View this email in your browser




Ok, it was simply an online ballot in Loomio, not a mail-in ballot by way of the USPS.  But once again, EDA members clicked in vigorously for our recent ratifications, surpassing the required threshold of 60% turnout for a valid ratification. Our members approved:

  • EDA Code of Conduct, Principles and Policies
  • Standard Operating Procedures for Code of Conduct, Principles and Policies
Here's what this means.

75% of our Governing Circle confirmed the EDA Code of Conduct, Principles and Policies, which establishes behavioral guidelines for all employees, members and volunteers of EDA, and anyone who represents EDA in any way. This new measure furthers the mission and vision and all of the principles expressed in EDA's Charter.

79% of the Governing Circle ratified the Standard Operating Procedures for the Code of Conduct. This measure defines how our new policy will be implemented. It specifies how to amend these procedures and what actions will be taken when an infraction occurs.

Our sincere congratulations go to James Kolb, Marguerite Kolb, Terry Blatt, Elizabeth Gasek and Janice Bobbie, who toiled for many months in drafting these policies. In turn, their committee would like to thank all EDA members who submitted suggestions and corrections for these policies via Loomio or email, and to every member who took part in the ratification of these documents. EDA's Board of Trustees extends its gratitude as well to Susan Willson, Janet Hunter and Christine Silvey of EDA's Election Board, whose tireless work and dedication have made these independent ratifications possible.

Our Fourth Annual Conference will be held on Saturday, November 7. Please join us for this exciting virtual conference, which will include a range of presentations and discussions. We will focus on social cooperation in a turbulent era -- a very timely issue.

Keynote talks will be presented by two persons active in the groundbreaking fields of distributive technology and regenerative organization: Clare Politano of Terran Collective and Jean Russell of Thrivable Futures. The Chairs of EDA's Research, Education and Advocacy Teams, President and Managing Director will also speak at this online event.

From Crisis to Cooperation:
What will it take?

November 7, 2020
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm PST (1 pm-5 pm EST)

10:00  - 10:15     Welcome
10:15  - 10:45     EDA President Roar Bjonnes,
                           'Systems Change through Local Cooperation'
10:45  - 11:00     Discussion with Roar
11:00  - 11:15     EDA’s New Website
11:15  - 11:35     Clare Politano, Terran Collective
11:35  - 11:45     Discussion with Clare
11:45  - 12:00     Research Chair Dave Cunningham
12:00  - 12:10     Discussion with Dave
12:10  - 12:25     Education Co-Chairs DeeDee & Chloe Brown
12:25  - 12:35     Discussion with DeeDee and Chloe
12:35  - 12:50     Advocacy Chair Jacelyn Eckman
12:50  -   1:00     Discussion with Jacelyn
  1:00  -   1:20     Jean Russell, Thrivable Futures
  1:20  -   1:30     Discussion with Jean
  1:30  -   2:00     Managing Director James Quilligan,
                           'EDA Strategic Business Plan for 2021'
  2:00   -              Closing Discussion 

Our conference addresses the challenge of building social cooperation in a time of economic chaos. An effective way of collaborating is to focus on a vital activity that can benefit everyone, such as the equtiable and sustainable uitilization of essential resources like food, water and energy. Our guest speakers are experts in what might be called 'social DNA' -- the space where interpersonal technology meets organic systems. Their presentations will focus on the use of this eco-technology for carrying capacity and resource cooperation and the creation of value systems designed to change the ways we measure and practice economics. Biographical information on Clare and Jean is below.
Clare Politano is a Core Steward at Terran Collective -- a Berekely-based group of technologists, community organizers, social entrepreneurs, activists and artists who are building systems and tools for a regenerative future for all living beings in the San Francisco Bay bioregion and ecosystems throughout the world. A graduate of University of Virginia, Clare began her career at ISL, Social Tables and PayCheck in Washington, DC, working on a number of software applications. She then joined ReGen Network, a company that uses geospatial data and remote sensing, machine learning and blockchain technology to internalize the ecological value of agriculture in certain food supply chains.

