Can the economy be democratized? How can we transform it into a more socially inclusive and ecologically sustainable system? How can we combat the growing concentrations of power and wealth? What current practices point toward a participatory democracy and resilient next system?

Our current political economy is unjust, anti-democratic, and ecologically unsustainable. This reality has led to a host of efforts to transform our political economy. This conference will bring together leading academics, researchers, advocates, and practitioners for a day of discussion on how we can achieve systemic transformation and make a political economy that is equitable, democratic, and sustainable.

Speaker Information

J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, City of New York

Sheila Foster, Professor of Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University

Roger Green, Co-Founder, Society for Effective Economic Democracy; Co-Chair of the Coalition to Transform Interfaith

Sean Sweeney, Director, International Program for Labor, Climate and the Environment, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies; Coordinator, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

NYS Assembly Member Ron Kim
NYC Council Member Brad Lander

Panel Information

Panels will address topics on:

  • Energy democracy and the Green New Deal
  • Building the infrastructure for economic democracy
  • Creating a healthy cooperative ecosystem
  • Co-ops and immigrant workers
  • Opportunities and challenges of land use policy and community land trusts
  • Municipalism and workers' rights
  • Food co-ops and food systems
  • Public ownership and the state
  • Financing economic democracy
  • State strategies


Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. We generally overbook to ensure a full house. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early. Light refreshments will be served.


Programs are photographed and recorded by the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies for educational purposes. Attending this event indicates your consent to possibly being filmed and photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image by the School.


Please email all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24 hours before the day of the program to events@slu.cuny.edu. Please note that professional photography and video recordings are prohibited without expressed consent.