Post Capitalism Conference 2021

This conference was offered online in April 2021 at no cost to participants. If you would like to make a donation to support this work, you may do so here.

Anchored by: Humboldt State University Native American Studies, Politics, Sociology and Environmental Studies Departments; Cooperation Humboldt; New York Ecosocialist Forum; California Faculty AssociationUCSB EJ/CJ Hub

Co-Sponsored by: California Progressive Alliance, Eco Vista, Green Eco-Socialist Network, Socialism and Democracy, US Solidarity Economy Network, New Economy Coalition, People’s Strike, PICOC, Transition US. 

The conference was a virtual space for grassroots organizations, community activists, educators, students, and others committed to social and environmental justice to come together to exchange experiences/information, strengthen alliances and networks, and devise strategies to create an explicitly post-capitalist society using the “Solidarity Economy” framework.

The approach is grounded in the following core principles:

  • Solidarity, cooperation, mutualism
  • Equity in all dimensions–race/ethnicity/nationality, class/gender/sexual orientation
  • Participatory democracy
  • Sustainability

Goals of this gathering were to:

  1. Educate folks about what we mean by a “solidarity economy.”
  2. Strengthen existing progressive orgs, especially those doing solidarity economy work.
  3. Create a space for progressive organizations to share best practices and collaborate across issues and constituencies toward collective liberation.
  4. Co-create concrete “Next Steps” for how we can implement cooperative economic practices in our community.

A Selection of Session Recordings:

Opening- Welcome to Wiyot Land with Ted Hernandez (Wiyot Tribe) and Nicola Walters (HSU)

Wiyot welcome and prayer from Ted Hernandez, Chairperson of the Wiyot Tribe. Followed by opening remarks from some of the anchor organizational parters.

Regenerative Economic Development to Re-Indigenize with Chase Iron Eyes (Lakota Law Project), Michelle Vassel (Wiyot Tribe) and David Cobb (Cooperation Humboldt)

The ​capitalist economy is extractive, based​on ​the accumulation, concentration and enclosure of wealth​, ​power​ and decision-making authority. ​This session will explore how local communities can transition into a regenerative economy based on​ ecological restoration, community resilience, and social equity.

From Where We Are to Where We Want to Be: How Do We Get There? with Trinity Tran (CA Public Banking Alliance), Rick Wolff (Democracy at Work)  and Mike Strode (Kola Nut Collaborative)

This session brings together three respected movement thought leaders and practitioners to explore what concrete steps we can take to organize markets and what government policies we can enact to transition into a new economic system that works for everyone and sustains the planet.

The Importance of Food Sovereignty with Kaitlin Reed (HSU) PennElys Droz (NDN Collective),  Evie Ferreira (The Cultural Conservancy) and Tamara McFarland (Cooperation Humboldt)

This panel examines what food sovereignty, and Indigenous food sovereignty is and why food sovereignty is necessary to post-capitalism planning.

Alternatives to a Failed Economy: Models from The New Systems Reader with Emily Kawano (US Solidarity Economy Network), Nia K. Evans (Boston Ujima Project),  David Korten (Living Economies Forum) and Isaiah J. Poole (Democracy Collaborative)

As people look to displace our current system of extractive, racial capitalism, a new level of thinking and practice has emerged about what a just, equitable and sustainable economy can look like. “The New Systems Reader: Alternatives to a Failed Economy,” is one of the newest efforts to collect this analysis and activity into a volume that can drive debate and discovery in our schools and communities. This panel features contributors to The New Systems Reader who are wrestling with the serious questions of how to turn our hopes for a post-capitalist world into a practical reality.

Art, Culture, Care and the Solidarity Economy with Marina Lopez (Cooperation Humboldt) and David Ferris (Highlander Center)

What role do artists and culture bearers play – who are in some ways, the original gig workers – to build mass popular participation in solidaristic and cooperative practices in so-called North America? In this panel, David Ferris of the Highlander Center, Nati Linares of the New Economy Coalition, Ruthi and Marina of Cooperation Humboldt will do a quick overview about the origins of solidarity economy, how it’s showing up in arts & culture right now, share what organizing is taking place and ways to plug in, and make the case for why the solidarity economy needs artists and artists need a solidarity economy!

Racial Capitalism with Jerome Scott (League of Revolutionaries for a New Economy) Esteban Kelly (US Federation of Worker Cooperatives) Wende Marshall (Peoples Strike) and Suren Moodliar (Socialism & Democracy)

Racial capitalism describes the process of extracting social and economic value from those of a nonwhite identity. This session will be an exploration of the interconnectedness between white supremacy and capitalsim.

Solidarity Economics: A Framework to Resist & Build with Emily Kawano (US Solidarity Economy Network) and David Cobb (Cooperation Humboldt)

This is a critical moment in history. We face multiple crises: environmental, growing social, economic and political divides, and rising fascism. There is an urgency to resist these trends, and to build an alternative system for a just and sustainable future. Resistance without a clear vision of the alternative risks merely reforming the current system. Building the alternative without roots in movements of resistance risks being co-opted by reactionary/status quo forces.

There is a growing overlap between the resist and the build movements, and this session will explore how the Solidarity Economy framework can be helpful as we navigate this moment.

The Post Pandemic Economy: What Will It Look Like? with Mel Figueroa (Chico Traditional Ecological Knowledge), Michael O’Neil (Green Eco-Socialist Network) and David Cobb (Cooperation Humboldt)

We are living in a transitional historical conjuncture. The pandemic did not cause it, but it certainly amplified and underscored it. There is no returning to the “normal” pre-pandemic society. Deeper still, we don’t want to return to the racist, sexist, homophobic, class-oppressive pre-pandemic world.

This session explores what world we do want. More importantly– what concrete steps can we take to get there?

Own Your Labor: Worker-Owned Cooperatives with Tobin McKee (Cooperation Humboldt), Leila Roberts (North Coast SBDC), Rebecca Lurie (Community & Worker Ownership Project)  and Sadé Swift (NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives)

How does working cooperatively help us prefigure the world we want to create?

Humans have cooperated to manage shared resources since long before corporations; before capitalism; before empires. 

When you envision a world after capitalism, do you dream of economic activity happening through cooperative efforts? Do you imagine the workers interdependent, pooling skills and resources, sharing risks and benefits? Do you imagine bringing your whole heart, whole self, and whole community into your ways of earning a living?