With Terran Collective, LLC, Clare is developing communications, engineering software and managing products for Hylo -- an open source software that has been used in peer-to-peer collaboration and resource sharing by people in over eighty countries. Terran has licensed Hylo's codebase and interface design to create new applications and tools for increasing Holo's existing network of users. Clare's work in bio-social technology involves developing interactive projects within local communities and ecosystems that support mutual aid networks and bioregional organizing for social and ecological regeneration.
Jean Russell is a pioneer in the thrivability movement and co-founder of the consultancy, Thrivable Futures in 2007. She is the author/editor of the popular books, Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch and Thrivability: Breaking Through to a World That Works. She has applied her deductive and inductive insight to organizational design strategies, social network analysis, innovation, motivation, behavioral patterns, group dynamics, cultural change and the vanguard movement for a more holistic Internet. Her work in launching synergetic software and cryptocurrencies for Holo was part of the new generation of open source applications that are aiming to restructure society through whole-systems design.

Jean is at the forefront of collaborative strategy and tools that allow users to own their personal data and work online without centralized network constraints. This collaborative technology is already being used by cooperatives, small business, public utilities and resource distribution chains that seek a more equitable and sustainable economy. Her work has been highlighted in The Economist, Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review. In the words of Greg Berry of Impact Hub Boulder, "Jean has an unusually deep awareness and clear vision of the underlying social dynamics of a group. Her technical acumen and web savvy bring a relevant context to technology execs, while her passion for thrivability makes her an excellent guide to sustainable business leaders".
In choosing this banner for EDA's conference in November, we realized once again that natural bodies are our greatest teacher. Anyone who has seen the synchronized grace of starlings in flight recognizes the power and mystery of the living world. How can hundreds of thousands of birds flock together in such intricately complex and coordinated patterns -- swooping, wheeling and pulsating in a harmonized whole -- without ever colliding?

In recent decades, scientists have examined this unusual behavior by carefully studying films of these birds. According to Mario Pesendorfer of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, every bird in a flock monitors the activity of seven neighbors and follows three principles:
  • An attraction zone: "In this area, you're going to move toward the next bird"
  • A repulsion zone: "You don't fly into that bird's lane, otherwise you'll both fall"
  • Angular alignment: "So you've got to kind of follow your neighbor's direction"
This may explain how the phenomenon of murmuration works, but not why it's practiced. These birds are not trying to stay warm or seek food, as some evolutionary biologists have thought. Nor does their ability to maintain group cohesion involve some innate mind-reading or command from a group leader. While the flock appears to defy the laws of nature, these birds are actually demonstrating an aspect of natural law that human beings have not fully grasped. They are celebrating the socio-biological principle of cooperation through self-organization. And they do this in full display of other living creatures -- like us.

[For more on this elegant dance of birds, watch the breathtaking video, Flight of the Starlings by Jan van IJken in What We're Reading and Watching below.]

Personal human behavior, too, is part of a dynamic system in which the parts combine to make a whole with emergent properties. Human beings may not cluster in flocks, swarms or schools, but in facing the multifold challenges of our world we must master these same cooperative dynamics with acrobatic synchronization from the local to the global levels.

In creating open source tools and systems for instant response across all physical scales, would we acquire the skills of collective sensemaking, complexity decision-making, and more importantly, distributive impact among our own species and subgroups? Would this lead people to apply the principle of self-organization in building resilient communities, reciprocal networks and bioregional regeneration in the broader world? Perhaps human beings will eventually develop the same kinds of capacities for natural self-governance and cooperation that we see in the seamless, flowing murmurations of a flock of starlings.

The Integrative Management Planning and Coordinating Team (IMPACT) will manage EDA's strategic business plan. Approved by the EDA Board of Trustees earlier this year, it will be submitted to the Governing Circle for ratification, October 26 - November 1.

