Conference '14

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Move To Amend: Abolish Corporate Constitutional Rights & Money Equals Speech.

We will explore how the definition of legal "personhood" has been a critical component of how a small ruling elite has ruled over the vast majority of this country, masquerading as a "democracy" while making economic democracy unnecessarily difficult. We will cover the links between corporate constitutional rights and capitalism, imperialism and whie supremacy, and describe the MTA strategy to win a constitutional amendment to abolish the court-created and utterly illegitimate legal doctrine of "corporate personhood" and "money equals speech." We will describe concrete and tangible ways for people to get involved with this movement in their local community.

This workshop will be offered twice during the conference.

davidDavid Cobb has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for pollitical office (attorney General in Texas and for President of the US in the Green Party in 2004). He is co-founder of Move To Amend, the campaign to abolish "corporate personhood" and "money equals speech."

Jessica Munger is the Program Coordinator for Move To Amend. She studied political science with a focus on globalization and has a background as an organizer in the non-profit sector, public policy and LGBTQ+ activism.


The Great U-turn from Cheater Economics to a True Cost Economy

speakerThe 12 key principles for a holistic economy and 8 reasons why some think Capitalism is fundamentally unreformable. Where do you agree? We examine two main concepts:
   1) Selecting where society needs to grow and where we need to degrow.
   2) Recognizing the importance of nature in our worldview. The web of life and the biosphere's life supportsystem is key to all human and political/economic systems.

Both concepts underscore the premise that we cannot expect the existing legal and economic system leaders that caused our speakerproblems to solve them. This workshop is intended to convey alternatives to unbridled economic growth and argue for an earth-centric view of the world. We hope to educate various constituencies (citizens, academics, students, government officials, unions, environmentalists, justice advocates) on the need and viability of these two main components of the societal paradigm shift. The workshop will discuss how we can successfully forge a better future for people and the planet, in light of still-increasing human consumption and population numbers, by shifting to a True Cost Economy.

Bios of Randy Hayes and Andrew Kimbrell are on the Speakers page.

Rights of Nature, Communities and New Economics

Recognizing that Nature has rights can inform and help to legally re-enforce principles that counter a solely market-driven economy, thereby fostering a new sustainable economy based on respect for natural laws and governance systems that uphold the rights and needs of nature in balance with the rights and needs of humans. In this workshop, we will learn about the history of Rights of Nature, including the groundbreaking 2008 event when Ecuador became the first country to include Rights of Nature in its national constitution. We will also cover movements in Bolivia and here in the US, as Rights of Nature takes hold as an idea whose time has come. We will explore what this means in your community. From stopping fracking to protecting watersheds and ecosystems, Rights of Nature laws create a right to legal standing.

speakerShannon Biggs is the Director of the Community Rights program at Global Exchange in San Francisco. She co-authored and edited two books, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots and The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. Previously, she was a senior staff member at the International Forum for Globalization. She holds a Masters in Economics/Politics of Empire from the London School of Economics.

speakerOsprey Orielle Lake's Bio is on the Speakers' page.




Excelerating the Rise of the Not-for-Profit Economy

Come to this thought-provoking workshop to learn more about the exciting concept of not-for-profit enterprises and what you can do to help accelerate the trend towards a global not-for-profit economy. Led by social entrepreneur and economic theorist Donnie Maclurcan from the Post Growth Institite, this in-depth exploration will expand and refine your understanding of truly sustainable business models and demonstrate ways you can best start, scale, and sustain your own not-for-profit enterprises.

dannyDonnie Maclurcan is a co-founder of the Post Growth Institute, an international group exploring paths to global prosperity that do not rely on economic growth. He holds a PhD in technology, health and international development and has written two books, Nanotechnology and Global Equality and Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability.  He is an affiliate Professor of Social Science at Southern Oregon University, a distinguished fellow with the U.K. Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, and an associate with the Australian-based Institute for Sustainable Futures.

Mondragon Team Academy: A Model that Supports Environmental Sustainability, Social Justice, and Economic Democracy through Radical Innovation of Education

According to M.I.T. Senior lecturer Peter Senge, Tiimiakatemia and its Team approach to entrepreneruship -- Teampreneurship -- is the future of education. Creating cooperatives that need to achieve results from day one, dialogue and learning in teams, working with customers and studying the latest theories are the foundation for all the learning programs that Tiimiakatemia (Finland) and Mondragon Team Academy (Spain) offer. These degrees enable a social, environmental, and economic transformation in the Mondragon group and beyond, and  this educational model is expanding abroad to several countries, including China and India. Mondragon Team Academy was set up in 2008, with the aim of reawakening the original entrepreneurial culture and creative capacity of the cooperative group at Mondragon. Come learn, share, and build in this interactive workshop!

dannyLiher Pillado studied international business and entrepreneurship at Mondragon University in Spain and Tiimi Akatemia in Finland. He works as a team coach in Mondragon Team Academy at Mondragon University. As a member of the team that is expanding this educational model around the world, Liher believes that Teampreneurship is enabling environmental, social, and economic transformation.


