Across the Twin Cities, local innovators are advancing socially just and sustainable approaches to community wealth-building. Among a wide range of strategies, some include:
- urban farms employing people of color and local youth, that increase healthy food access
- community-owned renewable energy and energy efficiency, empowering people from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds to cut costs of living and grow the clean energy economy
- transit-oriented development that makes communities more accessible, especially for those reliant on public transit
- redevelopment of aging industrial sites as vibrant, mixed-use, job-creating communities
These many diverse groups are unleashing a growing local economy rooted in justice, sustainability, and community self-determination. Yet many of these efforts remain fragmented projects, in need of greater technical and logistical support, and are lacking a shared framework for growing and sustaining the green economy. Among this emerging network, Cooperative Solutions – A Convergence for a Just and Sustainable Economy will catalyze collaboration through mutual support and grow a shared sense of purpose, driven by collective innovation.
- Celebrate and showcase the abundant solutions Twin Cities communities are already developing and introduce other models being used in other cities, in a space that is rooted in the creative process and the many cultures that make up our community.
- Build community and a sense of solidarity among groups working in different communities and on different issues around shared visions for the future
- Cross-pollinate and provide opportunities for shared learning among groups in the Twin Cities working on various green economy solutions and youth leaders from around the country who are developing green economy solutions in collaboration with their communities
- Identify common goals, challenges, and ways to work together, within and across issue areas, to overcome barriers to building the green economy
- Launch deeper collaboration around specific strategies emerging from the conference to enhance work around specific issues and for the green economy as a whole
- Inspiring, solutions-oriented, and visionary. The convergence will recognize and build insight into the problems our communities face, but with a focus on action, creativity, and passion for the better future we are creating.
- Deeply participatory. People attend because they are building or want to build a just and sustainable community, and engage in the event as participants, not audience. The convergence models an economy that is built collaboratively and from the grassroots.
- Empowered. Participants feel agency and collective potential to make important change, and support each other with strategies to make that happen.
- Connections Across Difference. Participants engage in listening deeply and share insight across many issues, types of expertise, and personal identities