Network Gatherings are day-long gatherings happening the first day of the conference, Friday, July 8. These gatherings range from day-long trainings and bridge building meetings, to strategy sessions and mini-retreats.
At CommonBound, there will be 13 network gatherings on a variety of topics. Each gathering is organized by a volunteer team representing many different organizations in the new economy movement. Some gatherings are open to all CommonBound attendees, while others are closed or invitation-only meetings. Click on the titles below to learn more about what the gatherings are all about.
You can sign up to attend a network gathering by registering for CommonBound. Although we encourage you to sign up for the entire conference, there is a discounted registration option just for network gatherings.
This network gathering will launch an Asian American Solidarity Economy cohort, which will meet for one year with three goals:
- The first is to develop a framework for the theory and practice of solidarity economies in Asian American communities. We believe that there are historical and cultural particulars to the Asian American experience that make equitable and cooperative economic development distinct.
- Second, we aim to create a participatory toolkit on the different facets of solidarity economies (including worker-owned cooperatives, community land trusts, and participatory planning) targeted to and translated for Asian American communities.
- Last, we will develop a peer network of Asian American solidarity economy practitioners that will, on the one hand, make visible experiments emerging in communities across the nation, and, on the other, provide support to local projects. The overarching intent is to cultivate ideas, tools, and resources so Asian American communities can self-determine a new economy that is radically inclusive, just, sustainable, and democratic.
This network gathering is invitation only. For more information, please contact yvonne [at] solidarityresearch.org or parag [at] riseup.net.
Learning the language of commoning and decolonization is a radical act. The words themselves change how we think as they highlight many of our culture's fundamental misconceptions. Our four facilitators are offering this workshop as medicine for some of the things that are ailing us at a deep level. As we build a new economy together, let's move forward in a way that unites us at the core with other beings, the natural world, and ourselves.
This network gathering explores these topics with conversations and illustrations about the commons (all that we share, inherit, and pass on), decolonization (ending control over people, land, and language), reparations (restoring equity among all people and all things) and rewilding/reindigenation (embracing the wild in us and around us and recovering our indigenous roots).
This network gathering is open to all CommonBound attendees. For more information, contact sreed [at] invest-here-now.org.
How do we ensure that the cooperative movement is grounded in anti-racism, justice, sustainability, and participatory democracy? At CommonBound, the USA Cooperative Youth Council (USACYC) will host a Peoples' Movement Assembly process with a national group of #CoopYouth to explore how other movements have effectively addressed this challenge. Our goal is to make the cooperative movement stronger by engaging young cooperators around this question in a meaningful way that promotes their continued engagement. We will use this network gathering to:
- Strategize about how we build an truly anti-racist cooperative movement.
- Share tools to make our cooperatives and movements more participatory.
- Continue to challenge the notion that cooperative movement spaces are “politically neutral.”
This network gathering is open to all attendees who identify as "youth" - (while youth means different things in different contexts, we define youth as late teens to age 30). For more information, please contact info [at] youth.coop.
This network gathering will engage participants in testing and improving a new way to invent, start and grow new economy enterprises. In the gathering we want to see how quickly the participants can understand the purpose and the process that we have in mind, conduct exercises in accordance with our instructions and provide feedback to help us design a creative and productive process. The Entrepreneurs' Café is proposed as a place where prospective entrepreneurs will meet to talk about new businesses that they might start. In addition to imagining new kinds of businesses that meet new economy standards, they will make contacts with people who can help them with their startups, such as prospective partners, accountants, lawyers, venture investors, etc. This network gathering is open to all CommonBound attendees. Come and learn with us how to pull idle or underused resources together to build an enterprise that will both generate income for its members and serve the community's needs. For more information, contact Andrew Collver at acollver [at] optonline.net.
This gathering will cover the main challenges that neoliberal, corporate-driven trade paradigm pose to a thriving new economy, explore alternatives frameworks, and discuss which networks, coalitions, and bases of power could come together to transform our trade paradigm to one centered on justice and sustainability. Throughout the day, we will:
- Learn about the work that has already been done to develop principles that could frame foreign trade and investment in the new economy and discuss successes and limitations in advocating for these alternatives.
