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•  MEET YOUR MANAGING DIRECTOR: A note from James Quilligan
•  LET'S CONNECT: Share your ideas, concerns and more – here's how
•  REPORT FROM THE BOARD: What happened in our September meetings
Dear <<First Name>>,

The EDA Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that James Quilligan has been appointed as our first Managing Director.

James’ application for the position began with a cautionary tale about a young woman who finds us in 2028 while searching for some way to respond productively to economic depression and rationing of resources. While his story of the woman in the future finding her way to EDA reflected his vision of our role in the world, the end of his application demonstrated a fine ability to outline concrete steps to get there. There he laid out a comprehensive six-step, 10-month plan to fully develop our collective understanding of our work and our identity as an organization.

James’ vita is an impressive list of consulting positions, publications and lectures. He has also (among many other things) served as the Managing Director of Brandt 21 Forum and Centre for Global Negotiations and composed twelve political musical dramas. As many of us know, James was central to drafting our Cooperative Charter and has played a leading role in EDA’s Research Team.

The Board conducted a 90-minute interview with James, and we were deeply impressed by his commitment to this work and vision for building teams and leaders who can make it happen. We eagerly look forward to working with James to build EDA into a strong and positive factor in shaping the future.
Cooperating for Sustainability:
A Deep Dive into the Story of EDA

– A Message from James Quilligan, Managing Director –
I’m deeply grateful to the Board of Trustees and the Active Members for this appointment. Thank you for the opportunity to be your Managing Director! Seems like I’ve been preparing for this my entire life and I fully accept the challenge of developing Economic Democracy Advocates into a leading organization for transformational economic change.

During the past year, EDA created an organizational structure with the assistance of our members. Now that this democratic foundation is in place, it’s time to explore our deeper meaning and power as a group. Once again, we will turn to our members to help articulate our collective identity as part of the greater cultural story that is emerging now in response to increasing social inequality and ecological breakdown. 

The ancient tale of the hero’s journey to conquer new places and acquire greater resources must be completely rethought and retold. The powerful new collective story of economic democracy is about Cooperating for Sustainability: the joy and satisfaction of reinhabiting the place where we live through the participative decisions we make about living together harmoniously with fewer resources.

To tell this story effectively, we must embody it. From October 2018 to June 2019, we will be taking a deep dive into our identity and purpose through a series of video discussions. Soon we will invite you to join this weekly inquiry on the Story of EDA.

Discovering the story of our shared values will enable EDA to develop a Brand which captures the essence of who we are and what we stand for. It will help us launch a new Website that resonates this message and inspires people to action. 

Telling the story that defines EDA is also essential in creating EDA’s Advocacy training. It will enable our organization to change public attitudes and legislation toward ensuring the sufficiency of everyone and generating ecological sustainability.

Along with EDA members, our new Branding, Website and Advocacy teams will be contributing to this new narrative on economic democracy. Please join us in this engaging, intra-organizational focus group. Complete details will be available shortly.
How to Connect with US
- A Message from Your At-Large Trustees - 

This last June you elected the three of us – Annida Brunato, James Kolb and Jacelyn Eckman – as your first line of communication within EDA’s Board. Over the last three months we’ve been working with the Executive Committee (and more recently our newly-hired Managing Director) to build out the governing structure that is outlined in our Cooperative Charter.

There’s a huge amount of work ahead of us, and in order to be sure we’re fulfilling our mandate as your representatives, we hope we’ll be hearing from you regularly with your creative ideas, your concerns, your input and votes on surveys/opinion polls and referenda, and of course, your offers of help when you find an area that sparks your interest. EDA is our laboratory for finding ways to bring about the kind of structural economic change we all know is needed, and our home for gathering with like-minded people to accomplish these goals.

To this end, we’ve set up two lines of communication to your At-Large Trustees (ALT).
  • Believing in the power of collective dialogue, we encourage you to use the new thread that’s been created on our Active Members’ site on Loomio, called Talk with your Trustees. This is more than a two-way communication between individual members and your ALT. It is a dialogue among all of us.
  • The other avenue of communication is a backup, where privacy might be a concern. Maybe you’re uncertain if a particular issue is appropriate to send to the Mediation Body (contact info is forthcoming), or you don’t know if your particular skills and background are right for one or another project in EDA and you just want to talk it through with someone familiar with the day-to-day functioning of the organization. For this, you can reach us at
From time to time, your ALTs will initiate the conversation with you on particular issues, inviting your feedback. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you.
Report From the Board
- September Meetings - 

Here are the main items we discussed in our four meetings this month. If you have questions about any of them or want to bring other issues to our attention, please contact the At-Large Trustees via the addresses provided in the article in this newsletter.
  • An active member raised a question about the advisability of having the Managing Director have a vote on the Board. While the Charter is clear that this is how we will operate (and also clear about the process for changes in the Charter), we nevertheless did some research on how other non-profits handle this issue and learned about some “best practices” for Boards in the process. 
  • One “best practice” that we adopted immediately was the recommendation to self-assess our performance annually. We planned our first assessment for the end of this year.  Research shows that boards who do this perform better. 
  • This question from the active member also motivated us to create the structure for members to communicate easily with the Board via the At-Large Trustees.
  • In every meeting we heard reports from the committee working on writing bylaws for the EDA Foundation (EDAF), our fully tax deductible 501(c)(3) educational foundation which is/will be separate and distinct from the 501(c)(4) EDA, which is not tax deductible for donations but is able to lobby legislators. We have now made suggestions for adjustments to these bylaws which the committee will review and then take to our lawyers.
  • A great deal of time and attention went into the search for a Managing Director. This included reviewing the job description, agreeing on an application process and timeline, formulating interview questions for applicants, interviewing an applicant, and initiating the ratification process. Thanks to all who did vote to ratify James Quilligan as EDA’s first Managing Director! We are delighted that he is going to serve in this capacity.    
  • Reviewed and unanimously supported the Managing Director’s proposal for a ten-month sequence designed to build the foundational elements needed for EDA's success, bringing us all together in a process of reflection, education and creativity which we trust will grow into a clear and coherent message/story that informs our branding, advocacy and website.
Thanks for paying attention
George Catlin, President
Copyright © 2017 Economic Democracy Advocates, All rights reserved.

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106 Gallows Hill Road
Cranford, New Jersey 07016-1837, USA

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Economic Democracy Advocates · 106 Gallows Hill Road · Cranford, NJ 07016-1837 · USA

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