Nwamaka Agbo and Stacy Mitchell in Conversation

Nwamaka Agbo is a nationally respected voice for impacted communities, working to ensure they are not left behind with the growing New Economy movement.  Her approach, which she names Restorative Economics, is strategically focused on community-owned and community-governed projects to bring residents together to create shared prosperity and self-determination and in turn build collective political power.  In her words:

When communities come together to collectively own and manage assets, they can leverage their joint economic power to collectively assert their rights and exercise cultural and political power in a more impactful way than they would on their own. And, when neighbors build community wealth together they create safe and sovereign spaces that foster self-determination and build shared prosperity.

Stacy Mitchell has for decades been the go-to person to help craft city, state, and federal legislation that protects the small and the local.  Her formidable research has laid bare the stranglehold large corporations have on commerce creating an unfair playing field for independent businesses. She is a sought-after commentator by national media, trusted to have evidence at her fingertips.  While a sharp critic of big corporations, she is at the same time an eloquent spokesperson for small businesses and the local economies and communities they help shape.

Local self-reliance means that people are able to exercise power over our lives: how we provide for our families, how resources are shared and allocated in our communities, and how decisions made by government, corporations and business affect all of us. We recognize the biggest challenges in the U.S. today are corporate control and diminishing community power which undermines the strength of our democracy and local economies. For us, local self-reliance is the best answer to these challenges. 

On August 20 at 2pm Eastern, Nwamaka Agbo and Stacy Mitchell will engage in a live, virtual conversation on Zoom, moderated by Niamh Leonard. They will reflect on their original talks given current political, economic, and social realities and will then comment on each other’s work. Registration is free. A question and answer period will follow initial presentations. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the event will be available.

Register here

About our speakers:

Nwamaka Agbo is a Restorative Economics practitioner who brings a solutions-oriented approach to her project management consulting. With a background in organizing, electoral campaigns, policy and advocacy on racial, social and environmental justice issues, Nwamaka supports projects that build resilient, healthy and self-determined communities rooted in shared prosperity.

In addition to her consulting practice, Nwamaka is an Associate with the Movement Strategy Center after having completed a Senior Fellowship with the organization. She is also 2017 Fellow for the RSF Integrated Capital Fellowship Program. Nwamaka currently serves co-Facilitator of Justice Funders Maestra program. She is also a Faculty member with EcoDistricts, where she previously served as the Director of Programs for Target Cities—a program to support 11 neighborhood-scale sustainable urban regeneration projects across North American committed to equitable economic development.

As the Director of Programs at Transform Finance, Nwamaka designed and launched the inaugural Transform Finance Institute for Social Justice leaders. The Institute was created to educate and train social justice community leaders about how to best leverage impact investments to deepen their social impact for transformative social change.

She currently serves as a Board Member to Thousand CurrentsResource GenerationRestore Oakland and the Schumacher Center for New Economics. She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and African American Studies and holds a Master’s of Public Administration specializing in Financial Management from San Francisco State University.

Nwamaka lives in Oakland with her husband, where she can be found geeking out on the latest sci-fi, Afrofuturism novels or cheering for the Golden State Warriors. She likes her bourbon neat and her sake chilled.

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a broad range of allies to design and implement policies to reverse corporate concentration and strengthen local enterprise.

Mitchell’s reports and articles about the dangers of concentrated economic power have influenced policymakers, journalists, and advocates. Her 2018 cover feature for The Nation“Amazon Doesn’t Just Want to Dominate the Market—It Wants to Become the Market,” was described as an “essential piece of journalism” by Zephyr Teachout. Her in-depth report, “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” co-authored with Olivia LaVecchia, has drawn wide praise for illuminating the nature of the company‘s power and the scope of its impact. Her paper, “Antitrust and the Decline of America’s Independent Businesses,” was recognized in 2017 as part of the annual Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship.

Mitchell has also written for The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Washington Monthly, and Wall Street Journal.  She’s the author of the book Big-Box Swindle. Her perspective and research are frequently cited in news media and she’s appeared on several national radio shows and podcasts, including NPR’s On The Media and Chris Hayes’ Why Is This Happening?

As an advisor to policymakers and grassroots organizations, Mitchell has developed and helped enact city, state, and federal policies that level the playing field for independent businesses, curb corporate power, and strengthen communities.

An engaging speaker, Mitchell has presented at many conferences and, in 2012, gave a popular TEDx talk on “Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy.”

In addition to her work at ILSR, Mitchell is a Fellow at the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale and serves on the board of the Maine Center for Economic Policy. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in History from Macalester College and lives in Portland, Maine.

Past lectures by our speakers include:

August 27 – Mary Berry and Bill McKibben
September 24 – Juliet Schor and Hazel Henderson
September 3 – Otto Scharmer and Matt Stinchcomb
October 8 – Winona LaDuke and Leah Penniman
September 10 – Neva Goodwin and Stewart Wallis

Previous Schumacher lectures and speaker biographies can be found here:

Please join us Thursdays at 2PM Eastern through October for the Schumacher Conversations.

Wishing all good health,
Staff of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics