based on collaboration, cooperation and community support. We like to call it New Mutualism.

There’s a calendar of great events happening all over the place—maybe there’s one in your city?

Check it out: Today, there were eight events, from a conference in Vancouver, BC about the interconnectedness of economy, people and the natural environment; to the Central Vermont Harvest Festival in Montpelier, VT.

The week is being organized by the New Economics Institute and its coalition of groups working towards deep, systemic change that will “prioritize people and the planet.” (Freelancers Union is part of the New Economy Coalition.) Let’s make every week New Economy Week.

What I find most interesting about this week is that, instead of planning another annual conference where like-minded organizations get together, NEI took the idea of a “conference” and blew it wide open: Anyone interested in this coalition, or whose organization is working towards any of these ideals, was welcome to plan an event and put it on the calendar.

It’s gathering events all over the country and putting them under one umbrella, connecting them to each other and to a larger movement.

Take a look at tomorrow’s schedule: There’s a signature-gathering drive in western Massachusetts for a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to reflect that “corporations are not people and money is not speech.” There’s a discussion event in Oakland, CA about how to form worker-owned cooperatives, and several more. There are at least a dozen events planned for Thursday, including a potluck dinner in West Chester, PA bringing together producers, vendors and other players in the area’s local new economy.

I love this. Let’s make every week New Economy Week.

Sara Horowitz As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara has been a voice for freelancers for over two decades.