The Bioneers conference will feature a keynote by Manuel Pastor, director of the Equity Research Institute at USC, on Nov. 13: “Solidarity Economics: Mutuality, Movements and Momentum.” Pastor also works on the Solidarity Economics project with Chris Benner, which is a collaboration between the Equity Research Institute at USC and the Institute for Social Transformation at UCSC.
In a world wracked by income inequality, social divisions, and ecological destruction, can we build an alternative economics based on mutual cooperation and respect for our environmental commons? Among the nation’s most influential progressive thought leaders, activists and scholars, Manuel Pastor taps his new book, written with his long-time colleague Chris Benner, to propose that drawing on our instincts for connection and community can actually help create a more robust, sustainable, and equitable economy. But while most of us would benefit from centering mutuality and equity, some people do benefit from the current stark inequalities. As a result, seizing this moment for change will require brave conversations about racism and social fragmentation, a deep commitment to intersectional social movements, and a clear strategic vision for building people power. More info here
The Bioneers conference will also feature a panel discussion with Natalie Hernandez, Nailah Pope Harden, Manuel Pastor, and Chris Benner. Solidarity Economics is an economic frame that recognizes that people are not just individuals, but also members of broader social groups and communities, that people are motivated not just by self-interest, but also by caring for others and a desire for belonging, and that we can and should build our economy not on an embrace of individuality and competition, but rather on a sense of commons and our shared destiny. In this session, Natalie Hernandez, Associate Director of Climate Planning and Resilience at Climate Resolve, and Nailah Pope Harden, Executive Director of ClimatePlan, join Manuel Pastor, one of the nation’s most influential thinkers on poverty and social movements, and Chris Benner, a leading innovator in urban political ecology, to discuss how these concepts might apply in the realm of solidarity with people and the planet, and how we can make this real in terms of policy and power in this moment. More info here.
The full conference schedule features speakers and performances around topics ranging from conservation to indigeneity to youth leadership. In this time, we’re all called upon to be leaders.
Director | Equity Research Institute, USC
Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at USC and Director of its Equity Research Institute, has long been one of the most important scholars and activists working on the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities and the social movements seeking to change those realities. He has held many prominent academic posts, won countless prestigious awards and fellowships for his activism and scholarship, and is the author and co-author of many important, highly influential tomes, including most recently, State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America’s Future (2018) and the just-about-to-be-released Solidarity Economics: Why Mutuality and Movements Matter.
Associate Director of Climate Planning and Resilience | Climate Resolve
Natalie Hernandez is a Los Angeles region-based specialist in environmental policy and community planning who is deeply knowledgeable about climate change-related government processes, funding, stakeholder engagement and resilience. She is Associate Director of Climate Planning & Resilience at Climate Resolve, where she has: managed climate preparedness projects, co-authored California’s Adaptation Planning Guide, led community outreach for an urban cooling project in Canoga Park, and provided technical expertise on a number of climate grant programs. Her past positions include stints at the California Natural Resources Agency, California Air Resources Board, Institute for Local Government, and USC’s Equity Research Institute (formerly USC PERE).
Executive Director | Climate Plan
Nailah Pope Harden, who has years of community organizing experience spanning regional, state and national environmental justice campaigns, is the South Sacramento-based Executive Director of ClimatePlan, where she: manages state policy campaigns; mobilizes partner organizations; provides analysis on policy, state investments, and legislation; and builds strong relationships with state agencies and key decision-makers, all in order to further Climate Plan’s vision of a healthier, more equitable California.
Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology | UC Santa Cruz
Chris Benner, Ph.D., the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, also directs the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change and the Institute for Social Transformation there. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment. He has authored or co-authored seven books (including the forthcoming Solidarity Economics) and more that 75 journal articles, chapters and research reports.