- Hear from organizers working to rebuild and strengthen local economies who have been challenged by trade rules limiting local procurement and reinvestment policies.
- Strategize ways to build power through grassroots movements and networks of progressive cities to advance an alternative trade and investment framework centered on justice, sustainability, and equitable development.
This network gathering is open to all CommonBound attendees. Please contact Arielle Clynes at arielle.clynes [at] sustainus.org with any ideas, questions or if you are interested in helping to coordinate or present at this gathering!
The Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network (DSN) is building a powerful, multiracial student movement that aims to stigmatize the fossil fuel industry and create popular support for a just transition. The DSN trains, mentors, and coordinates students running nonviolent direct action campaigns for divestment and reinvestment, supporting them to become lifelong organizers. As we enter into a long term strategy process over the course of 2016, we aim to bring together 30-50 of our most dedicated leaders across the network to build long-lasting relationships, workshop our story and strategy, and gain input and buy-in to the direction of our movement long-term. This Network Gathering will be open to folks holding explicit leadership in our national staff, major working groups, and the regional networks. Join us in Buffalo as we come together to build shared vision, strategy, and power across the Divestment Student Network! For more information, please contact Michaela Mujica-Steiner at michaela.mujica.steiner [at] gmail.com or Jess Grady-Benson at jgradybenson [at] gmail.com.
"How do we transition from a world of domination and extraction to a world of resilience and regeneration" is the organizing question for Movement Strategy Center's (MSC) Transitions Initiative and Community Driven Climate Resilience Planning networks. MSC focuses on placing movement and community building at the center of our work to transform the world. As inequality grows and our economy teeters on the edge of collapse, we need to determine not only what will take its place, but also how we will not repeat the past failures of the old exploitative and extractive economy. We need to develop the capacity and practices to form a next economy that is centered on whole and healed people and communities, where people can bring their full selves to all that they do. This gathering invites leaders from multiple fields to explore the practices that will put racial and ecological justice at the center of the next economy. Our networks include practitioners working on a host of diverse issues from climate justice, education reform, economic justice, political organizing and much more. In this gathering we will use interactive, experiential processes to help generate the principles that can help us transition to Local, Living, Loving Economies for Life. This network gathering is open to all CommonBound attendees. For more information, please contact Nwamaka Agbo at nwamaka [at] movementstrategy.org.
We know from experience that when cooperatives work together across silos, their impact on justice, sustainability and democracy exponentially increases. And yet, "cooperation among cooperatives" is overwhelmingly dictated by place and sector. We do business with other co-ops in our proximity; we partner with co-ops that share our business model: food co-ops working with other food co-ops, credit unions working with fellow credit unions. This gathering of the New York Cooperative Network seeks to realize the potential for cooperation between and among these silos. To build a solidarity economy in New York State and beyond, we need to strong web of co-ops of all kinds, an ecosystem with a rich pattern of connections. This gathering will:
- Outline specific initiatives for expanding the cooperative economy in New York State through strategic partnerships.
- Establish a framework to grow our informal network of cooperators into a statewide Cooperative Business Association (CBA), including determining an organizational form and laying out a start-up action plan.
The impacts of climate change coupledwith the continued economic deterioration of our communities pose urgentchallenges for grassroots community organizing. New systems rooted in justiceand new economic models are needed to empower our communities and pave the roadto a new energy economy.
At this network gathering attendees will learn the history of PB in the US and North America, experience the inner workings of neighborhood assemblies, budget delegate meetings, and voting through demo exercises, and gain a better sense of strategies and next steps for moving PB forward in your city.
Join in an interactive gathering to learn and reflect on what it takes to build a new and inclusive economy that promotes green and healthy jobs. This includes locally driven renewable energy projects and food systems, co-ops, community purchasing programs, affordable housing and access to credit in low-income communities. In this way we are building resilient communities in the face of an economic system that puts profit before people.
