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Forum on Social WealthConference on Social Wealth

Conference on Social Wealth

Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
June 21 23, 2006

Sponsored by the Forum on Social Wealth of the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Click Here for Conference Schedule

This conference has three aims:

  • First, to advance critical thinking on the value and governance of social wealth forms of wealth that are neither adequately valued nor effectively governed by the market and the state.
  • Second, to foster cross-fertilization of ideas among visionary thinkers who are grappling with the issues of how to sustain social wealth including the Earth's ecosystems, the social fabric of families and communities, and the knowledge and information that constitute culture at the global, national, and local levels.
  • Third, to explore avenues for designing and funding collaborative initiatives to foster public dialogue and policy innovations to improve the governance of social wealth.

The Conference is the culminating event of the Forum on Social Wealth, a year-long series of Distinguished Lectures and seminars held at the Political Economy Research Institute in Amherst, Massachusetts. Some participants have been involved in these events as lecturers or in the seminar; others have been invited to join us based on their engagement with these issues.

The Conference is intended to be a conversation amongst the participants, not a series of individual presentations:

Wednesday's sessions will provide a chance for participants to get to know each other and situate the Conference in the context of past activities and future possibilities.

The four Thursday sessions will survey the terrain: each participant will be invited to make brief opening remarks (no more than 5 minutes in length) at one of these sessions; these will be indicated in the final version of the agenda.

The Friday sessions will turn to strategic and practical discussions of how to carry this dialogue forward, with a focus on institutional collaborations to advance policy initiatives.

Conference Schedule

Wednesday, June 21

Participants can check into their rooms anytime after 1:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.         Coffee, tea and snacks available

4:00 p.m.         Opening session:


Brief introductions

Background on the Forum on Social Wealth

  Jim Boyce, Nancy Folbre, David Bollier

Background on RBF's Program on Global Governance

  Mike Conroy

5:30 p.m.         Cocktail reception in the Logia

6:30 p.m.         Dinner

8:00 p.m.         Session Two: Defining Social Wealth

When we think of "social wealth" what comes to mind? What common features are shared by the diverse forms of wealth that are not created or governed in the institutional frameworks of the market and the state?

Opening Remarks: David Bollier, Jim Boyce, and Nancy Folbre

9:30 p.m.         Adjourn

Thursday, June 22

7:30 a.m.         Breakfast

8:45 a.m.         Session Three: Valuing Social Wealth: The Intellectual Agenda

What does it mean to speak of the "value" of social wealth? Is it desirable and feasible to measure this value? If so, how? What intellectual traditions can we draw upon in answering these questions?

Opening Remarks: Bina Agarwal, Rania Antonopoulos, Heather Boushey and Jamie Love

10:30 a.m.       Coffee and tea break

10:45 a.m.       Session Four: Common(s) Themes

Is 'the commons' a common theme that builds a useful bridge across the diverse forms of social wealth? How does this intersect with notions of 'common sense' and the 'common good'?

Opening Remarks: Nick Bromell, Lewis Hyde, Brad Lichtenstein, Jim Lardner

12:30 p.m.       Lunch

1:30 p.m.         Session Five: Governing Social Wealth: The Policy Agenda

What public policies have been most supportive and most corrosive of social wealth? What specific policy proposals could best serve both to improve the governance of social wealth and to raise public awareness of its value?  

Opening Remarks: Patrick Bressett, Bob Drago, John de Graaf and Heidi Hartmann

3:15 p.m.         Coffee and tea break

3:30 p.m.         Session Six: Thinking and Acting Globally

How can we best address the challenges of sustaining social wealth that is global in its scope given the relative weakness of existing institutions for global governance, as opposed to national and local governance? Does an international frame impel us to rethink the intellectual and policy agendas emerging from our earlier sessions?

Opening Remarks: Radhika Balakrishnan, Peter Barnes, Julie Graham, Jonathan Rowe

5:15 p.m.         Kykuit tour

6:15 p.m.         Cocktails and appetizers in the Kykuit Terrace

7:00 p.m.         Dinner

8:30 p.m.         Film: John de Graaf's "The Motherhood Manifesto"

This film, co-produced by John de Graaf, is being released this month through a program of hundreds of house parties and other gatherings across the country organized by MoveOn members, unions, mothers' groups and other organizations. It complements the book of the same name released by the Nation Press on Mother's Day this year, co-authored by co-founder Joan Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, which advocates paid family leave, flexible working hours, part-time parity, publicly-funded childcare and living wages for mothers, families and children.

Friday, June 23

7:30 a.m.         Breakfast

9:00 a.m.         Session Seven: Mobilizing for Social Wealth: The Strategic Agenda

Discussion of strategies for projecting the issues and policy proposals into public discourse.

Opening Remarks: David Sassoon

10:30 a.m.       Coffee and tea break

10:45 a.m.       Breakout groups on strategies 

12:00 p.m.       Lunch

1:30 p.m.         Closing Session: Bringing It All Back Home

Discussion of next steps to promote dialogue and policy initiatives on the governance of social wealth: future projects, fundraising, & institutional collaborations

3:00                 Adjourn

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