We have spent the past several months engaged in a thorough reassessment of our programs and structure in order to deliver on a new strategic direction. This process is leading us in exciting new directions and work.
Day by day, the COVID-19 pandemic is uncovering deep structural flaws in virtually every aspect of our political economic system. This includes our current approach to intellectual property (IP) and research and development (R&D), which prioritizes corporate profit over public good and public health. For instance, despite billions of dollars in public funding flowing to for-profit pharmaceutical corporations in recent months and years, this has not translated into increased access to the life-saving vaccines, treatments, and technology we desperately need. This new research module from The Democracy Collaborative and Common Wealth, part of our Ownership Futures series, puts forward a new paradigm for IP and R&D: one that recognizes how critical these interconnected and entwined systems are to building a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic 21st century economy. Read more below and from co-author and Research Director Thomas M. Hanna in The Independent and In These Times.
Each passing day we are faced with further evidence of the scale of the crisis we are now facing. A potentially unprecedented wave of evictions as moratoriums come to an end; the threat of far-reaching utilities shutoffs as residents struggle to make ends meet; small businesses shuttering with little relief in sight. And all this on top of the heartbreaking and uneven landscape of preventable death, with Black, Indigenous and other people of color bearing the brunt of the pandemic and its fallout. The scale of the crisis necessitates immediate and decisive action. But these actions will be ineffective if we do not acknowledge a fundamental truth: we were already in crisis long before the COVID-19 pandemic. What we are observing now are the logical outcomes of a political-economic system that by design puts profit and “shareholder value” over peoples’ lives and the health of our planet.