The climate crisis is a crisis of ownership. While corporations control our resources and labor, those facing the greatest impacts of the crisis are prevented from building the solutions needed for our survival. Climate justice calls for divestment and reinvestment in an oppositional economy that builds power for communities on the frontlines of the crisis. The Reinvest in Our Power Network will be hosting a closed gathering for active members of the network that will allow project partners to dig into shared visioning and working through key challenges. At this gathering, we hope to:
- Bring together different wings of the Reinvest in Our Power Network to build stronger relationships between individuals and organizations
- Grapple with key strategic questions and develop a program plan for the next 1-2 years.
- Shift infrastructure to support decentralization
This network gathering is invitation only. For more information, please contact Beta Coronel at beta [at] 350.org or Audrey Irvine-Broque at audreyirvinebroque [at] me.com.
Many nonprofits talk the talk of shared power but internally still operate with a traditional top-down hierarchy. Within the New Economy, we have a number of ways of creating ownership: workers, producers, employees, and consumers. But many of us are still struggling to accompany ownership with effective participatory governance based on egalitarian principles. Similarly, many social change organizations promote equality but internally, they still suffer from unhealthy power dynamics. What is the alternative? In this network gathering we will explore a variety of aspects of governance: meeting dynamics, facilitation, decision-making processes, and organizational structures. What are the power of personalities and the communication challenges we each bring with us? What is the power of the facilitator role? Does the hierarchy of our organization match our values? What is the relationship between absence/presence of hierarchy and responsibility and accountability? If what Gerard Endenburg said, "Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making" is true, then what are the impacts of decision making by consensus and by majority vote? This network gathering is open to all CommonBound registrants. For more information, please contact outreach [at] both-and.net.
Before the South became synonymous with the US South, it was a global south slave colony and plantation. Therefore the US South is an extension of the Greater Caribbean region of colonial slavery. Given the historical legacy of slavery in the US and Global south, we work against this trend by working to ensure a just transition, jobs, equitable pay, and working conditions along with an improved impact on environment and climate. We need a new sustainable economy for the South. The labor laws and practices in the US South are of a 20th century capitalist economy and today we are in a 21st century globalized economy. We need to form a new social economy that is not just the profiteers and corporations, but includes workers at the negotiation table. To that end our Network Gathering will bring Southern Organizers from throughout the Southern Movement Assembly to gather, assess, and plan how our efforts and the current Southern People’s Initiatives have met the goal of advancing Southern movement power, education, and communication.
This network gathering is open to all Southern People's Iniative Participating Organizations. For more information, contact jovan [at] projectsouth.org or call 404-622-0602.
WealthWorks is an approach to local and regional economic development that brings together and connects community assets to meet market demands in ways that build capacities and livelihoods that are sustainable over time. Our approach aims to advance a region's economic prosperity and self-reliance, strengthening existing and emerging sectors to increase individual and community wealth. It works for people, businesses and organizations and in communities of all sizes, shapes and success levels. At this gathering, the WealthWorks Regional Hubs will come together to: clearly articulate our niche in doing economic development differently; finalize structure of the network; further define the network leadership; establish and maintain national presence; and, promote inclusivity of all partners. This network gathering is invitation only. For more information, please contact, Ines Polonius, Communities Unlimited, ines.polonius [at] communitiesu.org, 479-443-2700 or visit www.wealthworks.org.
The International Research Lab will convene new economy researchers and thought leaders from around the world and will be an important gathering, helping to root the conference in the research, academic work, and thought leadership needed to guide direction, strategy, and goals. This full-day focused event will open dedicated space for researchers and thought leaders to ask—and take concrete steps to answer—difficult, big-picture questions. For example, this is an opportunity to discuss strategies for addressing climate change while creating a more equitable global economy, the role of capitalism in our vision for the new economy, how we might truly live within planetary bounds, and what the new economy movement has to say about economic growth. The lab will bring together a group of people to share experiences and thinking on how to make systems change work, share lessons learned, and trade ideas about narratives and principles. Participants will work together to identify key leverage points with the potential to shift systems, working together to refine theory of change and core strategies. For more information, contact Anand Jahi at anand [at] neweconomy.net