Rules Change: Resetting the Playing Field
for Corporations, People and Democracy
Creating action ideas for capitalism and the common good
May 3-5, 2013 / Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst
“Rules Change” is for people concerned about inadequate oversight of large public corporations and financial institutions, and big-money domination of Washington politics. This gathering will provide a forum for seeking consensus on (a) rules change citizens can inspire in policies and governance and (b) behavior changes they can make in their communities and marketplaces. We’ll provide a forum for the latest thought and action plans, including the potential to permit limiting, via constitutional amendment, some corporate political campaign spending.
"Rules Change" is planned as a deliberative process to forge a consensus on action steps that will adjust the rules of the game, not completely change the game. We hope to produce an unemotional, rational consideration of benefits and losses of each proposed rule change. The suggested process will permit appropriate elimination or modification of suggestions that would significantly hurt United States’ world competitiveness.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
"Rules Change" is for public officials, authors, policy analysts, researchers, scholars and concerned citizens who are concerned about inadequate oversight of large public corporations and financial institutions and big-money domination of Washington politics, this gathering will provide a forum for consider rules changes, and assessing possibilities for consensus. <p> In this gathering, we’ll take a look at how this is changing participatory democracy, and how the rules of participatory democracy and corporate governance may need to change as a result. <p>
- WHO: U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts, the Institute for Policy Studies and others TBD. Between 40 and 150 participants, including politicians, constitutional, legal and corporate governance scholars, policy strategists and advocates, media and engaged citizens.
- WHERE: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- WHEN: Fri.-Sun., May 3-5, 2013.
- FORMAT: Friday evening plenary situation analysis by key operatives; Saturday work on pre-convening task-force proposals in multiple categories, open-space dialog; facilitated effort to achieve specific policy recommendations and action; Sunday wrap-up/next steps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We're seeking category curators -- both individuals and groups -- who will help a coordinated, pre-event process of developing briefing materials and proposals before our May 3-5 convening. In your category of expertise, we need to know:
- Is this gathering well-framed?
- Does it overlap any concurrent initiatives?
- Would it well serve existing policy initiatives and actors?
- Will you and/or your organization join our public steering committee of co-conveners?
- Who do you recommend to lead task forces?
*Send expressions of interest and proposals for category leadership to: firstname.lastname@example.org We'll respond right away.
FRAMING THE SUMMIT
When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to craft the U.S. Constitution, American communities were relatively small. You could walk the town common, attend a meeting house or a town meeting, know and converse with your fellow citizens face to face. Government was a tiny influence on your daily life and what corporations existed were generally small and local.
Today, the two greatest forces in the American public square are government, and corporations. While each provides important services and benefits to people, the American public -- and President Obama -- are each worried about the potential for unchecked influence.
Changes in the way we govern corporations are required to revitalize participatory democracy in the United States. One barrier may be a perception that proposed changes are new or radical.
In fact, dozens of books have been written over 20 years that address key principles of policy rules changes. These changes will lead to a more just and sustainable free-market, capitalist democracy.
For more, see the essay, “Restoring Democracy and Changing Corporate Rules.” (http://www.newshare.com/rules-change.pdf )
Format for the gathering:
- Friday afternoon introduction of category managers and all particpants will be followed by a circulating, heavy hor d'oeuvres supper and a evening plenary "Conversation Catalyst" gathering, including a keynote speaker.
- Saturday will begin with consideration of Friday's work scope. Using "Open Space" concepts, we'll break into small groups to consider key categories of rule change in a facilitated, day-long effort to identify and prepare specific policy, governance, regulatory or marketplace behavior change recommendations. Sunday we'll turn the recommendations into action steps, and consider how "Rules Change" will move forward.
- For each key category of rules change, we're designating a pre-convening a task group to develop recommendations and an action plan for implementation. Each group would meet either face to face or in teleconference at least once before the summit. These recommendations would be presented for discussion and action at the larger conference.
- To summarize: The format would include a “conversation catalyst” dinner and plenary Friday evening; Saturday morning plenary; then a day of facilitated round-table breakouts lead by members of the pre-convened task groups, with a what-we-learned and next-steps plenary end of day Saturday or Sunday morning.