ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE

Americans have less and less control over their economic lives and almost no say on the direction of the economy. Their jobs are insecure, wages are stagnating, debts are growing, retirement is underfunded and a health care crisis could wipe them out. At the same, the wealthiest are getting wealthier, controlling a greater share of the wealth than any time in U.S. history. Their connections to political leadership ensure that economic elites face little risk in our crony capitalist economy.

While many Americans are in a race to the bottom, the tiny percentage at the top of the economy is racing to the stratosphere of unimaginable wealth.

Around the world in Spain, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia . . . the people are revolting against austerity and oligarchs controlling wealth. In fact, the wealth divide in the U.S., where the top 1% has wealth equal to the bottom 95%, is even greater than in these other nations.

What is the next evolution of the U.S. economy? How can it be reshaped so that people gain greater control of their lives and greater influence over the economy? Democratizing the economy would move the United States away from crony capitalism and create an economy where wealth is more equitably shared. People are already putting in place programs that democratize the economy, giving them greater influence and control over their economic lives.

The Economic Democracy Conference will bring together people who are working on the front lines to:

  • Build sustainable local living economies
  • Democratize the money supply
  • Create publicly owned banks
  • Create worker and consumer owned and operated businesses
  • Develop participatory budgets
  • Fight and prevent foreclosures
  • Fight for health care reform and alternative health delivery systems

ItsOurEconomy.US is the principle convener of this conference track. You can ask questions or make suggestions by emailing Kevin Zeese at kbzeese@gmail.com or Margaret Flowers at mdpnhp@gmail.com

Registration Opens

Registration and information will be in the Atrium.  Please enter on Wisconsin Ave side of building.

Date: 
August 24, 2011 - 12:00pm - August 28, 2011 - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC - Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St Atrium
Session type: 
Panel

Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along began holding sing alongs at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, and has held a sing along at noon every week-day since then. The sing alongs started up as the large protests and the Capitol occupation were ending. They serve to maintain a continuous progressive, pro-labor presence at the Capitol, as well as providing a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song.

Date: 
August 24, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 E Main St at the top of State St
Session type: 
Panel

OPENING CEREMONY: Call for Peace Drum and Dance Company

Through the universal language of dance, traditional drums and contemporary music, Call for Peace weaves the pageantry of life, the power of hope and the wisdom of our Elders into a tapestry of rhythm, color and dance.

Date: 
August 24, 2011 - 7:00pm - 7:15pm

Location

The Madison Concourse Hotel
1 W Dayton St Wisconsin/Capitol Ballroom
Session type: 
Keynote

Democratizing Money

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Bill Thorington
Speaker(s): 
Jared Gardner
Speaker(s): 
Patricia Benson
Speaker(s): 
Paul Glover

State and Community Banks

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Bill Thorington
Speaker(s): 
Jared Gardner
Speaker(s): 
Sam Munger
Speaker(s): 
Susan Harman

Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along began holding sing alongs at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, and has held a sing along at noon every week-day since then. The sing alongs started up as the large protests and the Capitol occupation were ending. They serve to maintain a continuous progressive, pro-labor presence at the Capitol, as well as providing a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 E Main St at the top of State St
Session type: 
Panel

Resisting Foreclosure

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Ellen Barnards

Skill Building: Core Values & History of Civil Disobedience

Looking back on history, we invite you to construct a timeline of civil disobedience -- drawing from moments in history as well as your personal experiences. What made non-violence an integral and effective element of the Civil Rights movement? We'll explore the core values of peaceful civil disobedience, through the looking glass of lunch counter sit-ins and the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, as well as the Reverend James Lawson's workshops that led to an unconditional commitment from participating activists -- what Martin Luther King, Jr, referred to as the "self-purification" step.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D229
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Henia Belalia

Transference of Community-Based Technology Initiative - Connecting Community Economies in Wisconsin and Venezuela

Workshop session aims to raise awareness and promote participation in the Transference of Community-Based Technology Initiative, a component of the Wisconsin – Venezuela Sister Cities Project. The session serves as an introductory discussion in preparation for a larger convening of cooperatives, collectives, locally owned and socially conscious businesses taking place in mid-September 2011. The initiative focuses on facilitating transnational economic cooperation by fortifying and expanding partnerships based on technology, skill/experience, and product exchange.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Mariela Alburges
Speaker(s): 
Sarah Manski

Solidarity Rally with State Workers

We Won't Pay For Your Crisis! On August 25th, Wisconsin state employees will receive a pay cut of up to 13%,  courtesy of Governor Walker and the State Legislature. Stand with State Workers to say: "Enough!" It's time that the corporate class pays its fair share.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 5:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
Session type: 
Panel

Raging Grannies

Raging Grannies will sing at 6:45, so get the plenary early!

