1. Democracy Labs Are Brewing a New Economy

    Comment
     Democracy Labs are brewing the New Economy in several states. For instance, experiments are taking place to use a new metric for economic success and performance that gives a broader picture of sustainability and growth.  Vermont became the first state to pass a law introducing Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI), which take into account the wellbeing of citizens, communities and the planet. There are 26 ways the GPI can go up in a state or a nation such as getting more energy from renewables; increased energy efficiency; reducing the income gap; volunteering more for your community; preserving wetlands, forests, and farmland;...
  2. Three Positive Models in the Banking World

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    Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bank CEO George Bailey are in agreement about banks. Senator Warren believes that: “Banks were once places to hold money and were very careful in lending to finance families as they built a future—bought homes, cars, took out student loans”. George (speaking about his father, founder of the Building & Loan in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”): “In 25 years…he never once thought of himself. … But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what’s wrong with that? “ If you think such a view of banks is...
  3. Farm to College Programs: 3 Ways To Make It Happen On Your Campus

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    I have been wondering why there are not more universities doing Farm to College Programs especially given their successful impact on students’ dining and statewide farmers and growers.  Mark LoParco, University of Montana Director of Dining and Former President of the National Association of  College & University  Food Services (NACUFS), implemented such a program way back in 2003 and has shown it to be successful by any measure—students’ nutrition, farmers’ livelihoods and financial cost. As a long-time advocate and activist for a sustainable, just and caring society, I traveled the country to video interview innovators on the cutting edge in arts,...
  4. BEER, LOBSTER & SUNNY SKIES: 3 COOPERATIVES OFFER A GOOD LIVING

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    If yearly bonuses, choosing your boss and enjoying your job appeal to you, there is a wonderland of worker owned cooperatives that you might find of interest. Cooperatives take many forms but those owned by the workers is a growing segment of the New Economy, a movement that puts people, community and the planet first. As someone with a long time interest in the New Economy and a videographer, who has interviewed people around the country participating in it, I am impressed with what is happening on the ground in many towns and cities. Three examples of fun, interesting, and...
  5. Good News @ Police, A Chef & A Hashtag

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    The deluge of negative news that comes our way can make us feel helpless and hopeless about our humanity and collective future.  As an activist both locally and nationally for over 40 years, I know that there are many good people engaged around the country in combatting our societal problems. Here are three examples: Forgiveness reduces violence in LA & Watts: The LA Police Chief, the civil rights lawyer, who, for years, sued that department, the Mayor, a Federal District Court judge, and an army of reformers joined together to significantly reduce violence in East Los Angeles and Watts. (How...
  6. Live Longer: Make a Global Friend

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    by Jan Roberts Caveat: One trait that is stable over the years is being open to novel experiences so I am writing this blog for folks that share this trait. We need to make friends with folks from other countries.We owe it ourselves if we want  to live longer and have more meaning and fun in our lives. We also owe it our country to do this….no kidding. First, let’s do it for our country. Why?  Easy, the baby-boom generation is large, and the pattern of retirement that appears to be taking place among older boomers can potentially have a...
  7. The New Economy is Coming at You From All Directions

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    by Jan Roberts The New Economy is an emerging movement that is taking place largely out of the limelight of conventional media. There is a groundswell of initiatives building an economy that takes care of people and the planet. Systemic changes range from how the economy’s wealth is measured to innovative business ownership designs and economic development approaches. Aspects of the New Economy include: The Gross Domestic Product as a measurement for economic success and performance is being challenged by metrics that take into account the wellbeing of citizens and the planet, itself, Innovative social enterprises that carefully balance their...
  8. The Arts Are the Yeast in Social Change Not Just the Cherry On the Cake

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    The Arts are a critical conduit for mainstreaming social change. “Artists have their biggest social impact when they achieve it obliquely… through the kind of deep spiritual and emotional understanding that art can foster. You change the world by changing peoples’ hearts and imaginations.” (David Brooks, New York Times; When Beauty Strikes”; January 15, 2016) Who has not been moved by the hope in “We Shall Overcome”, the suffering in Michelangelo’s Pieta or the heroism in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List?  Artists enlarge our understanding and connect us through their words, images and performances. For those of us who care about creating a...
  9. Eye-Popping Omission in High School Education

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    Recently, a young man on a student visa from Spain asked me “Why do you have Black History Month here? Why isn’t that just covered as part of American History?” Well, because race is institutionalized in the U.S. and one way to address it is through education. But, are we doing that? His question reminded me of what I was told by Curtis Acosta, a Mexican American Ethnic Studies teacher in a Tucson high school, whom I video interviewed on my road trip. Curtis was successful in closing the achievement gap in a Tucson high school by integrating Mexican American study into history, literature...
  10. Creating a Better Future One Bolt at a Time

    Comment
    I saw a cartoon today that said that “Despair is the new hope”. That is not true for me and need not be true for you. It’s easy to be pessimistic given the daily stream of negative news that comes our way but it also is easy because if we believe nothing is worth doing, then we don’t really have to do anything.  Ugh, what a way to live…..wake up hopeless about our shared future and go to bed hopeless. I am not someone who is usually a fan.  But, I am a big fan of Gar Alperovitz—probably not someone...

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Operation Bon Appetit is an initiative of the Cultural Innovations Agency, Inc. (CIA), a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, with the mission to engage ordinary people in sustainability and social change that emphasizes conviviality, arts, conversations and actions. The ethical framework for the CIA recognizes the interconnection of economic justice, human rights, respect for nature and a culture of peace.

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