Working & Sharing Potential Profits

The New Economy embodies the feeling experienced when viewing planet Earth from the moon, that everything is interconnected and addresses economic prosperity in balance with the well-being of people and the planet.

Videos:

Radical Banking with Ellen Brown What North Dakota has been doing for more than 100 years that saved the state from the 2008 credit crisis. 

Rethinking Our Story About the Economy with David Korten  A radical rethinking of our faulty assumptions about money and how to use it.

The Business Ownership Revolution with Marjorie Kelly How to make Money nurture Life instead of Wall Street.   

The New New Deal with Gar Alperovitz  The time might just be right for the next sea change in the economy.

The Evergreen Cooperatives: Creating Prosperity in Cleveland with Ted Howard 

Turning the Blues Green: A Creative Economy A humble musical form is driving economic development, building civic pride and attracting tourism. 

Beyond the Almighty Dollar with Arun Sundararajan The sharing economy maximizes the value of non-monetary assets.

Eat More Chocolate: A Factory Owned by Cocoa Farmers Who says you have to sacrifice pleasure to do good? 

hOurworld: A Global Time Bank Cooperative  Social currency and community capital replace dollars in this bank. And you can join for free. 

Guests


Naturally family and friends are invited and it also might be good to include others to broaden the conversations such as educators, local government officials, techies, artists, green collar workers, independent business owners and employees, community garden growers, etc.

Setting


Anywhere from Backyard Picnic to Kitchen Table to Community Center to Castle Dungeon.

Tablescape


Mock-Up of New Economy Board Game with game board that instead of Broadway and Park Place includes with spaces like Wind Turbine Farm in North Dakota, Downtown Community Garden, Local Currency Project, etc.

Placed on poster board game board are larger Paper Mache player tokens of windmill, child, tree, dollar sign, etc.

Chance & Opportunity Cards There is a Win-Win game strategy instead of Winner Takes All.

Art/Music


Menu


Dishes may reflect aspects of New Economy—organic, local, etc. Sustainable Wines including U.S. and other countries. OR you may want to choose a favorite dish of one of the video speakers like Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto (Ellen Brown); Slow Roasted Salmon with Lemon Dill (Marjorie Kelly); or Cold Russian Borscht (Gar Alperovitz).

Conversation Opener


Think back to youthful times, what was your first entrepreneurial experience–selling lemonade, walking dogs, or shoveling snow?Did your youthful enterprise include acquiring a loan to start it? Please share your experience? For example, did you use a unique marketing approach or story to persuade a family member to underwrite your enterprise or were you lucky enough to have a generous funder arrive at just the right time?

How successful was your youthful enterprise?

Questions to be Asked After One Glass of Wine


Food for Thought Related to Radical Banking Video:

  • After viewing this video, how do you feel about your own investments and how you might change them to protect yourself?
  • How safe do you feel your money is?
  • Have you made any changes since the last crash?
  • Why is ND the only state with a state bank?
  • Why would Jerry Brown veto a state bank?
  • How on earth did she manage to get the idea through the legislature in the first place? What are the odds of getting a state bank in your state?
  • The Public Banking Institute has facilitated the formation of chapters around the country to take action on public banking initiatives.  For more information: http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/find_a_chapter

Food for Thought Related to Rethinking Our Story About the Economy:

1. The Prevailing Story: In your experience, how would you summarize the defining prevailing story of our current public culture? What are the implications? Where does this story come from? Who controls it? Whose interests does it serve?

2. Your Beliefs: How did you come to your belief system? What and who influenced you? What are your deepest personal beliefs about relationships, agency, and meaning in the universe, and, in particular, your “divine purpose”? How might you share your deepest beliefs with others in the form of a sacred story—your sacred story?

3. Common Beliefs: To what extent do you think your family members, friends, community, and the broader society share your story? How would you describe what you think are the similarities and differences?

4. Why Stories Matter: How does your story influence how you live, the work you do, and the way you think about important issues? How do similarities or differences between your story and the stories of others influence your relation­ships with family, friends, the communities to which you belong, and society more generally?

