Next Economy conference, Austin, TX – January 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014
8am – 5:30pm

Scottish Rite Theater
207 W. 18th Street
Austin, TX 78701

FREE (Donation suggested to support ongoing, bi-annual ECons)


Next ECon is a one-day hybrid conference meets open source dialogue session designed to engage and empower participants by marrying inspiring, informative keynotes with interactive, collaborative brainstorming techniques and work sessions. The format is designed to both inform and catalyze “Next EConomists” in collectively exploring and creating actionable ideas to assist them in midwifing a thriving economy that better serves and sustains human needs. Participants will learn current solutions and success stories, discover untapped opportunities, share their own desires and possibilities, and realize powerful ways to become the change makers they seek by gaining insights and committing themselves to concrete, tangible steps to help carry it forward.

Alternate Currency Faire

The Next ECon will also be hosting an Alternate Currency Faire featuring vendors who accept alternate forms of currency. Looking for somewhere to spend those Bitcoins? Looking to trade your Time Exchange hours? The Unmarket will be an opportunity to demonstrate the present use of alternate currencies in real world transactions and speak with vendors who accept them. It will run all day during the event.

Featured speakers include:

  • Douglas Rushkoff, Media theorist, educator, and author, of books such as Life, Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back]
  • Heather Schlegel, Futurist and creator of the Future of Money TV series 
  • David Johnston, Executive Director at BitAngels, a Bitcoin-based angel funding organization, and CEO of MasterCoin, an open-source technology layered on top of the Bitcoin block chain

Questions to be explored include:

  • We now have technology available to us, in our pockets, that was not dreamed of 50 years ago, let alone hundreds of years ago when the foundations of our economic system were put in place. What is possible now?
  • What do you want from the economy that you’re not getting now? How do you want your economy to operate? What does a “next generation” economy look like?
  • How do we create and exchange value? How could we?
  • What is the function of the marketplace (economic commons)?
  • If our goal is not to solve all problems, but to get to a more interesting set of problems, what are the more interesting challenges would we like to be facing?
  • Any abstracted exchange of value symbols requires an investment of faith in something. When we had a gold-backed currency, we put faith in the continuing value of precious metals. Now that we have a fiat currency, we put faith in the Federal Reserve, the US government, and in other people’s faith in the financial system itself. What new opportunities for economic faith are present to us today, or could be made available to us with current technology?