CommonBound Track: "Funding the Future: Resourcing the New Economy"

Our current economic system drives capital to seek the highest financial returns--but how can it be deployed to support regenerative and transformative agendas?

We hope to engage Commonbound participants in discussion, learning and reflection on the role of capital in changing capitalism. Sessions in this track will examine efforts to repurpose public capital to fight privatization, expand the commons, and redefine public investment priorities. Workshops will also look at attempts to transform private investment through impact investing, non-extractive finance, and shared ownership structures. Sessions in this track will further explore philanthropic grantmaking that democratizes decision-making and redirects money to grassroots activism for economic and ecologic justice.

We are looking for honest stories about experiments in redirecting capital to support a new economy, whether they are large or small, successes or failures. We are especially interested in efforts to examine and alter  power relations around race, class and gender that have limited certain communities’ access to and control over vital resources.

This track is geared toward grassroots organizers, impact investors, questioning funders and anyone looking to better understand the role of money in movement-building. Enthusiasm is encouraged, but we would like to avoid presentations designed  to “market” a specific project or raise money for a fund.

We envision a series of workshops that address:

  • Offering new frameworks for understanding the power of the financial system in the dominant global economy.
  • Comparing and contrasting differences in the scale and logic of public and privatesector,private sector investment, and  philanthropic resources.
  • Shifting public investment priorities, including resisting privatization and/or  expanding and protecting the commons, as well from groups developing new ways of managing common wealth. We are also looking for groups with ideas and examples for redirecting public investment (tax dollars and public procurement) toward new economy projects and infrastructure that support inclusion, justice and just transition.
  • Shifting private investment toward system change through impact investmenting, that integrates social justice and  environmental agendas;, creative examples of communities self-financing through crowd-funding, giving circles and other means, and collaborative efforts to create regional system changes.
  • Philanthropic giving in support of new economy agendas.  We are looking for funders who are building “right relationships” with the communities they support through funding the grassroots organizing, developing long term partnerships and, democratic decision making structures, providing general support funding, and spurring donor activism. We want to explore how to get money to frontline communities on the frontlines of social, economic and environmental injust, and strive for real partnership and co-accountability.
  • Best practices in creating alternative currencies to support local economies.

We are particularly excited about participatory workshops and hearing from presenters from all different backgrounds and all levels of systems change.

For more information, please contact sarah.s.stranahan [at]

Coordinated By:

  • Sarah Stranahan, New Economy Coalition
  • Cheryl King Fischer, New England Grassroots Environmental Funders
  • Leslie Meehan, Thriving Reslient Communities Collaborative
  • Jennifer Ladd, Class Action
  • Scott Morris, Ithacash


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