Background image of At Corktown in Detroit, young DIY workers grind their own sausage.


The Future Economy has arrived

The Future Economy Initiative analyzes new ways of doing business.

Meet the new economy; it’s not the same as the old one. Credit unions, car sharing, and co-ops are in; fat cat CEOs, Wall Street banks, and anonymous sweatshop products are out. While we are all still burdened by the legacy economy and the 2008 economic crisis, something else is certainly afoot: an array of innovations sweeping the nation with the potential to change economic life as we know it.  It’s driven by all sorts of new organizations: worker, producer and consumer cooperatives, credit unions, community land trusts, local business alliances, and sharing economy businesses and networks.

Ecotrust’s E3 Network calls all this the Future Economy. The organization’s newly launched Future Economy Initiative is devoted to carefully documenting, describing, and analyzing this burgeoning movement.

How will the Future Economy reshape how we live and work over the next generation and beyond? And where do you fit in?

Learn more at the E3 Network site. 

Portrait of Robin Hahnel

Meet the Future Economy Initiative steering committee:

Robin Hahnel is an economist, author, and political activist, who has traveled extensively around the world advising on economic development and political economy. Perhaps best known for his work on Participatory Economics, Hahnel is also the author of 13 books on subjects ranging from economic theory, green economic development, international finance, and new economy transitions, and has published extensively in peer reviewed journals as well as popular media.


Portrait of Eban Goodstein

Eban Goodstein is an economist, author, and sustainability educator known for his work in the clean energy movement, and for his educational campaigns, which have engaged thousands of schools and universities, civic institutions, faith groups, and communities in solutions-driven dialogues about global warming and global climate change. In 1999, he founded the Green House Network which spearheaded both the Race to Stop Global Warming, and Focus the Nation. In 2008, he created the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions. Since 2009, he has founded and directs two new graduate programs in sustainability at Bard College, an MS Degree in Climate Science and Policy, and an MBA in Sustainability, as well as the C2C Fellows sustainability leadership program.


Portrait of Juliet Schor

Juliet Schor is an economist and Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Her most recent book is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (The Penguin Press 2010). She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (Basic Books, 1992) and The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (Basic Books, 1998). The Overworked American appeared on the best-seller lists of The New York TimesPublisher’s WeeklyThe Chicago TribuneThe Village Voice, The Boston Globe as well as the annual best books list for The New York TimesBusiness Week and other publications. The book is widely credited for influencing the national debate on work and family.  The Overspent American was also made into a video of the same name, by the Media Education Foundation (September 2003).

New Economy panelist

Thomas Michael Power received his PhD in Economics from Princeton University. From 1968 to 2008 he taught in the Economics Department at the University of Montana. From 1978 to 2008 he served as Chairman of the Economics Department. In 2008 he retired from teaching and administration and now serves as a Research Professor and Professor Emeritus. He is the author of six books, a dozen and a half book chapters, and numerous articles and reports in the field of Natural Resource and Regional Economics and the relationship between those two fields. He has regularly testified before state and federal regulatory agencies.

Kristen Sheeran, Ecotrust Vice President, Knowledge Systems

Kristen Sheeran is Vice President of Knowledge Systems at Ecotrust, and Executive Director and co-founder of Economics for Equity and Environment Network (E3), a national network of economists developing new arguments for environmental protection. Dr. Sheeran’s own research is focused on climate change, environmental policy, political economy, and development. She is author of an award winning book, Saving Kyoto (with Graciela Chichilnisky, New Holland, 2009) and has many published scholarly articles in Environmental and Resource Economics, Climatic Change, Ecological Economics, and other journals. Dr. Sheeran has also written about economics and the environment for a popular audience, including op-eds in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, and she is a frequent contributor to the blogs, Real Climate Economics, Grist, and Triple Crisis. Articles referencing Dr. Sheeran and the work of E3 Network and Ecotrust have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Nature, and Mother Jones. Prior to her role with Ecotrust, Dr. Sheeran was an associate professor of economics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in economics and political science from Drew University, and received her Ph.D. in economics from American University.