Law and Policy for a New Economy
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Law and Policy for a New Economy

Sustainable, Just, and Democratic

Edited by Melissa K. Scanlan

This book makes the case for a New Environmentalism, and using a systems change approach, takes the reader through ideas for reorienting the economy. It addresses the laws and policies needed to support the emergence of a new economy across a variety of major areas – from energy to food, across common pool resources, and shifting investments to capitalize locally-connected and mission-driven businesses. The authors take the approach that the challenges are much broader than setting parameters around pollution, and go to the heart of the dominant global political economy. It explores the values needed to transform our current economic system into a new economy supportive of ecological integrity, social justice, and vibrant democracy.
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Chapter 6: Three legal principles for organizations rebuilding the commons

Janelle Orsi


This chapter describes three principles for organizations to embed in their legal, financial, and governance structures in order to build commons and move beyond the extractive structures of conventional business. “The commons” is emerging as a unifying framework for the creation of sustainable and equitable economies, and organizations everywhere will increasingly ask their lawyers for guidance on how to set up a “commons-based” entity structure. Land trusts, energy cooperatives, water mutuals, worker cooperatives, food cooperatives and housing cooperatives will all require that lawyers approach legal structural design with a mindset that decisively rejects business-as-usual. These principles emerge from practice and are designed to be immediately applicable in any organization.

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