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 6:45pm - 7:00pm

Location

The Madison Concourse Hotel
1 W Dayton St Wisconsin/Capitol Ballroom
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Raging Grannies

A REvolution of Cooperation: Building local sustainable communities

People working together through community initiatives and democratized institutions in a new energy economy that meets the needs of the community using local resources and provides for a healthy environment in a mutually supportive way.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D227
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Jim Tarbell
Speaker(s): 
Patricia Benson
Speaker(s): 
Paul Linzmeyer
Speaker(s): 
Ronnie Cummins

Skill Building: The General Strike

On February 21st, the South Central Federation of Labor adopted a resolution that "endorse[d] a general strike, possibly for the day Walker sign[ed] his budget repair bill." That resolution caught the imaginations of many people nationwide, and set off an internal debate within the labor movement over whether to get behind the call for a general strike. What happened? Could it, should it happen in the future? And if so, what should proponents of the use of the general strike do to make certain that a general strike call is not suppressed, but instead, spreads to other regions and sectors?

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D302
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski
Speaker(s): 
Ed Sadlowski
Speaker(s): 
Eric Cobb
Speaker(s): 
Samantha Jordan

Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along began holding sing alongs at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, and has held a sing along at noon every week-day since then. The sing alongs started up as the large protests and the Capitol occupation were ending. They serve to maintain a continuous progressive, pro-labor presence at the Capitol, as well as providing a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 E Main St at the top of State St
Session type: 
Panel

Climate/Earth Justice: Debunking Carbon Markets and the Neo-liberal "Green" Economy

The neo-liberal/corporate agenda to co-opt the response to the climate crisis by using carbon markets to commodify nature and make vast profits and to co-opt the upcoming Rio + 20 Earth Summit by advancing a false green economy will be contrasted with a true green economy grounded in climate justice. 

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D332
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Daphne Wysham
Speaker(s): 
Rachel Smolker
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan

The Coop Alternative to Corporate Capitalism

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D225
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Gar Alperovitz
Speaker(s): 
Rebecca Kemble

Land and Food vs. Corporate Rights and Dirty Fuels

Discussing how corporations profit from the farm and farmland crisis by buying land for speculation in controversial carbon credit trading and biofuel production, thereby impacting regional and national food security and failing to address real climate solutions.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D332
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Jim Goodman
Speaker(s): 
Jim Tarbell
Speaker(s): 
Rachel Smolker

Skill Building: Building Multi-Racial Movements

Learn about experiences, positive and not-so, others have had building multi-racial unity. Share your experiences, learn about resources and make connections to strengthen your ability to do this essential work.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D333
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
kimayana johnson
Speaker(s): 
M Adams
Speaker(s): 
Ted Glick
Speaker(s): 
Z! Haukeness

Skill Building: Nov-Violent Direct Action as a Strategy in a Peaceful Movement

What is the difference between non-violence as a strategy and a tactic, as opposed to a way of life? How is non-violence effective and why does our Climate Justice movement need it? How can we learn from the past to create a sustained peaceful resistance, as opposed to random bursts of action?

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D306
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Henia Belalia

Collective Bargaining or Compulsory Servitude: Defending the Right To Organize

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D227
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Anthony D. Prince
Speaker(s): 
Bryan Kennedy
Speaker(s): 
Sheilah Garland-Olaniran

Healthcare

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D306
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Laurel Mark
Speaker(s): 
Lex Tinker-Sackett
Speaker(s): 
William Bianchi

PARTY FOR DEMOCRACY AT THE TERRACE with MICHELLE SHOCKED and EMMA's REVOLUTION and V05

It's a Madison tradition not to be missed: a summer evening at the Memorial Union Terrace. Join national musical acts Michelle Shocked, Emma's Revolution, and Madison's own VO5 at the Memorial Union Terrace. Music begins at 8:00pm, and runs late into the night. Get there early to secure your seat!

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 8:00pm - August 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Location

Memorial Union Terrace
800 Langdon St.
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Emma's Revolution
Speaker(s): 
Michelle Shocked
Speaker(s): 
VO5

Skill Building: Being an Effective Ally in the Struggle for Equality

Rooted in the ways we each hold privilege and face oppression based on various systems such as race, class, gender, sexuality and age, we will discuss strategies together for taking principled action as an ally. 

Date: 
August 28, 2011 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D333
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ted Glick
Speaker(s): 
Z! Haukeness

Skill Building: Wielding the Graphic Arts

Tyler from the Beehive Design Collective will lead a hands-on workshop demonstrating collaborative methods of making "Graphics for the Commons" - powerful story-telling images that boost our movements.  Including collaborative idea-generation, the value of graphics to our work, and hands-on collaborative design. Everyone is welcome - YOU DON'T HAVE TO DRAW TO MAKE GREAT GRAPHICS!

Date: 
August 28, 2011 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D229
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Tyler Norman

Wisconsin People's Assembly

This second Wisconsin People's Assembly will unite Wisconsinites from across the state in resolving how to move forward in the coming months to overcome corporatization and austerity, and to achieve democracy and shared prosperity for all. This session is for Wisconsin residents; friendly folks from out-of-state are welcome to observe.

Date: 
August 28, 2011 - 3:30pm - 6:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D240
Session type: 
Workshop
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