Part of the process of writing this essay was working with neighborhood activists, long time change leaders, as well as, economic and policy experts, to develop and refine the essay’s ideas.
How can we succinctly convey the structure of the economy in order to suggest how we can restructure it? How can we inspire neighborhood people to stand up to powerful political players? How can we help change leaders move beyond thinking about the next fight to see where we can go in the decade to come?
Towards these goals we developed workshops for neighborhood activists, change leaders and economic and policy experts. These workshops build on each other, introducing the key concepts, then adding in overall concepts and additional details.
Each workshop runs approximately two hours. They are intended to draw from people’s lives and knowledge while introducing them to new and perhaps challenging concepts. The workshops make use of both pre-meeting participant surveys and formal powerpoints presentations as handouts.
The neighborhood activist workshop introduces participants to the key concept of dominant firms who rely on the rest of us to prosper. It draws on the life experience of participants moving from one place to another in search of a better life, and relying on others to overcome obstacles to progress.
The change leaders workshop introduces participants to the overall concepts of dominant firms, vulnerable industries, and the communities that sustain them; the stabilizing mechanisms people lean on to prosper; and the role compensating taxes in reigning in excessive power. It draws on the life experience of participants as change makers.
The economic and policy expert workshop introduces participants to the overall concepts and examines need for regional premiums and indexing to economy. It draws on the life experience of participants as experts and challenges them to think beyond their expertise.