Simple Ways to Shape a Loveable Economy

utopia-poster-3During the past two months, we have asked many of our friends in organizations around the country to share their thoughts with us about what it means to be part of the new economy movement, and what they’re doing to shape that economy.

They shared so many great ideas, and positive stories about their work, passions, and dreams, that will inspire us for a long time to come. We thought we’d take their posts and distill a list of tips and ideas for you—simple ways that you can get involved or strengthen your participation in building an economy that prioritizes people above profits and the planet above exploitation.

1. Be clear about your principles and values so that the rest of us understand your vision.

2. Discover other like-minded people and businesses in SolidarityNYC‘s map of the Solidarity Economy. Add to it to grow the movement.

3. Join Jobs with Justice‘s project, Change Walmart, Change the Economy: “Walmart’s poor labor practices and standards put pressure on many other businesses to lower wages and benefits in order to compete. The result is a Walmart economy where our jobs, health care, and labor standards have all downgraded. But if we can change Walmart, we can improve the lives of all working people.”

4. If you’re in Western Mass, connect with Western Mass Jobs with Justice to build power for workers in the Pioneer Valley as part of the Worker Center they’re creating.

5. If you’re a student, connect with CoFED to help leverage the resources of your institution toward community-based economic systems.

6. Not a student but still want to connect with food justice folks? Join their Sustainers Network.

7. Are you part of a large, placed-based nonprofit institutions, like a hospital and university? Check out the Democracy Collaborative‘s Anchor Dashboard, which is full of research and useful info about how your organization can play a key role in shaping a healthy local economy.

8. It is important to focus on both a particular strategy or project, as well as to always be thinking holistically about the systemic patterns that shape economic and political relationships.

9. Whenever possible, buy your food locally, from people who are paying attention to their impact on the local economy and environment.

10. For those in Western Mass or Boston, check out Valley Green Feast, who will deliver healthy, delicious food to your doorstep.

11. Make democracy part of your everyday activity—from the way you interact at work, to how you teach your classes or coworkers new topics, to how you spend your money and what you spend it on. As much as possible, think about embracing more democratic practices (inviting questions and other opinions, listening, asking questions, working with others to solve problems, etc.) in as many facets of your life as possible.

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