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The New Economy Gets Real at CommonBound Conference this Weekend

***Shareable is proud to be participating in CommonBound this weekend in Boston. We'll be showcasing the Sharing Cities Network at a panel discussion on Sunday, June 8th from 11-12:15am: "The Sharing Economy and Social Justice: Can Collaborative Consumption Advance Equity?"

Real talk? Something is happening on planet Earth: people are realizing that our economic traditions are unjust, unhealthy and unsustainable. Communities are getting organized and people are acting up, building institutions and finding pathways toward a better future. Later this week in Boston, the New Economy Coalition will convene CommonBound: Moving Together Toward A New Economy, its largest gathering of activists, organizers and educators to date, emphasizing democratic, ground-up initiatives.

What is the New Economy?

There's a growing understanding that we need a systemic shift towards a participatory, decentralized, and restorative commonwealth. 20th century reforms aren’t sufficient for confronting poverty and climate change, never mind all the other challenges of a new era. It’s abundantly clear that we need a new economy, one that recognizes our shared interests and empowers individuals to work together for to improve their own lives and create opportunities for others. We have to reimagine the world, and then rebuild it. If this sounds far-fetched, it isn’t. In fact, it’s the belief that we can continue on the path we’re on that’s naïve - it’s the status-quo that’s utopian. New Economy is the opposite - it’s the fate we make together. Real talk.

Illustration Credit: Ronna Alexander (

What is the New Economy Coalition?

NEC began with a simple observation: that all around us people were working together to address threats to our communities and the environment and that these efforts lacked a collective identity. There was a need for a facilitated coalition, a place where people could exchange ideas, collaborate and practice solidarity by offering help and support.

We know we can build this economy because we have solved harder problems with longer odds, and recently, too. While NEC is caring for the future, it takes its poetry - and its inspiration - from the past. Learning from the movements for civil rights, workplace democracy, and the gender revolution, NEC seeks to amplify the popular demand for a new economy.

What is CommonBound?

CommonBound is the name of NEC’s 2014 conference, a place where people can become aligned with new allies and leave inspired and better prepared to take action back home. This means addressing questions like: Is there a place for global corporations in a regenerative economy? Can collaborative consumption advance equity? How do we change the economic curriculum? And, What color is the new economy? Nothing is out of bounds at CommonBound: movement building, democratizing land access, and renewing the urban economy are only some of things that can, will and must be analyzed, taken apart and put back together if our changes are going to stick.

Last year’s conference, reRoute, focused on youth and student power in building the solidarity economy. As participant & NEC board member Farhad Ebrahimi said,

"The thing that I’m hoping for is that attendees will look back on it in 5 years, 10 years, and say that's where I met my people, the group that made it possible to push the New Economy forward as a social movement."

This year, over 500 people have already signed up to come to Boston and participate in the conversation to share and gather ideas. There are a few spots remaining! Follow this link in order to sign-up. If you want to come, but can’t make it in person, consider registering for a livestream pass (it’s pay what you can!) which will include exclusive interviews with speakers, in addition to live broadcasts of all plenary sessions.

The New Economy is not going to build itself. Changing the world requires going beyond critique towards coordinated action. It means clarifying our needs and goals, and then building new institutions and sustainable networks to reach those goals. So join us in discussion, June 6-8th in Boston and in your own communities moving forward, for some real talk.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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