2012 Summer Institute

2012 SI – Economics for the 99%

July 23-27, 2012

Columbia University, New York City

Schedule of public events

Click here for a list of workshops and plenaries, as well as, videos, powerpoints, and other materials from the presentations which we are continually updating.

 We are at a crossroads.

The economic crisis has created new openings to build alternative economic pathways that sustain people and planet. Growing inequality and unemployment, stagnant wages, diminished opportunities for young people, the greed and excess of the political and corporate elite—these hallmarks of neoliberal capitalism are the fuel for the protests from the Arab Spring, to Wisconsin, to the Occupy uprisings in the U.S. and throughout the world.

We can choose to build a different economy—an economy for the 99%. Our Summer Institute will give participants the tools to understand the systemic roots of the crisis and explore pathways to a just and sustainable world.

CPE’s Summer Institute

CPE’s Summer Institute is a week-long intensive training in economics for activists, educators, media makers, and anyone who wants a better understanding of how the economy works. Our trainings are highly participatory and build on the knowledge and experience of our participants. No background in economics is necessary.


“I’ve gained…a knowledge base that I’ve already applied to my freelance writing. Since the Summer Institute, I’ve written two economic articles, and I am certain that I would have NEVER felt comfortable writing on these topics if it wasn’t for the Center for Popular Economics
-Tara Bracco, freelance writer

Core Classrooms

At the heart of the Summer Institute program are two core courses which meet all morning each day. All participants must choose one core course.

Participants have described these courses as “inspiring, intense, stimulating, and comprehensive.”

The U.S. Economy/ Topics include

»     Roots of the economic meltdown and solutions
»     Speculation, finance and housing bubbles
»     Economy, race, class and gender
»     Economic histories – from personal to global
»     Labor and jobs
»     Democratizing the Federal Reserve and banks.
»     Economic alternatives, socialism and the solidarity economy

The International Economy/ Topics include

»     Roots of the economic meltdown and solutions
»     Brief history of the global economy
»     International trade, production and finance
»     The IMF, World Bank, WTO
»     Global climate change and the environment
»     Creating a new world economy

Afternoon & evening events:

In addition to the core courses there will be afternoon workshops, films, evening plenaries, cultural events, and a local tour of economic alternatives. These events are free and open to the public.

Who attends the Summer Institute?

The Institute draws a diverse group of participants from across the U.S. and around the world, with a wide range of interests and expertise. On average, a third of our participants are people of color, two-thirds are women, a fifth are from outside of the U.S., and the ages of participants range from 18-80 years. Together, we form a lively community in which we learn as much from the rich interaction with one another as from the Institute programs.

“I found myself for the first time, understanding concepts of international trade, finance and the impact of …(economic) policies … on women. I can now comfortably speak to … (these issues) in lobbying government for policy change. … I would never have come across the types of economic alternatives … anywhere else. From “co-operatives” to “parecon” and “global living wage,” I am now equipped with possibilities that I can build on. I cannot explain how enlightening it feels to be able to think outside the box of capitalism.”
Fiona Mwale, Malawi Law Commission