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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Turning Crisis Into Opportunity

Perspectives on the "New Economy" from CommonBound 2016

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September 9, 2016
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[Editor's note: Below are four videos from the CommonBound 2016 closing panel "Moving Forward with a Plan to Win."  Makani Themba of Higher Ground Change Strategies sets the stage by asking us to consider what exactly we mean by a "new" economy, and how our New Economy will relate to the old, i.e. the present, one.  Then, Jacobo Rivero of the Department of Culture and Sports in the city of Madrid discusses the necessity of creating participatory institutions within the community to support solidarity-minded elected officials, who still face an uphill battle against the status quo within government. Next, Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson discusses the need for our movements to use the current economic, environmental and political-legitimacy crises to our advantage.  Finally, Erica Smiley of Jobs with Justice ends with her thoughts on the importance of business models that merge traditional labor organizing with cooperative ownership for building a truly new "New Economy."]


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Makani Themba is Chief Strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies based in Detroit, Michigan. Previously, Makani served as the founder and executive director of The Praxis Project, a nonprofit organization helping communities use media and policy advocacy to advance health justice. Makani has published numerous articles, books, and case studies on race, class, media, policy advocacy and public health. Jacobo Rivero Rodríguez:Trabajo en el Ayuntamiento de Madrid en el Área de Cultura y Deportes. Periodista, he trabajado para varios medios de comunicación españoles e internacionales. Autor de dos libros sobre Podemos: Conversación con Pablo Iglesias( 2014) y Podemos. Objetivo: Asaltar los cielos (2015). Además he escrito tres libros sobre ética y deporte y trabajado como documentalista y asesor de contenidos para cine y tv. Vinculado al activismo social en la ciudad de Madrid. Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson. He served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. Kali is also an educator, writer, and an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots movement. Erica Smiley is the organizing director for Jobs With Justice. She sits on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center. In the past, she has organized with community groups such as Progressive Maryland, the Tenants and Workers Support Committee (now Tenants and Workers United) in Virginia, and SEIU Local 500. She was national field director of Choice USA, a pro-choice organization focusing primarily on youth access to reproductive health care. And she previously held the positions of campaign director and senior field organizer for the Southern Region at Jobs With Justice. She is originally from Greensboro, N.C.

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