A Plan That Weaves Us In

Dear participants, co-curators & friends,

It’s all been on our mind this week. What happens when this workshop is over? What do we do next? Where do we go from here?

How do we continue to weave these new relationships into our life and work and how do we weave ourselves into something bigger than the 45 of us — and connect it to something larger.

I just read the New Economy Coalition’s Strategic Plan and believe this could be something that weaves us into the broader solidarity economy movement. When I met the New Economy Coalition (NEC) in 2014, I was at the very beginning of starting the co-op I co-lead today. I had been invited to share about our work creating a cooperative for churches to re-direct their spending to more mission-oriented companies.

I recall leaving that Northeastern University conference room and distinctly feeling like I had finally “found my home”. I remember calling my partner and telling her — I finally found the association I belong in.

It was the intersectional analysis of how racial justice needs to be integrated into the long-term work of building economic democracy and fighting for environmental justice. I felt valued and seen and appreciated in the small groups that I attended at the conference. I had never been to a conference with such a diverse cross-section of people from Bronx-based environmental justice leaders and poets to local currency experts, heterodox economists, and even somebody who valued the insight I could bring from my big oil consulting background. I found kindred spirits that were tied into community and labor organizing, start-up bookkeeping cooperatives.

Most of all, I found a power analysis and a vision for change that was visionary and pragmatic.

I found myself so head-over-heals that I remember trying to sneak into the members-only Board Meeting after the formal conference had ended.

Of course the life of an entrepreneur demands focus. As I returned home, I got back to the work of building relationships and weaving together the core relationships that make up the co-op business. It required all of my attention and more for the better part of 2014 through 2018. The past couple years, I’ve started to pick my head up and look around.

For me, this Shared Ownership workshop cohort brings together relationships that have become increasingly important to me… and that’s why I’m so excited to find this new Strategic Plan from the New Economy Coalition.

What’s the Solidarity Economy landscape look like in the US today?

Read page 4 of this NEC Strategic Plan.

What are the goals and strategies that are going to get us to where we want to be?

Read page 5-9 of this NEC Strategic Plan.
Here’s a summary
GOALS:
1) Incubate and support regional solidarity economy ecosystems
2) Popularize the vision of the solidarity economy
3) Strengthen cooperation in the NEC network
4) Build and mobilize political power for the solidarity economy movement


NEC has identified 4 key strategies to ground our work and serve as vehicles to achieve our goals. We see these strategies as central to our long term vision of building self-sustaining, interrelated solidarity economy ecosystems and see NEC as being positioned to further each strategy area in key ways. We strive to make these strategies as interrelated and mutually reinforcing as possible.

STRATEGIES:

1) Contest for Power: Leverage policy, elections, and political parties to grow the solidarity economy; attack extractive competitors; and intervene in movement moments
2) Control the Capital: Consolidate and grow the economic scale and power of the solidarity economy by raising, organizing, and redistributing land and capital
3) Tell the Story of our Freedom: Resource and invest in storytelling, storytellers, and the narrative infrastructure of the solidarity economy movement
4) Train the People: Organize and provide communities with the political education, training, and leadership development they need to effectively build, grow, and sustain local solidarity economies

How to get involved?

Fill out a Member Survey to give your feedback on the Strategic Plan… and join as a Member of the New Economy Coalition.

Or RSVP to join this September 9th Meeting to give final input on the strategic plan.

Published by Felipe Witchger

Felipe actualizes organizer-entrepreneurs for new economic praxis. He facilitates collaboration between community institutions for more equitable community wealth building. By developing leaders and allies, Felipe believes marginalized communities can build the power they need to change institutions, systems, and our culture. Felipe also loves building sandcastles.

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