As envisioned in the Cooperative Charter, EDA's goal is to prepare individuals to speak with their elected officials on legislation for economic democracy through our programs in research, education and advocacy. The rest of the organization is designed to carry out and support this mission and EDA has spent the past three years preparing for this.

The Integrative Management Planning and Coordinating Team is an organization-wide committee that bridges our Action Council and Operations (shown in pink in the diagram below). This steering committee will enable collective planning and coordination among all of EDA's teams and departments. IMPACT is a natural outgrowth of our expanding activities that were not fully defined when EDA started out several years ago.

Because IMPACT is not a new department within EDA, it does not require an amendment to our Charter. But as a new policy framework or procedure through which the Action Council and the Operations Department will be working together, we are asking that the IMPACT strategy be formally ratified by the Governing Circle of Active Members.

IMPACT will be responsible for planning and coordinating the tactics, tasks and timelines of the activities of our various teams and departments. Regular meetings to guide these activities will be attended by the members of IMPACT, including the:

  • Chairs of Education, Advocacy and Research Teams
  • Directors of IT, Finance, Marketing and Development Departments
  • Managing Director, Chief of Staff and Director of Communications

IMPACT will coordinate the flow of work through EDA. To show this schematically, EDA’s integrative workflow is outlined below as a stepwise process. The members of IMPACT represent the teams or departments (noted by color key). These persons are responsible for program design, development, implementation, user experience, behavior change, support, follow-up and ongoing outreach for our members, partners and the public.

Steps 1-13 precede EDA Advocacy Training and Meeting with Elected Officials
                   and steps 16-26 are the follow-up for these activities

                                   CLICK TO ENLARGE FLOW CHART

This proposal will be posted on Active Members in Loomio on October 2 for your review and comment. It will be open for ratification by members during the final week of October.

With life-threatening pandemics, increasing populations, declining resources and escalating climate change, our world faces serious challenges. A major conference, Systems Change Through Bioregional Economies, will be held at University of Beira Interior (UBI), Covilhã, Portugal, September 23-26, 2021, to address these vast problems. Sponsored by the university and Systems Change Alliance (SCA), this conference will offer solutions for transformation at all levels -- political, economic, social and ecological.

In the past few months, EDA Managing Director James Quilligan and EDA President Roar Bjonnes, a co-founder of SCA, have been working with the University of Beira and other organizations to help prepare the program for this event in northeastern Portugal.
Beiras e Serra da Estrela Intermunicipal Community, Portugal
EDA's Research Team has been working with a local team of researchers to assess the carrying capacity of all the intermunicipal districts of Portugal, with emphasis on the Beiras e Serra da Estrela region. This research on agricultural carrying capacity is now half-completed and plans are to create additional reports on water and energy in 2021.

Building Collective Resonance in a Small Working Group
As separate individuals, we often find it hard to collaborate and build a close-knit team. In this interview on group work, social technologist Clare Politano discusses what Terran Collective has discovered that helps build collective resonance in a small working group.

The Thick of It
What builds social cooperation in turbulent times? How can groups like ours be cohesive when everything else seems to be in chaos? Visionary strategist Jean Russel observes that "what makes [an] organization such a joy to be working on is how graceful they are in the muck of figuring out competing tensions as they seek to be transformative."

Murmuration: Flight of the Starlings
National Geographic presents a short film by Jan van IJken that deftly captures the glory of flocking birds. Listen well and you'll be able to hear how this living poetry got its name.

Innovating to Zero!
In this TED Talk from 2010, Bill Gates talks about the CO2 impact on the climate and how it relates to the generation of energy. This is far more pertinent today than a decade ago.

