By Acharya Maheshvaranda
A landmark conference on Economic Democracy took place at the University of Maine in Augusta on November 10, 2018. Two Proutists, Alex Jackimovicz and Shri Verrill formed the Alliance for Economic Democracy (http://www.aedmaine.org/) two years ago that organized this event with 27 co-sponsors. The theme was “Our Community, Our Economy: Economic Democracy for Maine.” Seventy people participated in the all-day program with keynote talks and workshops about cooperatives, the biopsychology of cooperation, healthcare, decentralized energy, food sovereignty, financing economic democracy, indigenous rights, fair trade, cooperative housing and land care, ecology-based economy and timebanking.
In his opening remarks, Alex said, “I want to acknowledge who I see in the room today: practitioners of the new economy, representatives of people’s movements—healthcare, food sovereignty, decentralized energy generation, cooperatives. All of you are deeply committed to community values, and to a more just and sustainable world. Some of you serve at the intersection of social and economic justice activism and the new economy. You all, and your work inspire me very much. We’re all here to share collectively, to discuss what Economic Democracy is, and how we can apply it.”
Participants of the Maine Economic Democracy Conference explored the meaning of economic democracy, took workshops exploring it, and enjoyed a locally grown and prepared lunch from a socially responsible caterer.