Sunday, September 25, 2011

reImagining Work Conference

An All-Generation Conversation that reworks our imagination to find new ways of living, surviving and growing our souls expanding the definition of "work" helping us find what we need to move forward...

October 28-30, 2011


The old economy is failing. A new economy is sprouting like shoots after a forest fire. This transition to new ways of understanding and organizing work is as significant as the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture 11,000 years ago and from agriculture to industry a few hundred years ago.

From Detroit, Michigan, where industrial jobs are gone forever, to points across the globe, there are exciting and moving stories of invention and reinvention.

In October 2011 in Detroit, a groundbreaking conference will gather thinkers and doers from the worlds of activism, community organizing, labor, crafts, media, entrepreneurship, the arts, academe, and ‘green’—in a 3-day collaborative discussion. You will come away inspired by people with whom you can collaborate in this profound economic and spiritual transformation.

REImagining Work
October 28-30, 2011
1400 Oakman Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48238

For more information and to register:
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Diane Reeder

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beyond Daily Humilitations: The Struggle for Meaningful Work Amidst the Capitalist Crisis

“…work, is, by it’s very nature, about violence – to the spirit as well as to the body. It is about ulcers as well as accidents, about shouting matches as well as fistfights, about nervous breakdowns as well as kicking the dog around. It is, above all (or beneath all), about daily humiliations."
-Studs Terkel

Is it possible to find meaningful work, to make an honest living amidst the current capitalist crisis? Millions of recent college graduates are confronted with this dilemma, along with so many others who have been laid off from their jobs and those drowning in debt from health care bills, student loans and credit cards. As unemployment rates continue along a record-setting trajectory the cost of living shows no sign of declining. What does this mean for those of us looking for work or trying to create a better life?

So-called expert analysis and commentary on the dismal state of economic affairs has saturated corporate media as non/working people struggle to make sense of it all and to feed themselves and their families. But one does not need to hold a PhD in economics to be able to accurately comment on and analyze the world in which we have found ourselves. In fact, the collective experiences of people navigating the ruins of the twisted free market fantasy are more revealing and honest. These stories must be shared with each other in order to dig ourselves out of this mess and to work together in creating something better.

My own story is not unique, but I think it is worth telling. My recent experience in job-hunting and eventual employment, like those of millions of other unemployed or low-wage workers, must be looked at within the context of the crippling structures of capitalist society and its latest permutations. In sharing this I hope to make more sense of what has happened, both to me personally and in the world I have found myself.

to be continued...

-Matt Dineen 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Less Work, More Living

Working fewer hours could save our economy, save our sanity, and help save our planet.

By Juliet Schor

Millions of Americans have lost control over the basic rhythm of their daily lives. They work too much, eat too quickly, socialize too little, drive and sit in traffic for too many hours, don’t get enough sleep, and feel harried too much of the time. It’s a way of life that undermines basic sources of wealth and well-being—such as strong family and community ties, a deep sense of meaning, and physical health.

Earn less, spend less, emit and degrade less. That's the formula. The more time a person has, the better his or her quality of life, and the easier it is to live sustainably.Imagining a world in which jobs take up much less of our time may seem utopian, especially now, when a scarcity mentality dominates the economic conversation. People who are employed often find it difficult to scale back their jobs. Costs of medical care, education, and child care are rising. It may be hard to find new sources of income when U.S. companies have been laying people off at a dizzying rate.

But fewer work hours for people with jobs is a key step toward solving the unemployment crisis—while giving Americans healthier lives. Fewer hours means more jobs are available to people who need them. Living on less pay usually means consuming less, making more of the things one needs at home, and living lighter, whether by design or by accident.

Today, driven both by necessity and the deliberate choice to live simply, more Americans are shifting toward fewer work hours. It’s a trend that, if done correctly, could get us out of our current economic crisis and away from unsustainable economic growth.
From the Fall 2011 issue of YES! Magazine. Read the rest of the article at

Juliet Schor is professor of sociology at Boston College and the author of the national bestseller The Overspent American.