The track will explore the fundamental issues facing organizers developing alternative economic institutions and the opportunities these initiatives present for urban communities particularly in light of ongoing economic and ecological crisis. Space will be prioritized for deeper organizing connections to be made.
Sam Imperatrice, Hunter College
Evan Casper-Futterman, Rutgers University
Session I. Solidarity & Resilience: Redefining Economic Development (Introductory Panel)
This session will establish the connection between the concepts of solidarity and social and environmental resilience within the context of ongoing economic and ecological crisis. A brief introduction to the global and domestic scope of practices and institutions falling under the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) tent will be given and contextualized in relation to dominant economic development logics.
Session II. What Can It Look Like? Local Models and Outcomes
Over the past decade a number of start-up projects have been developed in urban centers. While there have been some notable successes, fledgling initiatives often have a difficult time getting off the ground much less scaling up to adequately serve their targeted communities. This panel will present different models for approaching the development of SSE initiatives and discuss what can be learned from both our successes and failures moving forward, in light of the specific challenges that ongoing financial and environmental crises present less resourced communities.
Session III. Building Economic and Political Power: Beyond "Marginal but Thriving"
This session will work through linking advocacy based work and alternative economic institution building. The relationships between these efforts and the state and philanthropy (target—resource tensions) will be highlighted. Discussion will focus on the growing need for alternative economic models being articulated by both community groups and policy advocates and exploration of how these initiatives dovetail with and challenge more traditional economic justice campaign work.
Session IV. Collaboration and Movement Building: What's Next?
How can planners support growing the Solidarity Economy? What types of partnerships are needed now to challenge dominant economic planning practice? At what scales does it make the most sense to target our energies? The purpose of this session is to debrief from previous sessions and consider appropriate next steps (information and resource sharing, development of policy agendas and/or political platforms, etc.) coming out of this conference.
Note: This session will not take a traditional panel form but instead will build on the collected knowledge of the panel discussants from the previous sessions in this track. As such, participation in this track will be greatly enhanced from having attended at least one previous session in this track. Participants will be able to network.