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This collection of eleven cases of citizens organizing for change in Canada and the United States gives form and substance to the ideal of a new economy based on fairness and environmental sustainability. These are stories of local citizens responding to the economically distorting effects of globalization, the environmental degradation brought about by industrial development and a deep concern about climate change. Grappling with complex problems in their local communities, they are forging innovation, prying open cracks in the system and seizing opportunities to redirect economic life.
The cases in Citizen-Led Innovation for a New Economy explore urban and rural initiatives among citizens in ethnically diverse settings — First Nations, Inuit, Latino, African American, predominantly white and mixed communities — where self-organized efforts to bring about change have generated innovation in economic and social life. Innovation in these cases means a new way of working, tying economic justice to the creation of multiple types of environmental, economic and social assets or forms of wealth. They are stories of individuals working together to challenge the short-term focus of political leadership by taking action for the sake of future generations.