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Wrapup Session: Strategies for a New Economy: 2012 Conference

Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


New Economics Institute CEO/president Bob Massie opens the wrap up session promising a general “reach out” to figure out the best possible things NEI can do in terms of facilitating actions leading up to a 2013 conference.

Offer and needs cards


Yellow and green card are being passed to each of the approximately 250 people in the Olin Hall auditorium at Bard. The green card asks each person to state a “need” that they or their group has which would help in the create of a new economy. The yellow card asks each person to make an “offer” of service that would help others with new-economy creation.
At left, Gus Speth

Wraup reflection period

Gus Speth takes the podium on behalf of the New Economics Institute. "There is a person here who ... has agreed to take on one of the hardest jobs possible .... a new fledgling NGO that has a lot of hope and not a lot of money . . . here is a many who's vision, courage and inspiration has brought this event together and lead it so ably."

Massie opens the wrap up session promising a general “reach out” to figure out the best possible things NEI can do in terms of facilitating actions leading up to a 2013 conference. Bob Massie, from the podium, then explains that he will make a few remarks and will then step off the stage and ask people in Olin Hall to stepion to microphones and offer their own closing reflects.

The reflections

Bob Massie now steps to the podium and explains that he will leave the podium after some thank-yous and asks people in Olin Hall to use the passed-around microphones to offer their reflections on the last two days.

  • Massie offers a quote from Vaclav Havel: Hope: An ability to work for something good because it is good.
  • Linda Renstrom: “I look forward to all of you being back here next year to a conference called, “Capitalism, Redefined.”
  • Mave Pollack: I feel like I learned a lot and found both theory and practice here and what I’m looking forward to is the link between theory and practice being emphasized in what comes next.
  • Pikash Sloshka: What lead him here is a song from 4,000 years ago for collective meditation. Let’s move together, lets sing together, come to know our minds together . .. our minds are as one mind.
  • Donnie McLulhan: Thanks for welcoming a foreigner from Australia. Keep going. For the next event, use two rules of improvisation – make everyone else look good, if you seek risk in conversations or engagement, head toward it.
  • Kaliya: Has learned amazing things. Would like to see increased diversity from communities of color and indigenous communities. We need to move in some ways to understand that we are moving to an old economy. She’d like to be part of helping to make that happen.
  • Speaker: Concerning taking risk and bringing in song and gratitude. She offers a song of gratitude and grace.
  • Stephanie Rear from Madison, Wis., please share with the rest of the world what you have learned. She has created a web platform to make that happen and some tools.
  • Chris Lindstrom: After using our brains and minds he wanted to invite everyone to gitve some gratitude and attention to our bodies. Within our bodies we have all the answers to what a new economy will look like.
  • Gwendolyn Hallsmith: A city planner from Montpelier, Vt. We need a real world example of how a new economy works – with real food and money. Working hard on that in Vermont, and have a symposium Dec. 1 in Montpelier – please come, she exhorts.
  • Joe Dunn from Portland, Maine. Thanks for the food. He is a buffet cook for conferences. He is happy to see grass roots work happening and what’s possible when people come together and work together.
  • Shareen Mitchell, Caring Economy campaign – remember the movement for a new economy the people at the lowest point.
  • Sean, a state bureaucrat, says it is refreshing to talk about what is new and possible rather than what is wrong.
  • A person from the New Economics Foundation. It is really worth hanging to the very end of the conference. I’ve never heard of a better strategy for building a movement then make each other look good and if you see risk head toward it. The last two days are a microcosm of our global challenge – the food was perhaps too abundant. He also saw a field of fireflies sat dusk. “We’ve been outframed ruthlessly for years . . . by God we’ve got some things to show … for a better life . . . than the people who have got us into this place.”
  • Sarah Hern: Acknowledges efforts to make the real connections. They were short and few but she thinks that a great step. We have to change the way we are interacting and our internal social forms if we are going to be changing things.
  • Josie Atienza: She liked the idea of collective genius. An idea she just thought of that would be great to have a conference followed up by a march for the new economy.
  • Monica ???: Thinking about the voices of people who are not here, and about students in Boston reading below college level and responding to reading a Walt Whitman poem: “I hear America crying . . . . mother’s trying to make ends meet, the young teen-age mother hoping she will graduate high school, the father behind bars crying to his daughter about why he can’t be home, the mother, addict, dad. AT night, the party of young fellows, upset, singing with strong open sounds.”
  • Jody Slick: Appreciated hearing Peter Buffett last night when he saw the water canon trained on people. Her moment was the pony-tailed 7-year-old went from Little House on the Prarie to very innocently picking a book at the library called the Diary of a Young Girl, not knowing that Anne Frank was going to be dead. How can good people let something like that happen? She hears Desmond Tuto talk about climate-change as genocide. … with a lot of us here, and I’ve had some great conversations, we all have something that’s in our heart and soul and at the same time at this conference there has been a call, realizing that this work will take decades. It’s exhausting. From this conference the one thing I would like to see is that we continue not only with strategy, tactics and connection but that we support each other heart and soul and give energy to each other long term.”
  • I would just add that I know a person who was talking about diverse people not being here. I was very surprised in one session about half the people in the room raising their hands saying they did not have a post-graduation education. Keep your language simple. Don’t reinforce the class and education stratification.
  • Derrick Esselson, from Vermont. I’m aware of the struggle we have before us – some of us won’t live to see the victory in the end. Re Bill McKibben: He knows he’s wounded and he is going forward with incredible urgency. What was appealing about Peter Buffett – talking about having a billion dollars put on your head. Talk about being wounded. We are all wounded, we know and for those of us who may stand in the way of a new economy, I would just suggest a gentle battlecry: Beware of those who give up arms with a happy heart.

Closing reading from Bob Masse

A passage by Albe Sax, a lawyer, member of the African National Congress, was pusued by the South African police when they bombed his car in Mozanbique, tearing off his arm and blinding him in one eye and nearly killed him. He slowly recovered and eventually became a justice of the South African Constitutional Court. The passage is from his memoir and he wrote this standing in line to cast his ballot in the first democratic elections in the history of South Africa, which brought Nelson Mandela to thepresidency. He wrote:

“Did things just happen, or did we make things come about? I knoew that nothing we were living through had just come to past. We had will it all, worked for it, never given up, never let go of the basic ideas … belief had been fundamental … but we had backed it up with endless hard work and learned how to do things together and learned how to accommodate the fears of others … and endure the people who said they were more knowledgeable about us abut the real word … and went on and on and on … until the impossible became first feasible, then real, and finally inevitable.”

Thank-you for coming, and travel safely.