5. Living Earth Community: What is your earliest recollection of being in rela­tionship with nature? Has your sense of this relationship changed over time? Do you experience Earth as a living being? As your living Earth Mother? When, in what ways, and with what implications? What would it look like to live from a “living Earth, living universe” story?

6.  A Sacred Life and Living Earth Community Story: To what extent and in what ways does the Sacred Life and Living Earth Community Story ring true to you—or not? What might be the implications if this were to become the shared story of global society?

 Questions from “A New Story for a New Economy: To Find Our Human Place in Earth’s Community of Life” by David Korten

Food for Thought Related to Business Ownership Revolution Video:

  • One example of Generative Economy that Marjorie describes is Cooperatives and over 140 Million Americans participate in cooperatives.  If you are participating in a cooperative please share your experience.
  • The Ruth Chris Steak House story demonstrates the importance of the role of business ownership in community wellbeing. Are there examples in your community similar to the Ruth Chris Steak House story where the behavior of a company was determined by its ownership?
  • Marjorie gives several examples of ownership designs of businesses that promote the wellbeing of people, the planet and community.  Please share your favorite story.
  • In an article in YES! Magazine on “The Economy Under New Ownership” Marjorie goes through a day in her community as shopper, credit card user and bank customer noting how strong the cooperative economy is there.  Some of the examples may surprise you.  How Cooperatives Are Driving the Economy How does her experience compare to yours if you were to do the same in your community?
  • To explore and learn more about Generative Economy and stories of success, form a discussion group online or in your home on Marjorie’s Owning Our Future: The Emerging ownership Revolution.
  • Creation & Mock-Up of New Economy Board Game: (1) Game board instead of Broadway and Park Place has spaces like Farmer Owned Wind Turbine Cooperative; Community Gardens, Credit Union, Time Bank or Local Currency Project, State Bank, Municipal Owned Utility; Worker Owned & Governed Cooperative like Lewis Department Store, Land Bank or Trust, etc.(2) Player Tokens could be paper Mache windmill, tree, farmers’ market sign, free range chicken, etc.(3) Goal of game is Win-Win instead of Winner Takes All:  Strategies could be developed to allow for Collaboration among all Players such as was accomplished between City and fishermen with the  Lobster Industry Commons; State Bank collaborates with local bank/credit union with loans that aid local living economy in community; or among community members, local government, businesses, and nonprofits to prevent displacement of neighbors while welcoming gentrification into a neighborhood. (4) Chance and Opportunity Cards with example of Chance being Player loses move for owning a Hummer or Opportunity being Move Ahead 4 steps for having installed solar on your roof. .
  • For more examples of new ownership designed businesses, visit http://community-wealth.org/strategies/index.html
  • Yes! Magazine issue on “How Cooperatives Are Driving the New Economy” allows for an online peek of the stories for free.  Take advantage of the offer:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-cooperatives-are-driving-the-new-economy/peek-inside

Food for Thought Related to The New New Deal Video:

  • Do you think it is possible to democratize wealth, given that a mere 400 people at the top own more wealth than the bottom half of society and the top 1% has greater net worth than the bottom 90%? What would it take to make that happen?
  • Do you patronize any cooperatives that you know of? If so, what is your experience of them?
  •  Do you belong to a credit union? If not, why do you choose a bank instead?
  • Are you aware of insurance cooperatives?
  • The Cleveland Evergreen Model brings community economic development and the purchasing power of anchor institutions like hospitals and universities together into a single coordinated strategy to build democratized wealth and cooperative business ownership in low-income neighborhoods. Cleveland Community Foundation was instrumental in making Evergreen Cooperatives a reality.  Please discuss and explore the possibility of having that happen in your community.
  • Gar mentions several global movements that came out of citizens’ pain to change the world for the better.  What are your thoughts concerning the New Economy becoming a reality.

