The New Economy Law Center sponsored investigations, symposia, fellowships and internships to create a lively forum for exploring the role of the law and policy change in transitioning to a new economy.
The law must grow to meet new societal concerns, sometimes leading, sometimes lagging, but always there to identify and provide the new guidance and norms that are needed.
And so it is now as we face the reality of our current system of political economy, which is characterized by large externalized environmental costs, a GDP growth fetish, and runaway consumerism, to mention but a few of the major dimensions. Today's system is misaligned to meet the global imperatives to rapidly reduce greenhouse gases and to share wealth more equitably at home and abroad. The new economy movement has emerged to provide an alternative system where ecological integrity, social justice, and vibrant democracy are central.
Co-founded in 2015 by Gus Speth and Professor Melissa Scanlan, the New Economy Law Center engages students, faculty, and others throughout the world. While the New Economy Law Center is informed by and engaged with the work of multiple disciplines, the business sector, and activists, it is focused on the development of law and policy.
The New Economy Law Center complements the ongoing efforts to build a new economy movement. In terms of environmental policy, law, and advocacy, the new economy framing looks beyond the now-accepted contours of American environmentalism and seeks to frame a new environmental discourse with principles such as the following:
Within the framework, and particularly in responding to the need to look beyond traditional approaches to environmental governance, new economy leaders have examined an impressive range of issues:
In each of these areas and others, there is a legal architecture that provides a structure for the current economy, polity and society. The New Economy Law Center seeks to identify and understand these systems of law and policy and explore alternatives that are more consistent with the values sought by the new economy movement.
Vermont Law School has been pioneering practical demonstrations of law for the new economy. In the fall of 2014, VLS opened two new law clinics, one focused on establishing community solar projects and another on developing local and regional food systems. There are examples of the new economy being born all around us.
The New Economy Law and Policy Forum is a global educational platform for ideas about system change. Our aim is to deepen public understanding and provide action items for those interested in long-term change to the political economy to make it more sustainable, just, and democratic. For information last year's event, please visit the main event page.