[Voices of New Economy] Inclusion in New Economies

October 16, 2014

This blog is part of the ‘Voices of New Economies’ series within Cities for People – an experiment in advancing the movement toward urban resilience and livability through connecting innovation networks. This Voices series is collectively curated by One Earth and The Canadian CED Network. We are launching Voices of New Economies as part of New Economy Week 2014, hosted by the New Economy Coalition. Throughout this week, a series of 5 questions guide our exploration of what it would take to build the economy we need – one that works for people, place, and planet.

Today’s Voices story responds to the third question in the New Economy Week series: How do we transition to a renewable economy without leaving the workers, young people, and communities most impacted by extractive industries behind?

When I envision New Economies…

I see engaged citizens with equal voices being the stewards of their communities and their world.

I see companies and organizations having their decisions made by the people who utilize and are impacted by them.

I see the urge to participate in new economies as second nature because the connection to each other and the planet is evident. 

I see responsible consumerism because we are informed and educated in our decisions. Transparency is the norm not an exception.

I see values-based economies where collaboration is prominent and the goal is striving to be better for all not for one.

I see long-term thinking for the generations ahead.

Real wealth to me is not getting as big as we can as fast as we can as a society, but rather getting to where we need to be without leaving anyone behind. It’s a shift from viewing others through the lens that life is a competition and success is rated by our job title, what is in our bank account, and what is in our garage. Real wealth means I am engaged in my work because it aligns with my values, that nature isn’t just something that appears when I leave city limits, and that I care about the person I pass on the street. Instead, I recognize it’s not a situation of more for you is less for me, but that equality means we are all wealthier in the long run.

How do we achieve these new economies where we don’t leave others behind? I firmly believe a key component is engaged citizens through democratic self-governance.

Yes, the democratic process can mean decisions can take more time, but I can tell you through my experience working within a financial co-operative that those decisions are different. They are grounded in the people who are impacted by them, and are stronger decisions for this reason. They reflect the needs of the members because they are made by the members.

When we look at our systems in place today, even within democratic governance, we need to improve in ensuring that those who are contributing towards the decisions reflect the population. We know youth are our future therefore investments to educate, mentor, and most importantly to ensure they are contributing to the decisions of today are invaluable. The Co-operators and the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) are both committed to giving youth, including myself over the last few years, the opportunity to be included and shape the world of tomorrow.

To continue the momentum of New Economy Week I urge you regardless of age to become involved with organizations such as The Co-operators and CCEDNet and spread the word to others to ensure our new economy is one that includes each and every one of us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdZ5jLm8EqI  (2014 Impact! Sustainability Conference)

Marianne Jurzyniec is a Governance Liaison Manager with Affinity Credit Union in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. After completing her Justice degree at the University of Regina and gaining experience working in community development her subsequent plans are to pursue a Masters in Public Policy. In 2011, she joined the Canadian Community Economic Development Network’s standing committee, Emerging Leaders, and has enjoyed the experience of meeting other people who share the same goals as she does.