Organizational Capacity Building

Candace LaRue and Associates

#nei2012 Bob Massie Building the Vision

on June 9, 2012

Bright and early back at Bard!

Summary of Bob Massie’s morning Plenary: Building the Vision: Finding Unity in the New Economy

Susan Witt

Those working to build a new economy are not just reading economics, they are reading from all disciplines. The Berkshire office of NEI Shepards the personal writing and library of EF Schumacker, which includes all philosophical and intellectual traditions. When strong values inform the economic in a clear-eyed and sustainable manner, the roots of a sustainable, just system are born. The Schumacker Society published its annual lectures in many topics related to the living, sustainable system. But the Schumacker Society remained small. In 2008, the Schumacker Soceity received unprecedented attention. To build the capacity, they built their partnership with the NEF, built the board of directors, and found a new CEO and President – they found that in Bob Massie.

Bob Massie

Bob gave some introductory remarks and thanks to Susan and others…

Everyone knows that the world is out of balance and has been harmed by our actions, but living within us is a powerful desire for healing of those wounds and restorations. That is what gives us strength. We have a chance to create real change, and I am calling on you to come together to embrace that chance.

There can be no mistake that we are in deep trouble because of our addiction to fossil fuels. The are millions of people who have skills and desire but cannot find work. The disaster of finance is dragging Europe into collapse. This stems from a broken way of living and of thinking. Our systems are our of balance. We have reason for anger, and have seen that a small number of people piled risk upon risk, fantasy upon fantasy, lie upon lie, and bout disaster upon people around the world. Sme of these people are lacking in moral compass, but some of them were dragged along by false models of business focused on consumption, short term-ism, and greed. But resistance is spring up all over the world, not just the Occupy movement and Arab Spring, or the articles and books many of you have written. Even the business and financial community understand that Capitalism is stumbling. schwab as argued that we are seeing e end of capitalism, and are witnessing the dawn of an age of innovation.

To move forward, we must understand that ideas are replaced only by new ideas. The theories of today’s world were not deduced from the elementary laws of physics or handed down on stone tablets. They were created by the minds of humanity, and can be changed by the minds of humanity. There is a film “Fixing the Future” From PBS, coming out as an expanded documentary this summer. There is an arbitrary economic system that we have all grown up in and work in, but if it is not working anymore, let’s do something different.

That is exactly what is happening – we are all doing something different, working to bring the world back into balance through the New Economy. Some snide critics complained that the passionate Occupy protestors could not specify their proposals and remedies. When people created democracy, they did not have specific demands. They wanted a world where their voice would matter. We know what we want. It’s not that complicated. The New Economy is a way of thinking about our lives, society, and planet as a whole. We want a system that is judged by key attributes. Human beings can flourish because the system builds justice, safety, diversity, prosperity, sustainability, democracy, health, and joy. If our current system is unjust, unsafe, monocultural, poor, unsustainably, undemocratic, unhealthy, and miserable – it must change.

Our current theories have blinded us to the most critical environmental realities in our age. We should not be using the term “mainstream” economics or finance – if you want to be complete, call it old fashioned, 20th century economics. If you want it to be truthful, call It failed model economics.

The market was made for humanity,not humanity for the market. Economics should be a branch of wisdom, not a system that benefits the few while it harms the rest and chokes the planet. We must break through from the cynics who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The standards we want are not hard to imagine, describe, or achieve.

The New Economics movement seems complex because we have chosen to work on different aspects of the problem. We are the midwives of the birth of a thousand new ideas. We are in the nursery of the new. We are creating new forms of practice generating new forms of theory, which generate new forms of action. These will bring new forms of prosperity without the suicide of growth. We are rethinking accounting to value all forms of capital. We are using instanenous communication to enact the old advice to think globally and act locally.

Everything is in motion and everything is at stake. Money, banking, environment, technology, homes, communities, how we buy and sell….wise people have pointed out that some problems are so complex they can only be solved by many minds working together at once. The seeds are planted and well on their way. We are an emerging forest. If you doubt it, look around the room, imagine all the people you know, in your networks, who are not here but care about the same things. Think about what would happen if we could expand to the communities only partially represented here – faith, communities of color, students, politicians.

This spring we invented the Global Transistion map online where hundreds of groups have registered themselves so we can see each other and work together. Many people will be gathering at Rio +20 conference, and will carry messages from the conference.

We are here to slow, stop, and reverse the harmful effects of a bad economics. What will keep us together is the hope to imagine what the future could look like – we could live in a nation that rejects the carbon fuels draggin us to planetary death, we could rely on the brilliance of the sun, force of the wind, strength of the seas, heat of the core. We could grow our food in a way that is sustainable and safe. We could live where our nation is happier, our jobs are better, and our time is our own. We could live in a nation where we know that the beautfy of the land we have inherited will be here in a hundred years, and a hundred centuries. In America we have gathered up our best ideas and cast them into the future. We are part of a legacy that has expanded democracy to those to whom it had been denied. We can be controlled by the future or we can control the future.

All men and women are created equal and are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – these words come from not the declaration of independence, but the declaration of sentiments. At that time the Americans at this conference were a tiny minority. It took three generations for women to gain the right to vote. But the early leaders believed. Because of their belief, we are still fighting their fight for equality for all in the United State.

Do we believe in the New Economy? Are committed to the work to do this, to work for our own goals and organizations but in unity? The answer is yes.

The new economy is rising around us. We can see the forest because we are the trees. we are now a movement – the New Economy Movement. W need to plan, speak, and act as a movement. It is too easy to fall back on the idea that we are competing for resources, or to squabble about process and credit. Our constant question now must be how can I help you, how can we work together? How can we make this bigger, and bring our vision to reality. The NEI is committed to working with all the people who share this vision, working together month after month and season after season, bringing our voice to different institutions and issues.

We posess two unlimited resources that can alter our path – our imaginations and our will.. Some activity is driven by need and desire, but much of it can be driven by imagination and will. So let’s chant…”If we know that there is no limit to our imagination and we know that there is no limit to our wills then together we can see the future. Together we can share the future. Together we can build the future. This is our dream. This is our duty. And this is our destiny.”


One response to “#nei2012 Bob Massie Building the Vision

  1. Thank you very much for posting this. I am writing an article about this conference . . . I also watched this address and several other via online video and took sketchy notes. Are these quotes taken from his prepared notes or verbatim transcripts? I would love to use many of his inspiring thoughts as direct quotes but don’t want to misquote if they are from notes taken on the fly. In any case, thank you for preserving his wonderful talk as well as you did. I imagine the video will be posted at some point. ~~~David McCarthy for Country Wisdom News

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