Sustainable Community Development
NEN member Green America has launched the Green America Exchange, an enhanced barter network with a complementary currency and interest-free lines of credit designed to support a robust and sustainable business-to-business marketplace. Green America’s Alisa Gravitz says: “Our goal is to put the green back in greenbacks by developing a complementary currency that promotes trade between America’s sustainable and socially responsible enterprises… it will help the small businesses at the heart of America’s green economy make additional sales, gain new customers, conserve cash, support fellow green businesses, and purchase the products and services they need all in the same place.”
The Opportunity Fund and Kiva have teamed up to provide microlending for American small businesses. “People talk about buying local–why not lend local? It’s a personal stimulus package if you’re the working poor, said Premal Shah, president of Kiva.
Can organic farming feed the worlds billions? Yep, says Diane Hatz, and it can support job creation and support healthier communities.
NEN member the American Sustainable Business Council is partnering with other socially responsible business networks to push forward legislation to end offshore tax haven abuse and provide much-needed funds to American small businesses. A recent NY Times article highlights the group’s recently released report that calls for laws that would block transfers of intellectual property intended to evade taxes; ban shell corporations that earn profits offshore, even when a corporation’s management team is based in the United States; repeal a rule that allows American corporations to reduce or eliminate their United States tax bills if 80 percent of their business takes place overseas; and set penalties for government contractors that use tax havens.
NEN member Katrina vanden Heuvel recently wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post outlining 5 steps to make the economy more just. She highlights the work of several NEN members including efforts to tax the Wall St. Casino, establish more worker cooperatives, and efforts to get B Corporation laws onto the books.
NEN member Marvin Brown is the author of the recently published Civilizing the Economy, which proposes a civic economy based on civic relations rather than one based on property relations. It is available from Cambridge University Press.
It hasn’t gotten much attention but the government is staying in the housing market and bond giant PIMCO is advocating for direct stimulus to homeowners via automatic refinancing. This, goes the argument, would boost consumer spending. The ecological argument for less consumerism isn’t mentioned, of course.
NEN member, the Capital Institute, is a non-partisan, 21st century innovation center, founded in 2009 by financiers, business people, and academics from multiple disciplines to effect change. Check out their beautiful new website!
There has been some good news, though, especially in New York State, where the Senate recently voted to ban almost all forms of hydraulic fracturing, a practice that is environmentally destructive to watersheds and ecosystems.
There is also good news from Ecuador, where President Correrra has signed the Yasuni ITT initiative to protect the most biodiverse region on Earth from oil drilling. Ecuador is seeking financing to leave the oil in the ground.
A new proposal for sustainability indicators has been released, stressing ma The senior industry figures and academics involved include NEN members David Wood and Steve Lydenberg. The authors hope the proposal will enable firms to move from a compliance driven “disclosure” mindset to one of managing – and even competing on – sustainability issues.
Deepak Bhargava, of the Center for Community Change, has released a video of his speech at Netroots offering 6 Foundational Ideas for a Progressive Economic Vision. He believes equality is necessary for a functioning and healthy economy, in addition to being a basic moral obligation for our society.
The Apollo Alliance links the environment, social justice, and prosperity into a single formula: good green jobs. Cathy Calfo applies this formula to the transportation sector.
A new report from the Commission for Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland provides insights into what is necessary for a healthy civil society and a civil economy. Problems, possible solutions, and strategies can be found in Making Good Society.
Democracy and Corporate Accountability
NEN member Annie Leonard and the Story of Stuff Project has recently released The Story of Cosmetics, a webvideo portraying how toxins make their way into our personal care products and what we can do about it.
Think corporate monopolization has gotten better? Think again. According to Polly Cleveland and Barry C. Lynn, monopolization is on the rise.
Do we need to rethink leadership when considering CSR? Rahul Mitra thinks so.
You can now find NEN on Facebook! Fan our page to keep up to date with important developments in our movement, spread the word about the Network, and introduce new audiences to your events and actions via our Wall!
Members who are interested in submitting items for the newsletter or the events and actions sections of the website may do so by emailing membership (at) neweconomynetwork (dot) org.