City-level System Change + an Essay on the Monetary System
We’re writing to share with you a few exciting developments.
Gar Alperovitz and the Next System Project gain publicity at SOCAP Conference
Last week, Next System Project Co-Chair Gar Alperovitz gave the keynote address at the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP15) conference in San Francisco, California, which brings together leading impact investors, entrepreneurs, and cross-sector practitioners for a three-day gathering at the intersection of money and meaning.
During his keynote, Gar talked about the critical role SOCAP and social investors can play in thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces.
We were also excited to have had the opportunity to premiere our latest film at SOCAP15. The film, “Transforming Cities, Changing the System,” highlights the importance of city-level transformation and the development of new economic institutions at the municipal scale to the work of bringing about wider systemic change.
The short film features Daniel Ellsberg, Sarita Gupta, Danny Glover, Saskia Sassen, Gar Alperovitz, Bill McKibben, Camille Kerr, Aaron Tanaka, Dean Baker, Angela Glover Blackwell, Juliet Schor, and Dayna Cunningham.
Last week also saw the publication of an essay, "Monetarily, We Are Already In The Next System…", written exclusively for the Next System Project by writer and activist Jesse Myerson, on the history and politics of our present monetary system. The article lays out modern money’s powerful social potential, much of which is deliberately hidden from public view by misrepresentation and obscurantism. As Myerson shows, despite rhetoric to the contrary, the existing system is one in which the United States government, as a sovereign currency issuer, can never run out of dollars.
“The assumptions underlying the popular imagination about how money comes into being, about what money even is, have yet to move on from 1886, with devastating political consequences,” writes Myerson. “More than 40 years after President Nixon severed the dollar’s last remaining tie to gold, we live in the Next System, but still act as though encumbered by the old one.” Once we understand how money really works, Myerson argues, it becomes clear that the government will be able to provide public goods and usher in full employment. Read the full article here.