Beautiful Solutions brings together some of the world's most innovative community leaders to share examples of a new economy under construction. Many of those examples are already happening in your community. Look around. Can you find a credit union? A food cooperative? A community garden? What about a mutual aid project? The chances are that you or someone in your family is already involved in a beautiful solution!
While these examples may seem small at first sight, they don’t have to be. When they are connected to each other or given the resources they need to grow, the solutions that already exist in our communities can be the starting point for collective transformation.
This time of turmoil is also a time of great opportunity. As the cracks in the system get bigger, more and more people are open to ideas that have the power to change everything.
Beautiful Solutions is a collaborative project that highlights many interlocking pieces of a complex puzzle. It helps us see where pieces are missing and allows us to get closer to putting the whole thing together. Featuring concrete examples from every area of our economy—from food and finance to energy and education—Beautiful Solutions demonstrates that another, better world is already under construction.
This book is not a work of theory or polemic so much as a starting point for practical politics. What sets it apart is the sheer breadth of examples and voices it brings together, all in an accessible, teachable format aimed at emerging activists. Rather than focusing on the debates that so often divide people today, Beautiful Solutions focuses on radical, practical projects that can become part of a global effort that transforms economic and political life at every level.
Beautiful Solutions is also part of the broader family of Beautiful Trouble books, online toolkit, trainings and resources—thereby connecting the practice of resistance of the earlier books to visions of the world we are working toward.
Eli Feghali is director of Communications and Online Organizing for the New Economy Coalition. He has spent the majority of his professional life working as a communications specialist and community organizer. Eli is also Co-Chair of the Board of YES! Magazine. He lives in Cambridge, MA.
Rachel Plattus was director of programs at the New Economy Coalition from 2012-2015. She coordinated NEC's Youth and Student organizing and community reinvestment efforts, and worked to build community, organizational and funder engagement in the New Economy. Rachel lives in Cambridge, MA.
Nathan Schneider is a professor of media studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has written for Harper’s, The Nation, The New York Times, The Catholic Worker, Vice, YES! and other publications. His most recent book is Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy.
Elandria Williams was the Executive Director at PeoplesHub and a staff member of the Highlander Research and Education Center, where she was also on the Organizational Leadership Team. Elandria coordinated the Southern Grassroots Economies Project and supported community leaders and organizers in the South and Appalachia.
Nathan Schneider is a Scholar-in-Residence of media studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has written for Harper’s, The Nation, The New York Times, The Catholic Worker, and other publications.
“Capitalism can’t get us out of this crisis. If you’re wondering what can, take a look at Beautiful Solutions” —Naomi Klein