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What Does An Ecological Civilization Look Like?

We are rapidly approaching—if we haven’t already passed—climate tipping points with reinforcing feedback loops that would lead to an unrecognizable and terrifying world. Even if the climate crisis were somehow brought under control, our current growth-oriented economic juggernaut will bring us face

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Green Capitalism Is Not Enough

“[T]here is a growing consensus that the institutional framework that underpins the Green New Deal must be democratic. Common Wealth has argued for the creation of a Green New Deal commission that could bring together ‘communities at the sharp end of environmental and industrial change as well as

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Democratic by Design

We cannot return to business as usual and we must resist at all costs a doubling down on neoliberalism that has pushed us beyond ecological limits and led us down a path of wealth extraction, inequality, poverty and precariousness. The on-the-ground solutions and experiments around bold alternatives

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The Death of the Fossil Fuel Industry Could Be Disastrous for Workers. Now’s the Time to Nationalise It

With so many firms already begging for bailouts, governments could simply demand equity in exchange for aid, making full use of the powers that the Obama administration wilfully abandoned when it bailed out the auto industry in 2009. Especially for the US, even buying up a 51% stake in the country’s

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How Biden Can Ensure Every Federal Agency Is Fighting Climate Change

“The Federal Reserve is the country’s central banking system, and it has “not only the responsibility but the tools to turn climate action into reality,” Carla Skandier, co-manager of the climate and energy program of the Next System Project, said. […] [Skandier] noted that the government has

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HAN Anchoring Resilience: Aligning supply chains and impact purchasing for community health summit

The Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) convened the “Anchoring Resilience: Aligning Supply Chains and Impact Purchasing for Community Health” summit to spark collaboration in the healthcare sector around onshoring and localizing production of PPE and other supplies, with an emphasis on equity, sustainability, and supply chain resilience.

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Biden’s First 100 Days: What Would They Look Like for Clean Energy?

Biden’s list of policies is gargantuan compared to the time he’ll have for actual policymaking on day one. But environmental advocates and clean-energy boosters don’t expect a Biden administration to shunt energy and climate issues to the sidelines, even in a pandemic. “I don’t think climate can be

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Announcing the Covid-19 Response Working Group

“As we plan for a process of rebuilding our society and restarting our economies post-COVID-19, we must try to make this the starting point for a profound transformation of our economic system to one that—by design—fosters community, democracy, sustainability, health and wellbeing. The actions we

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People’s Power: taking control of the energy transition

Dawson suggests something like the strategy outlined the Democracy Collaborative for bringing the oil and gas sector into public ownership. Governments would prepare the way for socialisation by undermining the sector’s market value through the removal of the subsidies it currently receives, and

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Climate Change: The Other Health Crisis

Hospitals are often major employers, and they command large budgets for services such as catering and laundry. But too often, that spending benefits national corporations rather than the hospital’s neighbors. In the depths of the Great Recession, The Democracy Collaborative co-founder Ted Howard set

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Charting a Just and Sustainable Recovery for Scotland: A Plan for Scotland’s Programme for Government

“Moving forward on Scotland’s path to recovery will prove challenging and require bold action, as we navigate this multitude of intertwined crises. Out of this crisis, a new economic vision is needed to build a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic system. As the Scottish Government prepares

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Leaked DNC Platform Draft Shows the Party Is Improving on Climate—Just Not Enough

Johanna Bozuwa, co-manager of the climate and energy program at The Democracy Collaborative, discussed the recent leak of the DNC platform on climate with Dharna Noor. “It is good to see commitments from the DNC platform to unionized jobs, investment in public and affordable housing, and commitments

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April 13, 2020
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In Next Coronavirus Rescue Bill, 830 Groups Urge Congress to Halt Electricity, Water, Broadband Shutoffs

Letter Calls for Stimulus Funds for Distributed Clean Energy, Equitable Water-payment Systems, Wider Broadband Access
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The Fate of the Planet Rests on Dethroning the IMF and World Bank

The Democracy Collaborative’s Johanna Bozuwa and Thomas Hanna write about how the Global Green New Deal could herald a new era of international cooperation to curb the climate crisis. Last September, 6 million people joined youth-led climate protests all around the world, from New Zealand to

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February 17, 2020
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Supporting energy democracy through a Green New Deal

Five policy proposals to tackle an extractive economy.

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Pulling the Plug on PG&E

California’s recent blackout shows how desperately we need to replace private utilities with community-controlled, publicly-owned, green energy systems.

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The Need to Link Climate Resilience With Economic Opportunity

Enterprises featured in the Building Resiliency Through Green Infrastructure report are creating a blueprint for other cities to follow as they work to protect their communities from the effects of climate change. Can cities that are working to shore up their physical resilience in the face of

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Building Resiliency through Green Infrastructure: A Community Wealth Building Approach

How investments in the green infrastructure needed for climate resiliency can be leveraged to build community wealth with worker cooperatives and social enterprises.

