What do Noam Chomsky, James Gustave Speth, Paul Gilding, Peter Barnes, John Cavanagh, and David Brodwin have in common? They've all contributed to this campaign. Please join them and help me build the new economy movement!
"It’s terrific to see young activists taking up the campaign for a new economic model. Accordingly it’s a delight to support Keith’s work." - Paul Gilding, Author of The Great Disruption, Former director of Greenpeace International, and campaign donor
"[Keith has] some of the best ideas I’ve seen for getting the economy we need, one which cares for people and the planet." - Rob Dietz, Author of the forthcoming book Enough is Enough, Former director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, and campaign donor
I’m a four-year veteran of the grassroots climate movement. As an organizer with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network I’ve mobilized communities across Maryland to pass federal, state and local legislation to fight climate change. Now, I’m determined to bring my organizing skills to another cause we urgently need to propel into the mainstream: the epic effort to build a new, sustainable, equitable and truly democratic market economy. My goal is to build a grassroots movement to take the core ideas and institutions of economic democracy (more below) and push them beyond the realm of think tanks and local communities and onto the national stage. I’ve got the organizing skill set I need to do it and I’m already serving as a board member for the New Economy Network. But to become the leader I feel called to be in this area I need to acquire the expertise and professional cachet that come with an advanced degree.
So, this August, I’m headed to Manhattan’s New School for Social Research to pursue an MA in Economics. I’ve received a 50-percent merit-based scholarship from the university, but that still leaves me nearly $25,000 in tuition to pay. I could take that out in loans, but the last thing I want to do is begin my career as an advocate for a new economy by becoming more heavily indebted to the old one.
Please help me become an effective new-economy change agent by contributing to my master’s degree fund. Your contribution is not simply an investment in my education. It’s an investment in a movement that is vital to sustaining our global community in the 21st century.
My Vision: Taking the New Economy Mainstream
Mainstream economists generally suggest two avenues for fixing the economy: free-marketeers want to leave it to business, while Keynesians call for government stimulus. Regardless of who’s right, neither solution offers a viable remedy for the boom-and-bust instability that periodically rocks our lives. To fix that we have to look to the root cause: the lack of democracy in our economy. With corporations run like feudal fiefdoms, a financial system dominated by Wall Street aristocrats, and a value system that puts shareholders above all other stakeholders, it’s no wonder the economy doesn’t work for average people or the planet. To build a prosperous 21st Century economy we need to democratize the economy by promoting institutions and principles like worker-owned cooperatives, employee stock ownership plans, a debt-free monetary system, steady-state resource management, real-wealth indicators.
Fortunately, a broad, vital advocate community has been working to hone these solutions for years. Unfortunately, though, most Americans don’t know it, and discussions about new-economy solutions remain largely absent from classrooms, our town-halls and our airwaves.
I want to change this by helping take the new economy movement mainstream. As a first step, I’ve brought my vision and passion for these solutions to the New Economy Network (NEN). As a NEN working-group chair and board member, I’ve begun working with new and established new-economy leaders on an initiative to use creative, media-savvy, people-powered, nationwide campaigns to raise awareness about new-economy solutions and enlist the support of a new cohort of grassroots leaders. It’s a model that’s been successfully pioneered by organizations such as the Energy Action Coalition and 350.org in the climate sphere, and it’s time to bring it to the new economy sphere.
As a master’s degree student, not only will I have the ability to build the knowledge essential to spearheading such a major endeavor, but I also intend to use the opportunity to launch a pilot project for a major component of my vision: organizing university students to campaign for the addition of new-economy courses to their curricula, thereby helping to foster a new generation of democratic-economy thinkers.
What I Need and Where it Goes
The merit-based scholarship I received from the New School only covers half of my tuition costs, which amount to $31,000 for my first year and $50,000 for the duration of the course. My goal is to raise $5,500 by August 12th, to help defray these tuition costs, help me avoid high student debt, and enable me to concentrate more fully on my studies and campaign work without juggling multiple part-time jobs.
If you are unable to donate, please help by promoting my cause through your personal or professional networks.
Perks for Giving
Everyone who gives will receive my eternal gratitude, plus periodic personal updates on how my studies and campus campaign are going. For those who give starting at the $25-level, I’m offering a range of advocacy and new-economy related perks, from a poster of Wendell Berry wisdom, to signed copies of new-economy books, to organizing and writing help. Check out the list to the right for full details.
More about Me
To learn more about me, my advocacy, my accomplishments and the new economy movement, please check out the following links:
Grist.org blog posts: http://grist.org/author/keith-harrington/
Huffington Post blog posts: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith-harrington
Change.org blog posts: http://news.change.org/authors/keith-harrington
My resume: http://bit.ly/ICBuLk
New Economy Network: http://www.neweconomynetwork.org/
New Economy Working Group: http://neweconomyworkinggroup.org/
Post Carbon Institute: http://www.postcarbon.org/
Chesapeake Climate Action Network: http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy: http://www.steadystate.org/