Food for Thought Related to Evergreen Cooperatives Video:

  • The Democracy Collaborative addresses the question “How do you build the economies of communities that are inclusive, bring up the income level of  48 million Americans living below the poverty level and stabilize jobs that are moving all around and undermining our communities?”  Are any of these problems occurring in your community?  If so, how are they being addressed?
  • Ted talks about the “rich ecosystem of cooperatives in this country” and enumerates several of them including credit unions, consumer and worker cooperatives.  Please share your knowledge and /or experiences with similar cooperatives.
  • The Evergreen network of worker owned commercial cooperatives is a community development model, “putting more assets and wealth in more people’s hands”.  Important features of this model include (1) Capturing the huge purchasing power of major cultural, health and university institutions that spend billions and are locked into staying within the City of Cleveland; (2) Partnership with Cleveland Community Foundation that is focused on community building. Consider and explore the possibility of developing a similar network of worker owned cooperatives in your community.
  • For more information on cooperatives and other initiatives that are addressing wealth inequality in the U.S., visit www.community-wealth.org.

Food for Thought Related to Turning the Blues Green Video:

  • Please share your connection to the Blues and/or your experience visiting the Mississippi Blues Trail.
  •  Mississippi has the Blues Commission and Denver has the American Indian Commission, does your city or state have a commission connected to a unique cultural or social factor?  If so, how is it related to economic development?  If not, what unique aspects of your community, city or state might be amplified by the creation of a commission?   What visitor experiences could be developed to honor your community’s stories?
  • Funding for the Blues Trail was a creative patchwork of sources from National Endowment For the Arts and Federal/Local Government funds to the Dept. of Transportation and automobile license plates. Consider and explore new or additional possible sources of funding for your community’s visitor experiences.
  • Once the Mississippi Arts Commission identified the state’s creative economy, state funds provided incentives to grow that economy.   What possibilities might exist to make that happen in your city or state?

Food for Thought Related to Beyond the Almighty Dollar Video:

  • The Sharing Economy is a new set of businesses that allow us to monetize the physical assets we have e.g. cars, homes, skills, etc. How do you or someone you know participate in a sharing economy, perhaps, without calling it that?
  • How willing are you to share your assets with others and make use of theirs?
  • Check out Sharing Economy enterprises like: Airbnb—Rental spare rooms, homes, castles; yurts, treehouses, lighthouses platform; Lyft—Ride Broker; Uber—Ride Broker; TaskRabbit—Chore marketplace; Fiverr—Creative and professional services marketplace; Postmates—Delivery service platform; Favor—Delivery Service platform; Instacart—Grocery delivery platform;
  • PEERS is a member driven organization that supports the Sharing Economy Movement. They help protect and grow the sharing economy and educate peers and community leaders about the benefit of sharing. To learn more: www.peers.org
  • Efforts are being made to regulate the Sharing Economy by competitors i.e. hotels, taxi companies plus local governments.  Articles and blogs on the topic include:http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/05/06/regulating-the-sharing-economy;http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233812 Read and share your opinion about the pros and cons of regulation

Food for Thought related to Eat More Chocolate Video:

  • To the Mayas, cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility and the Aztecs believed that that it had nourishing, fortifying, and even aphrodisiac qualities. When did your love affair with chocolate begin?
  • What makes Divine Chocolate a unique and one of a kind Chocolate Company?  Does the answer to that question help to spur you towards being a wise consumer and choosing Divine Chocolate? Nah, that’s not a loaded question, it’s only your imaginationJ
  • For educational purposes only—no over indulging allowed—host a blind chocolate tasting paired with your favorite red wine or champagne.  Compare the texture, taste and complexities of Divine Chocolate  With other Fair Trade chocolates.
    • Shop for your favorite kind of chocolate at www.divine.org or find it in Whole Foods, Cost Plus World Markets, Harris Teeter, www.serv.org or at Greenwise Publix in Tampa, FL.

Additional Information

Americans spend $14 billion a year on chocolate, that’s a lot of buying power. Did you know that over 40 percent of the world’s cocoa, the primary ingredient in chocolate, comes from West African nation of the Ivory Coast. The State Department estimates that over one hundred thousand children in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor. Some ten thousand children are victims of human trafficking or enslavement. These child workers labor for long, punishing hours, using dangerous tools and facing frequent exposure to dangerous pesticides as they travel great distances in the grueling heat. Those who labor as slaves must also suffer frequent beatings and other cruel treatment. To learn more view “Dark Side of Chocolate” from Green America and follow Discussion Guide that comes with it. Dark Side of Chocolate movie.

