Saturday, December 5th
In the words of the great climate scientist James Hansen “We can’t fix the climate until we fix our democracy.” That does not mean, however, a return to some mythical past, but taking a large step toward democratizing society and organizing governance according to the “original instructions” drawn from the best practices of earlier systems and of our own most compelling visions of the future. The Haudenosaunee (Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy) is one example of effective democratic governance. Franklin Roosevelt’s proposal for a “Second Bill of Rights” (1944) is another, one adapted to industrial democracy. We do not lack for powerful ideas and practical examples, but fulfilling the promise of democracy in our time will require systemic changes that: (a) serve the public good, not the interests of the powerful and wealthy; (b) render the economy subservient to society, not its master; and (c) extend unalienable rights and due process of law to future generations and nature. Hosted by Monika Bauerlein, Co-Editor of Mother Jones. With: David Orr, founder of the State of American Democracy Project; Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onandaga nation, Haudenosaunee; Maine State Senator Chloe Maxmin.
December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
Sunday, December 6th
Since the founding of the U.S., a core battle has raged between two irreconcilable forces—democracy and plutocracy. Wealth in the U.S. today is over “two times as concentrated as in imperial Rome, which was a slave-and-farmer society.” If billionaires were a nation, they’d be the world’s 3rd largest economy. Today, mammoth monopolies have once again captured the government and rewritten the law to amass the greatest concentrations of wealth and power in American history, but strong anti-trust movements are rising to break up monopolies, change the law, democratize the economy, and institute democratic governance. Along with efforts afoot in Congress, some of the most important and successful initiatives are now happening at local and state levels. Come learn about the deeper history of this clash that has led us to today’s plutocracy and about the movements and political strategies now gaining momentum to reclaim democracy and distribute power and wealth building. With: Thom Hartmann, author, broadcaster and scholar; Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, author, and formidable campaigner to break up Amazon; Maurice BP-Weeks, Co-Executive Director of ACRE (Action Center for Race and the Economy) who works with community organizations and labor unions to create equitable communities by dismantling systems of wealth extraction that target Black and Brown communities. Hosted by Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers CEO and co-founder.
December 6th | 12:30 pm to 12:50 pm
Saturday, December 12th
In a world on fire with multiple, epochal crises, how do we nurture hope, build power and contribute meaningfully? How do we catalyze and sustain the personal and collective transformations this immense planetary challenge calls for? Though the problems seem larger than life, our greatest power may in fact lie in our closest communities, in small daily acts of courage and conviction, in small groups of unstoppable world-changers, and small gardens that revitalize communities and reconnect us to nature’s operating instructions.
December 12th | 10:49 am to 11:04 am
Many Americans sense that fundamental change is occurring in our country. At one level, the Trump era has undeniably brought intense divisions and trauma, but at a very different, deeper level, in communities nationwide there has been a steady but explosive growth of practical new, transformative and reparative economic, ecological and institution-building initiatives. This outline of a “next political-economic system” is quietly building just below the radar of everyday media awareness, just as what became the New Deal was, in fact, built upon new thinking and experiments developed in state and local “laboratories of democracy” in the decades before Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. This panel with 4 leaders of The Democracy Collaborative, an R&D laboratory for the democratic economy, will present an overview report from the frontlines of this dynamic movement, which promises to usher in a new era of radical, system-altering change. Hosted by Gar Alperovitz, co-founder. With: Isaiah Poole, Vice President of Communications for The Democracy Collaborative; Johanna Bozuwa, Co-Manager of the Climate & Energy Program; Thomas Hanna, Director of Research and specialist in public ownership.
December 12th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
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