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February 27, 2019
Energy Democracy - Taking Back Power

Energy Democracy: Taking Back Power

Executive summary Electric utility (re)municipalization is gaining popularity as a strategy to shift away from a reliance on fossil fuel extraction in the context of combating climate change. Across the world—from Berlin to Boulder—communities have initiated campaigns to take back their power from

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Johanna Bozuwa: The People Should Own the Power (Utilities)

Johanna Bozuwa, Democracy Collaborative research associate, comments on the responsibility that PG&E holds for the deadliest wildfires in California’s history and for climate change.
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Hundreds Disrupt Global Climate Action Summit, Demand Climate Justice Screenshot

Hundreds Disrupt Global Climate Action Summit, Demand Climate Justice

Civic and business leaders convened at California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, but protestors decried their “false solutions” to the climate crisis. Johanna Bozuwa offers thoughts on the public voice’s power against large corporations.
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September 5, 2018
The Systemic Roadblocks to Climate Action

The Systemic Roadblocks to Climate Action

The challenge of mounting an adequate response to climate change has to be understood within the context of the larger systemic crisis facing the United States. The 1972 Limits to Growth, published when environmental movements were forming in this country, emphatically explained that our economic

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September 4, 2018
Introduction - The Green Transition and the Next System

Introduction: The Green Transition and the Next System

When the Global Climate Action Summit convenes in San Francisco on September 12, 2018, one goal will be to affirm that the world beyond the Trumpian miasma is “still in” the Paris Accords. But the Summit seeks also to “demonstrate that stronger commitments are necessary, desirable and achievable.”

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September 3, 2018
Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

Energy democracy—a new idea from the ranks of community organizers, labor, and renewable energy advocates who see our current energy system as broken and destructive—seeks to take on the political and economic change needed to tackle the energy transition holistically.

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August 30, 2018
Quantitative Easing for the Planet

Quantitative Easing for the Planet

Across the political spectrum, conventional wisdom holds that technology and finance remain the greatest obstacles to moving society beyond fossil fuel dependency. Yet, neither is the real reason why progress on climate action has stalled for decades.

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August 29, 2018
Taking Climate Action to the Next Level

Taking climate action to the next level

For over forty years we have known that avoiding disastrous climate change requires breaking fossil fuels’ hold on our economy and way of life. Yet, throughout all that time, debate, negotiations, and actions have fallen short in triggering, never mind managing, an energy transition. At this pivotal

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April 2, 2018
Addressing the Systemic Challenge at the Heart of Escalating Inequality and Environmental Destruction

Addressing the Systemic Challenge at the Heart of Escalating Inequality and Environmental Destruction

Ted Howard’s remarks to the Environmental Funders Network in Cambridge, England, on February 2nd, 2018. These prepared remarks have been lightly edited for publication. Good afternoon. I want to begin by thanking the conference organizers for extending an invitation to address you during your

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Energy democracy: Goals and policy instruments for sociotechnical transitions

Matthew J. Burke explores just economic transitions and long-term strategies for energy democracy in the journal Energy Research & Social Science. In his article, Burke highlights the thought leadership and guidance of the Democracy Collaborative: Energy democracy is an emergent social movement

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September 29, 2016
Framing the challenges of a next system after fossil fuels

Framing the challenges of a next system after fossil fuels

Systemic Crisis and Systemic Change in the United States in the 21st Century This new working paper from The Next System Project was prepared as an invited contribution to the “After Fossil Fuels: The New Economy” conference taking place in Oberlin, Ohio from October 6-8, 2016. In the paper, Next

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Reinvent the Economy: Gus Speth joins Dave Gardner's podcast

Democracy Collaborative Distinguished Fellow and Next System Project co-chair Gus Speth speaks on Conversation Earth with Dave Gardner to discuss the past, present, and future of climate change and the detrimental growth of the economy: “We need to get beyond this consumerism, to get beyond our
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June 13, 2014
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Gar Alperovitz: Closing keynote at the AAAS Climate Change Summit

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Summit on Climate Change Resilience and Governance, Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz offered these 15 closing comments.
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May 27, 2014
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Boulder Sets Sights on Climate Change and Xcel Energy with Formation of Municipal Utility

Since our last posting on Boulder’s municipalization efforts, the city has taken another big step forward and succeeded in creating its own power and light utility. Through the continued efforts of an informed, engaged, and environmentally conscious citizenry, Boulder is moving closer to its goal of significant emissions reductions through local control of its energy system.

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December 2, 2013
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Boulder Residents Defeat Xcel Again

On November 5th, residents of Boulder, Colorado went to the polls to decide whether or not the city should continue on its path towards a locally controlled public utility devoted to expanding renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. At issue was ballot question 310, an initiative backed by the existing corporate provider Xcel Energy that would have crippled the city’s municipalization efforts by placing severe debt and other restrictions on the process.

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Climate Change, Community Stability, and the Next 150 Million Americans

“In all likelihood there will be well over 400 million people living in the United States in 2050, and possibly as many as one billion people by the year 2100. Where will those people live? And how can a nation of that size live in a sustainable manner, given that the United States already has a

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Climate Change, Community Stability, and the Next 150 Million Americans

Putting forth a vision of green community wealth building, in which community-anchored enterprises, linked to sophisticated and decentralized planning, support stable and sustainable local economies, this study outlines how truly integrated approaches can help America meet the sustainability challenge.

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Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership

This report provides the first comprehensive survey of community wealth building institutions in the green economy. Featuring ten cases, the report identifies how policy and philanthropy can build on these examples to create “green jobs you can own.”

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Community Stability and the Challenge of Climate Change

“Consider the following: In all likelihood there will be well over 400 million people living in the United States in 2050, and possibly as many as one billion people by the year 2100. Where will those people live? And how can we, at that size, live in a sustainable manner, given the fact that the

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