The following is a transcript of the video above, from our webinar “Remaking the Economy: Building Regional Solidarity Economies.” View the full webinar here.

What’s the basic difference between campaigning and ecosystem building? It’s just radically different, and I don’t think we can explain that enough. When we say slow money, that’s what we mean. When we say emergent strategy, that’s what we mean. When we say hyperlocal, that’s what we mean. We need time to get to work, to do the sufficient accompaniment work, that it will take to employ these scaling strategies.

Campaigns scale fast, but what do they leave behind when they’re done? You’ve fought the current system, whatever the jurisdiction is—whether it’s the state, federal, local, whatever it is—you’ve managed to squeeze out and extract money from their local budget. You have held decision-makers accountable, and then you have to fight all over again. How sustainable is that? It is certainly a hard fact that funding strategy, while we do have to fight defensive fights because the world is on fire—and the overwhelming amount of resourcing that this strategy and theory of change gets—is not shifting the wealth gap in this country. It is widening.

I’m not saying we are the silver bullet, but unless we start to actually build in the shadow of empire and are resourced to do it and build our own protected enclaves, and interweave those strategies to scale—like building big co-ops, such as the thousand-member worker-owned care co-op in New York—or franchising, or creating weaving supply chains, we don’t even get a start. We need the venue, so we can begin explaining this, so it doesn’t sound like when we say solidarity economy or ecosystem building, people hear “Wah, wah, wah, wah.” You want to listen to something that makes sense to you, like traditional campaign organizing. We need the time to get to explain this methodology. It’s not different from what I grew up with living in a small village in the Philippines. We need the patience to be able to slowly build that, and reclaim that, and build on the history.