The two meetings at Christ Church Cathedral discussed previously were designed to pave the way for implementing the vision of the Economics of Compassion Initiative of Greater Cincinnati. An important component of the vision is the creation of “opportunities for the public to actively participate in and promote local examples of a sustainable economy that focus on community, cooperation, worker justice and solidarity among diverse people”.
The Initiative further spells out some distinctions between the vision and our failing economic model that we have worshipped for too long. These distinctions include the following:
a). Cooperative non-monetized local economy as apposed to the free market global economy.
b). A mentality and vision of enough or sufficiency, cooperation and community as opposed to scarcity, competition and individualistic pursuits.
c). Emphasis on the common good, common well-being and sustainability versus private and profit drive.
d). Focus on gifts, possibility and what is working as opposed to looking for deficiencies, needs and problem solving.
e). Seeing the citizen as a producer, knowledge of the culture and promoting neighborly hospitality in contrast to systems development and services.
Anyone in the community who embraces this vision is invited to join any of the following work circles to put the initiative into action.
a). Local cooperatives: There are already some cooperatives in the community. By definition (Oxford Dictionary) a cooperative is “a business or organization jointly owned by its members who share the profits or benefits”. The Economics of Compassion Initiative invites members of the community to “support these cooperatives, join them, buy from them, work or live in one making a distinction between profit and generosity”.
b). Generous Structures: In addition to investing in local cooperatives, members of the community are encouraged to join or create structures like Time Banking, Slow Loans, Rental Partnerships and Mini Grants.
c). 2019 Jubilee Prophecy Project: We can all adopt the Jubilee principles in the Hebrew Bible and figure out a path to forgive debts of the poor in 2019, the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves in the US.
d). Book and Video Circles: Knowledge is the most powerful tool in any endeavor. In this Circle, members of the group will study the new structures, new mindset and the new activism occurring in the world of economies and neighborhoods. This study will then be shared in the community at large using every communication media possible.
e). Neighborhoods: This is another way of saying “communities”. We all live in communities or neighborhoods, which are unique in some ways. There are some unique strengths in every community and neighborhood and the idea is to identify those strengths, along with the skills and gifts already existing then use them as base for new creation.
Furthermore, this group will learn about new models occurring around the country and those already functioning such as Co-housing, Abundant Community Initiative, Cleveland Foundation, and Collective Impact.
f). Steering Committee, Communications, Partnerships, Capital Development and Event Production: In this group one can think in terms of spreading the word out as well as gathering information about local examples of cooperation, healing, care and creating alliances. It is equally important to tell the story of what is occurring to the world at large. The group can also help the other teams create events and raise money.
We hope to continue to provide information and report on progress of the Economics of Compassion Initiative as we plunge into the implementation stage.