The youngest participant is a 9-year old girl. Grey beards and grey heads mix with college student interns. Men and women of all ages and races, representing every part of the United States, welcome visitors from Canada and South America. There’s a spirit of generosity and inclusiveness, laughter, poetry, and an inspiring vision of a generative, thriving world and a hunger to hear from innovators and early adapters. Everyone has questions–and some answers. As Ed Whitfield, the co-founder of the Greensboro, NC, Fund for Democratic Communities (http://f4dc.org ) observed, “People are resilient and wildly creative.”
This is the spirit of Common Bound, a 2-day conference in Boston sponsored by New Economy Coalition, (http://neweconomy.net ) a movement of movements, 115 organizations, 650 participants. We came here to share our hard-earned wisdom, seek collaborations, create new possibilities, eager to learn from one another. Hard issues like the costs of mass incarceration and austerity are explored. Questions are raised like how Patagonia’s green business model could transform a Wal-Mart-type corporation and what role worker cooperatives, time banks, and land trusts play to bring elements of the New Economy to scale.