Activists, Intellectuals Descend on Buffalo for CommonBound 2016

by Derek Scarlino/Love and Rage

BUFFALO, N.Y. – “It’s becoming increasingly clear that the current economy is not working for the vast majority of people, and for many years groups have been working to change that and to strive toward a society in which we are able to get our needs met, build strong communities and thrive,” says Tori Kuper, the lead for CommonBound 2016 taking place in Buffalo this weekend.

A month after the Utica Social Forum, a collection of activists, organizers and intellectuals are heading to Western New York for a three-day conference on building systemic change throughout the United States.

According to a report by Buffalo News, up to 1,000 attendees will attend the conference which will be held at SUNY Buffalo State. The conference is sponsored by the New Economy Coalition, a Boston-based nonprofit which is comprised of over 100 organizations committed to the “New Economy movement”.

The New Economy movement aims to reform the current economy along the lines of several strains of economic thought from ecological economics and solidarity economics, to commons, de-growth and systems thinking. Systems which put people first, promote cooperation, worker control and mind the limits of that ultimate business regulator: Mother Nature.

Some of the issues that CommonBound will focus on will be ways to democratize energy systems to lower costs, and how to develop vibrant communities without resorting to displacement strategies like gentrification — which poses a significant threat to underprivileged communities in Upstate New York’s cities. The conference will focus on the areas of home, food access and health care.

Organizations helping to organize the conference include members of the recently formed Crossroads Coalition, a first-of-its-kind association of many different organizations and groups working for social, environmental and economic justice.

The coalition has eight core members: Coalition for Economic Justice, Massachusetts Avenue Project, Open Buffalo, Partnership for the Public Good, Public Accountability Initiative, PUSH Buffalo, Ujima Theatre Co., and WASH Project.

CommonBound 2016 will run Friday July 8th through Sunday July 10th. The cost of attending ranges from $90 to $500, with scholarships set aside and special funding for Buffalo residents found on the conference’s website.

More information on CommonBound 2016 can be found at the website: commonbound.org

For more information on the New Economy Coalition,

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