Speech at Strategies for a New Economy Conference

I had the honor of being invited to speak to the audience of the New Economics Institute’s “Strategies for a New Economy” conference from June 8-10 at Bard College in New York:

Gar Alperovitz – Our Time in History: The Possibility of Fundamental System Change from New Economics Institute on Vimeo.

Bob Massie and Susan Witt of the New Economics Institute provided this gracious summary of the talk in a post titled, “Twenty Years From Now“:

At our recent conference “Strategies for a New Economy” at Bard College, [Gar Alperovitz] had planned to speak about the role of multi-national corporations.  However when he arrived early to Olin Auditorium, and saw the hundreds of people from more than 300 organizations who had come from around the world to participate and to create change, a new talk formed in his mind.  He stood up and spoke from the depth of his wisdom.

To paraphrase Gar’s remarks:  Twenty years from now, those of us here will look back at this conference, this time in history, and will recognize that it marked a turning point in the way economics is conceived and practiced.   What started as isolated projects in communities around the country, have grown in scale and visibility and are now seen as part of a single movement for change.  What were long-standing assumptions about our banking and financing system, about the way corporations are structured, about ownership of the commons, about the way money is issued, about the imperative of growth — have all been effectively questioned and challenged.  The practical programs placed before us at this conference affirm the possibility of a fair and sustainable economy and the power of engaged citizens to implement it.

A threshold has been passed.  There is no turning back to an old and failed economic system.

He went on to say that the knowledge that we are at a turning point implies a responsibility to act to the scale and consequence of that knowledge.  Our behaviour should reflect the certainty of change.  Our strategies no longer need to focus on criticizing the old, but rather on defining and catalyzing the new economy.


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