The New Economy Incubator? What’s that? Over the past eight years, our committee has submitted articles in the Shuttle, explaining and re-explaining who we are and what we do.
If you surf the web, you will find the New Economy defined as anything from online shopping to anarchist collectives. So this might be a good time to introduce what I and the current members of the committee believe the new economy to be, and what we hope to achieve from our various perspectives.
Our mission statement on the Co-op’s website reads as follows:
“The New Economy Incubator Committee identifies and develops best practices for the implementation of a local economy within our Northwest community. These best practices assure the equitable delivery of goods and services within our community, with the greatest autonomy and the least environmental impact.”
One of our members sees the new economy as “coalition/collaborative businesses for integrated and re-imagined capitalism in a more just, equitable and compassionate world.” Whatever our perspective, we all seem to view it as a shift to a distribution of goods and services where there are no losers, and to achieve that goal, we are trying to develop as many enterprises as possible in this community that shares the values and employs the practices of Weavers Way itself.
Since our inception, we seem to be doing some things right. The Northwest Philly Solar Co-op, the Free Loan Association of Germantown, and the Farmers Market of Germantown were all enterprises conceived within the body of our committee. Obviously, there is still plenty of work to do. Assessing the feasibility of worker-owned-and-operated co-ops, as well as developing a commercial kitchen, are currently on our agenda.
The New Economy is, therefore, a challenge to the more common concepts of what an enterprise is and does. As Sun Ra, the late, great composer who lived in Germantown for many years, wrote: “Somebody else’s idea, of things to come…may not be the only pattern, to build a world on.”
Our economic status quo can be so much better than it is — and cooperatively, we can get there. For more information, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.