From October 23 to 26, Oakland will host the Living the New Economy Convergence, an event for learning, sharing, collaborating and designing the New Economy.

The event is a hybrid of several familiar types of conferences, taking the best elements from hackathons, panel discussions, festivals and networking events to create something new: an opportunity to bring together the many groups working in different parts of the New Economy movement so they can share knowledge, connect with new opportunities and design new solutions for the creation of an economy that is sustainable, local, inclusive, and cooperative.

The first two days of the event, Thursday and Friday, will be packed with speakers and discussions, covering the major themes of the New Economy: alternative currencies, community and commercial justice, better business models, localism, housing equity and alternatives, food-land-water “commons” rights, local manufacturing and cottage industry, sharing economies, and more.

Following that, the next two days, Saturday and Sunday, will be a hackathon format, where anyone can pitch their New Economy business ideas to the groups. Participants will vote on the best 15 ideas and then join the team that they are most interested in working with, and work like crazy to take these ideas beyond the Convergence and into the real world.

Teams will have Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon to flesh out their projects with facilitation and advice from experts in web solutions, legal considerations, business plans, media and marketing, funding, and sustainability. After the final pitch, Sunday evening, the judges will select the best ideas and distribute prizes designed to help make these winning ideas happen.

Just a few of the speakers attending LNE Convergence.

Just a few of the speakers attending the LNE Convergence.

The Speakers

The LNE Convergence website has photos and bios for the speakers who will be facilitating the Thursday and Friday discussions, and the long, impressive list reads like an all-star roster of the Bay Area’s most talented and energetic New Economy visionaries. It includes many who have been featured here on Oakland Local for their work, such as  Sarah Filley of Pop-up Hood, Yavette Holts of Cowrie Village, Rani Croager of Uptima Business Bootcamp, Kendra Shanely of BayBucks, and Janelle Orsi of the Sustainable Economies Law Center.

In addition, there are several big names from the larger Bay Area New Economy movement, including Neal Gorneflo of Shareable, writer and speaker Charles Eisenstein, economist Thomas Greco, Jr., and Jenny Kassan of Cutting Edge Capital, along with many more of the movers and shakers who are fighting the good fight.

These speakers have dedicated their lives to creating and living in the New Economy, and their experience and insights are sure to inspire the next evolution in Oakland’s already thriving New Economy.

What is the New Economy?

The world is now shaped by the two great forces: nature and humanity. The basic economic principle that humans make wealth through their labor with nature, refining their techniques to extract more and more from less and less, is at the heart of our species’ great success. But the flaw in this logic is that it views nature as a cornucopia, unlimited in its abundance.

Science and statistics have now made it clear that this is not the case, and the New Economy is thus a reorientation of life and livelihood to accommodate these insights.

In the old economy, any failure in the economic system is evidence of an inadequate technique for extracting nature’s unlimited nourishment. Living in the New Economy, however, means recognizing that nature’s amazing capacity to replenish itself is not inexhaustible, and that techniques for more efficient conversion of resources into profits often have unforeseen externalities, which lead to failures in other parts of the system.

This is all very conceptual, but the New Economy is best represented by the myriad specific examples of people, around the world and right here in Oakland, who are creating lives and livelihoods that seek to balance the needs of nature with the daily needs of people:

  • Social enterprises like Oaklandish, Core Bars, and Design Action Collective
  • Worker’s collectives like Arizmendi, Pedal Express, and the rain catchment design-build firm DIG Cooperative
  • Tech-for-good companies like Hylo, Shareable, and Neighborly
  • Co-working spaces and incubators like Impact HUB, Uptima Business Bootcamp, and Blue Sprout

The list goes on and on, but for all the success that Oakland has had with creating New Economy Businesses, there is no shortage of work left to be done proving the viability of the New Economy and converting our community and society into a better world.

The Living The New Economy Convergence is a chance to learn from the best, get involved in the innovative, and support the movement to create the New Economy.

The weekday events will take place at the California Endowment (1111 Broadway) and weekend events at The Port Workspaces (101 Broadway), with a celebration at Impact HUB Oakland on Friday night!


About The Author

Eric is a freelance writer who covers Oakland's thriving New Economy movement, as well as local culture, community projects, and letters. As graduate of UC Santa Cruz he is essentially a socialist, but what does that even mean anymore, really? As a proud Oakland transplant from the PNW, Eric sees his work at Oakland Local as a small part of Oakland's battle to keep its identity, support all its peoples, and be prospering without plundering.

One Response

  1. Jess

    Sounds amazing, but with passes starting at $80 and going up to $650, I’m a bit curious about whose voices are being included in this conversation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.