Humus - The Essential Ingredient
Learn all about humus -- the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is gradually being depleted by unsustainable farming practices. Graeme Sait, a lifelong soil health educator, describes how 467 billion tonnes of carbon have been released from the soil into the atmosphere. He explains why we urgently need to return this carbon to the soil and replenish the humus bed to reverse the devastating impact of carbon loss.
ReConnect with EDA

10-Week Seminar
Civics of Resource Democracy

Join us October 2 and 9
4:00 PM PDT/ 5:00 PM MDT/ 7:00 PM EDT (US & Canada)
EDA's seminar, Civics of Resource Democracy, focuses on the personal responsibility that is needed now for citizens to sustain our commons during the growing conflict over world resources. This is more challenging than it seems. How shall we take responsibility for our common resources when we have forgotten the practice of our civic duties?
Each week, Chloe and Dee Dee Brown have been guiding us through a new approach on civics. We are coming to the end of this popular seminar, but it's not too late to join us!

On October 2, we will discuss the Balance of Individual Rights and Collective Responsibilities in EDA (you may not know that our Cooperative Charter was inspired by the checks and balances in the US Constitution).

On October 9, we will discuss why economic supply and demand have fallen out of balance (and how EDA may be part of the solution).

These free weekly presentations are a great way to further your understanding of economic democracy and provide a place for you to ask questions and share ideas. Meetings are open to the public. Friends and family are welcome, too!

Minimal background reading is required for each session. Each week's homework is posted on ReConnect with EDA (in Active Members on Loomio) on the Saturday before each seminar. You also can post comments or questions on this page.

Zoom call information is available there and also below:

By the time I retired, it was already apparent that the planet was on an unsustainable course. Global warming is accelerating climate disruption, non-renewable resources are being used up at an increasing rate and resources, in general, are not equally available to all who need them. Concerned about the future that lies ahead for my son, my nieces and nephews and all of their young children, I knew my retirement was going to be devoted to working for sustainability and resource democracy. When I learned about Economic Democracy Advocates, I knew this was the organization for me – its goals match my deepest concerns. I chose to dive into the work of helping to establish EDA and am now a member of the Advocacy Team. I believe EDA is doing the work that the planet sorely needs us to do. The challenges are daunting but it is inspiring to be "in the trenches" working with like-minded people who are equally committed to a better world.  
Betsy Gasek
Retired Attorney-At-Law
Like most today, I can’t help but notice the volume of crises our planet is facing. It’s not just enough to sit back and complain about it anymore. I wanted to make a contribution to transform our current experience not just for myself, but for future generations. EDA is showing the way. Through their research, education and advocacy programs, I’m learning how every one of us can take practical steps to change the systemic problems we face. The good news is you don’t have to be an ‘expert’. You just have to have a passion to get involved and a desire to create a world that works for everyone.
Christine Silvey
Coach and Counselor
Meridian, ID

What’s in a website? Everything! It creates that all-important first impression. It’s your brand, your public face.

Our current website has served us well, but EDA evolved quickly and we have outgrown it. So we’re launching a fundraising drive to build a new one.

Our fundraising target for Phase One: $25,000

The new dynamic website will have:

  • A new look and feel that attracts and engages
  • Rich content and educational material
  • Easy-to-access resource material
  • Details on current initiatives and projects
  • News, testimonials and videos
  • Explanations of what education, research and advocacy teams do                            and how you can be a part of them
  • Tips and techniques on how to lobby your elected officials
  • Members section

And much more….

Exciting things are happening in EDA and we want the name EDA to be on top of everyone's search list. But we need your help to build a website that will entice, encourage and engage members and educate the public to meet the challenges of these chaotic times.

       See The Fundraising Video on the EDA Homepage

Please consider donating now to our 501(c)3 non-profit educational arm, EDA Foundation (EDAF).

Your gift to EDA Foundation goes directly to our website fund. All donations for the website are tax-deductible.

Thank you! And we look forward to telling you more about the new website in future newsletters.





Liberté, égalité, fraternité


Copyright © 2017 Economic Democracy Advocates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Economic Democracy Advocates
106 Gallows Hill Road
Cranford, New Jersey 07016-1837, USA

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Economic Democracy Advocates · 106 Gallows Hill Road · Cranford, NJ 07016-1837 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp