Curated Story
Sara Horowitz
Source: Ashoka

Mutualism and The Next Economy

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Mutualism is a way to understand our world. Instead of being stuck by the enormity of the world’s problems, mutualism enables us to uncover existing local solutions whose growth is centered on communities and people rather than a turbo-charged profit strategy that leads to big box uniformity. It reflects the vast array of humanity, emphasizing biodiversity, care for the planet and racial and economic equity. Mutualism is both a how-to guide and an ideology for people and communities to come together to solve their problems.

The role of government then is to champion mutualism with a defined action plan of mapping the local mutualists, listening to their ideas and vision, including their ideas and expertise in defining policy and then formalizing that into a virtual cycle of creating public policy.  

Sara Horowitz is a former labor lawyer, founder of Freelancers Union and Freelancers Insurance Company, and former Chair of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — and a self-described mutualist. Her new book is called Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up. Ashoka’s Michael Zakaras spoke with her last week about the central themes in her book and more.

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Ashoka insight

 You know what the mutualist future really is? You wake up in the morning and you have a mutualist day. You have access to high quality good food that's not making you or your family sick. You have a way to know that your child is in preschool and school that you're connected to and is nourishing their mind and soul. You have many different avenues for how you're going to live your life that are open only to wealthy people right now. When you go to a mutualist place like Northern Italy, you see that a significant percentage of their whole economy is cooperative. You go into these restaurants where workers are eating, and you're like, "If this were in New York, it would be a luxury meal." But it's not punishing over there. That’s really what we're talking about. There will be economic indicators, but it'll really come down to, what's your day like? What's your hope for your kids? Are you connected to nature? Can you have time to think and read and enjoy life? That’s really the mutualist future.