How to Start a Coop 101: An Interactive Workshop

The skit is an audience-interactive way to walk through the 101s of how to start a worker cooperative. It depicts the story of a group of landscape workers who want to escape their exploitative boss and form their own business. The workshop covers topics such as: Why form a co-op; The cooperative principles in action; Entity formation; Raising funds; Managing your co-op; and Understanding co-op accounting and creating a cooperative workplace culture.

dannySushil Jacob is Director of the Green-Collar Communities Clinic (GC3) and Staff Attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center, a teaching clinic of UC Berkeley School of Law. He received his J.D. in 2011 from the University of California Berkeley Law School. Prior to attending law school, Sushil worked in India for two years on community economic development projects, including Just Change, a large farm and indigenous cooperative in South India. Sushil also participated in Praxis Peace Institute's 2012 Mondragon Seminar in Spain.

dannyRicard Nunez is the Legal Services Program Director and Cooperatives Program Director at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. He coordinates the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, a program that provides direct legal support to individuals and groups creating new solutions for resilient economies in the SF Bay Area. Ricardo also manages CoopLaw.org, a legal resource library for US-based cooperatives.

Pro-Active Leadership

Take a journey of discovery as we explore what it means to be a "pro-activist," and step up to address the challenges of our times. Harness the power and inspiration that comes from a commitment to a compelling vision for the future versus working simply to fix what is seen as broken. We will look deeply at the impact of individual stands and how that commitment is the starting point for effective action in building a sustainable world, while it simultaneously transforms the systems and structures that maintained the old ways.

dannyBill Twist is a co-founder and CEO of the Pachamama Alliance, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco. The Pachamama Alliance works on rainforest preservation and indigenous rights in the western Amazon basin, as well as creating programs for social transformation. The latter include the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium and the Up to Us Educational Initiative. Bill is also active in international efforts to build a Rights of Nature movement and currently serves on the steering council of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. He has a background in business, management consulting, financial services, and investment banking.

dannyLynn Twist is a co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance and a global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant, and author who has devoted her life to service in support of eradicating hunger and poverty, achieving global sustainability and security, and human rights. She is the author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life, published by W.W. Norton. The ideas in the book are the foundation of a series of workshops that Lynne produces through the Soul of Money Institute. She has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for worthy causes and non-profits and has trained thousands of fundraisers to be more effective in their work. She was a leader of the Hunger Project from 1977 to 1997 and is a trustee of the John E. Fetzer Institute.

MARCO VANGELISTI (two separate workshops)

Money: The Invisible Operating System

Currently, the money and banking systems are conflated (money is mostly created as debt by the banking system) and by their very design, they demand continuous economic growth and an ever expanding level of debt. Only a fundamental shift in the design of the monetary and banking systems will allow for a viable way of addressing the mounting problem of public and private debt and make possible a shift towards a sustainable steady-state economy that works for everyone and is compatible with environmental stewardship. In the workshop, we will explore the history of money, the origin of private central banks, how money is created, why understanding the money and banking systems is an essential tool for activists.

Beyond Capitalism

The current economic crisis is a recurring phenomenon of capitalism, a structurally unstable economic system. This workshop looks at the current economic crisis in its historical context, challenges the presemed desirability of economic growth, contrasts environmental economics with ecological economics and explains the essential features of capitalism that makes it unstable and destructive of communities and ecosystems. We will look at the systemic features of a new economic system that would be compatible with the long-term health of ecosystems and communities. We will explore the path from the current system to one that democratizes and localizes economic activity and anchors wealth and capital formation in the community by looking at a few concrete examples of economic activities representing a systemic alternative to capitalism.

dannyMarco Vangelisti came to the US from the University of Padova, Italy, as a Fullbright Scholar in mathematics and economics at the University of California at Berkeley. He had a 20-year career in finance and institutional portfolio management. He is a local Slow Money leader and impact investor. Marco is also the founder of Essential Knowledge for Transition.