Van Jones speaks of the numerous initiatives he has been part of, including his role as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. As founding President of Rebuild the Dream, a think-tank championing innovative ways to alter the U.S. economy and uplift the next generation, he asks the question “What is the future that we’re fighting for?” Throughout his lecture Jones speaks of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Trayvon Martin, robots, and ways to create a just economy for all.
Van Jones was introduced by Judy Wicks, who is leading a movement for the renewal of local economies and the promotion of diversity among the small businesses that make up those economies. Her own White Dog Café taught her how to build alliances of mutual support. She used those lessons to shape the principles of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). Her new book Good Morning, Beautiful Business, based on her 2004 E. F. Schumacher Lecture, is the story of that journey.
The speakers at the Thirty-Third Annual Schumacher Lectures—Otto Scharmer, Van Jones, and Judy Wicks—led a discussion on the urgency and potential ways of transforming the American economy. With the confluence of visionary speakers, location, and this moment of cultural openness, we invited participants to join that conversation.