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The Next System Podcast


The Next System Podcast is a regular series that examines the systemic challenges facing society today and the bold, systemic solutions that can build the society of tomorrow. Learn more about the Next System Project at


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The Next System Podcast is a regular series that examines the systemic challenges facing society today and the bold, systemic solutions that can build the society of tomorrow. Learn more about the Next System Project at






Episode 47: Earth Day at 50

For a new generation of climate activists, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is not a day of celebration but a day of mobilization combined with a sober critique of why the ideals of the first Earth Day are still so far from being realized. Gus Speth, co-chair of The Next System Project, was beginning a long career as an environmental activist and leader on the first Earth Day. Dulce Arias is an 18-year-old leader in Youth vs. Apocalypse looking to play a pivotal role in the next 50 years of...


EP 46: Direct action, moms, and a housing crisis

Dominique Walker left her hometown of East Oakland for university, only to come back to find it gentrified and her neighbors displaced. This week, she shares the story of how she and Moms 4 Housing, an activist group pushing for American recognition of housing as a human right, took direct action against a real estate speculator and reclaimed its property for the people. The Next System Podcast is presented by The Next System Project at The Democracy Collaborative. The Next System Podcast...


Ep. 45: Racial trauma, healing and reparations

As a Black woman leading one of the nation's most prominent philanthropic organizations, La June Montgomery Tabron is taking on the challenge of addressing the impact of systemic racism on families and communities. She talks with Rev. Ronnie Galvin Jr., The Democracy Collaborative's vice president for racial equity and the democratic economy, about the work of truth-telling, racial healing and "looking at the systems that need to shift so that families and children can thrive." The Next...


Ep. 44: The end of employee ownership at New Belgium and why it matters

New Belgium Brewing has been held up as a shining example of what could be possible through worker ownership. Bu now that it's been purchased by an international conglomerate, there are new questions about the best strategy and models for turning workers into owners. We talk to Jessica Rose, co-founder of the worker ownership advocacy organization Fifty by Fifty, and to two experts in advancing alternative ownership models, Camille Kerr and Jason Wiener. The Next System Podcast is presented...


Ep. 43: "Job Guarantee Now!" with Darrick Hamilton and Sarah Treuhaft

Today's so-called "full-employment economy" still fails millions. We examine the campaign for a federal jobs guarantee and why now is the time to fight for transformative changes in the job market. We talk to Policy Link's Sarah Treuhaft about the "Job Guarantee Now!" campaign PolickLink is helping to lead and Darrick Hamilton of the Kirwan Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity about the systemic transformation of the workforce that would be possible. The Next System Podcast is...


Ep. 42: On "The Making of a Democratic Economy" (W/ Ted Howard and Marjorie Kelly)

This week, we sit down with Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard, co-authors of The Making of a Democratic Economy. Illuminating the principles of a democratic economy through the stories of on-the-ground community wealth builders and their unlikely accomplices in the halls of institutional power, this book is a must read for everyone concerned with how we win the fight for an economy that’s equitable, not extractive. You can purchase their book online at, where you can find...


Ep. 41: In-depth with Clark Arrington (Part 2)

This is the second in a two-part discussion with Clark Arrington, a pioneer in the cooperative movement, an innovative legal practitioner, and a leader in the movement for Black economic empowerment. In Part 2, Arrington discusses his work in Tanzania, following his successes at Equal Exchange, and in the United States today as general counsel for The Working World, which provides innovative, nonextractive financing and support for cooperatives. He is interviewed by John Duda, The Democracy...


Ep. 40: In-Depth with Clark Arrington

Part 1 of a special two-part edition of The Next System Podcast features Clark Arrington, a pioneer in the cooperative movement, an innovative legal practitioner, and a leader in the movement for Black economic empowerment. He now works as general counsel for The Working World, which provides creative, nonextractive financing and support for cooperatives. He is also known for his work in helping Equal Exchange grow from a niche organic coffee importer to a $70 million business. He is...


Ep. 39: The "homes guarantee"

The United States is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, with at least 21 million households spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, and an estimated 553,000 people are completely homeless. Its roots are systemic, and this edition of The Next System Podcast features people at the front lines of the crisis and activists fighting for transformative solutions based on the principle that housing is a human right. You will hear from Christy Respress of Pathways to...


Ep. 38: Democratizing power in rural America through electric co-ops

In this episode, we’re discussing how to further democratize rural electric cooperatives and what that means for the communities that these institutions serve. In this podcast, we’re joined by The Democracy Collaborative’s Johanna Bozuwa, Nikita Perumal from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and Chris Woolery from the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development. We’re talking about their recent collaboration on the New Economy Coalition’s latest toolkit on rural electric...


Guest Podcast! The Next World Podcast on Reparations, the Green New Deal, and the School to Prison Pipeline

This week we're featuring a podcast from our peers at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. The Next World: A Podcast About Building Movements focuses on a range of topics that will resonate with listeners interested in a more equitable and democratic economy. In this episode, Co-hosts Puck Lo and journalist Sarah Lazare are in conversation about reparations, the Green New Deal, capitalism, and an exploration of the fight against the school to prison pipeline with guest Zakiya...


Ep. 37: Reparations & the Democratic Economy

This episode is hosted by Ronnie Galvin, The Democracy Collaborative's Vice President of Racial Equity and the Democratic Economy. This week, Ronnie is discussing how best to contextualize the topic of reparations within the framework of a democratic economy. He is joined by Dr. Ron Daniels of the Institute of the Black World and Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler of the Center for Community Progress. A full transcript of this episode is available at You can learn...


Ep. 36: Wish-List Economics

One of the key points of contention in the Democratic Primary race is defining what policies and proposals are “radical” and which are “pragmatic.” One primary contender went as far to dismiss a so-called radical agenda as “wish-list economics.” This week Adam Simpson speaks to thought leaders across The Democracy Collaborative and Next System Project to find out precisely what should be on a “wish-list” for economic transformation. The conversation week ranges from housing to healthcare to...


Ep. 35: The policy approach to mainstream worker ownership

This week we're looking at building worker ownership in the economy from a policy perspective. Given new policies proposed by a host of Democratic Candidates, worker power and inequality are two topics very much on the policy agenda for the 2020 presidential race. Today we're talking about why worker ownership is a particularly unique strategy to addressing both of those challenges and the policies thus far that have entered the discourse. We're joined by Next System Project Policy Associate...


Ep. 34: Designing Our Communities for Justice

This week we are discussing how to design communities for justice, in particular as communities seek to respond to challenges of climate change, with new projects from transit to infrastructure. Isaiah Poole hosts a panel featuring The Next System Project’s Johanna Bozuwa, the Institute for Policy Study’s Basav Sen, and We Act for Environmental Justice’s Michael Velarde. You can learn more about the Next System Project at Transcripts for all our episodes are available...


Social Wealth Funds as Vehicles for Economic Empowerment

This week, we're talking about how Social Wealth Funds can play a role in empowering both individuals and communities in the economy. Joining us is member of the Maryland House of Delegates Gabriel Acevero, Vice President at the Insight Center for Community and Economic Development Jhumpa Bhattacharya, and President of the People's Policy Project, Matt Bruenig. Transcripts for all episodes can be found at


Ep. 32: How we power down the fossil fuel machine

This week we’re talking about how to confront the fossil fuel industry. To discuss how to contain and curtail the deleterious effects of this tremendously powerful industry, we have three exceptional guests including journalist Kate Aronoff, Oil Change International’s Steve Kretzmann, and the Next System Project’s own Carla Skandier. Transcripts for all episodes can be found at


Ep. 31: Participatory budgeting: When government really is by the people

This week we are talking about deepening democracy in our communities through participatory budgeting and participatory decision making more broadly. We’re joined by three great guests: Shari Davis of the Participatory Budgeting Project, Lorian Ngarambe of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, and Yale University Ph.D. student Alexander Kolokotronis. Transcripts for all episodes can be found at


Ep. 30: Financing the Green Transition

This week we are discussing how to finance a transition from an ecologically harmful economy dependent on fossil fuels to a clean economy defined by renewables. We have three great guests tackling perspectives at different levels of service, from municipal to state to the federal level. We are joined by Jackie Fielder, an organizer working toward a public bank for San Francisco, Kat Taylor, the CEO of Beneficial State Bank, and Carla Skandier, a Senior Research Associate at the Democracy...


Ep. 29: From Private Profits to Public Alternatives

This week we’re talking about public ownership and privatization with three special guests. We are joined by Shahrzad Habibi, research director at In The Public Interest, Thomas Hanna, The Democracy Collaborative's research director and author of Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States, and Cat Hobbs, founder and director of We Own It. The conversation runs the gamut from the pitfalls of the privatization of goods and services to the social benefits of public...