  • While other high-end chocolate companies use third-party certification to ensure that their products aren’t tainted with child slave labor and the exploitation of cocoa-producing communities, Godiva does not. Green America’s Fair Trade Chocolate Campaign.
  • After a sustained effort for over 7 years by Fair Trade activists, Hershey’s agree to go Fair Trade but not completely until 2020 so you may want to buycott until then and be sure to let Hershey’s know so they know the money they are losing by not implementing sooner.

Food for Thought Related to hOurworld video:

  • If there is not a Time Bank or Hour Exchange in your community, consider and explore the possibility of forming one.  To begin and just for fun, do a Group Mock Exchange with your tablemates.  Brainstorm any and all ideas about how each person in the group could contribute to the Hour Exchange.    What skills, talents, special interests, education, training, hobbies and resources would you share?  Would you do as the Hour Exchange Portland does and make each hour equal no matter what the contributing skill or talent is.?  If not, how would you “price” the skills, talents, knowledge, etc?
  • Claudia Gatsby in a Huffington Post blogs on “Social Architecture: A New Approach to Designing Social Spaces”: Social architects consciously plan and design social space within physical space to optimize human interactions and maintain intended social frameworks. In other words, we create “vibes,” socially. Implementing strategic social architecture in businesses has powerful potential to enhance human happiness and productivity which can create room for better customer service and financial success.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claudia-gatsby/social-architecture-a-new_b_5448130.html 
  • Linda mentions Transition Towns, Time Banks or Service Exchanges, Farmers’ Markets, Grange Halls, anywhere where people are reinvesting in social currency or community capital. Are you a social architect?  What social architecture is part of your community? Please share your experiences with those social structures.
  • For more information about what how to receive hOurworld Cooperative’s free software to establish a Time Bank or to learn more about what is happening with Time Banks/Hour Exchanges in communities and cities in the US and around the world, visit hOurworld.org

More Actions


  • Some people have handled the economic crisis by making personal lifestyle changes, often choosing to live more simply and to spend more time with friends and family.Living Simply means identifying what’s most important to you that you either spend money or time on and eliminating everything else. Brainstorm what this might mean for you. For more info, visit www.yourmoneyoryourlife.org orwww.zenhabits.netWhat are your thoughts about this? Are there steps you could take or are taking to do this?
  • Advocates of the New Thrift say that people need to save more money and live more within their means. Agree? Disagree?
  • What are your thoughts about consumer-oriented economics that have been driving the Gross Domestic Product? What would a GDP that considers the wellbeing of people and the planet include? For more info on GDP alternative indicators http://www.neweconomyworkinggroup.org/visions/living-wealth-indicators/historical-background-indicators
  • What interconnections between health care reform, education, ending dependence on foreign oil/ alternative energy and the economy do you see?
  • Communities are demonstrating that powerful ways to own and control assets are through local and shared ownership. While local ownership is broadly understood, shared ownership is an emerging, broad category of ownership designs that can take many forms. It can mean ownership is shared among individuals, as in cooperatives or employee-owned firms. It can mean ownership is shared between an individual and a collective entity like a land trust. Or it can mean a sharing of certain ownership duties – like marketing dairy goods or managing wind rights – while other aspects of property ownership remain in individual hands.For more information read Majorie Kelly (founder of Business Ethics Magazine, co-founder of Corporation 20/20 and consultant in alternative enterprise design at Tellus Institute in Boston) http://www.collinscenter.org/resource/resmgr/lori_economic_strategies/keeping_20wealth_20local.pdf.
  • What ideas in this article would work in your community? Don’t limit yourself by thinking about obstacles that might exist–give free reign to your creativity.
  • Move your money! For more information http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/the-growing-movement-for-publicly-owned-banks
  • Start a Discussion Group on the New Economy with free Study Guide http://www.bkconnection.com/static/Agenda_Guide.pdf Based on David Korten’s book, “Agenda for the New Economy”.
  • Join in the Development of New Economy Board Game TBD If interested in helping to develop it, send email to operationbonappetit@gmail.com

Recipes

 

Closing Toast


Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. (Earth Charter “The Way Forward”)

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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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