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Distinguished Speakers Series to examine ‘Democratizing Our Economy’

September 15, 2016

cgs-economy-homepage-portraitA three-part speaker series in October and November will look at transforming America’s economy through local economic innovation.

The series, sponsored by NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies and the international collaborative known as the PASCAL Observatory, will feature three different views on building a more equitable economy.

The first session (Oct. 4, 10 a.m. – noon) features author Gar Alperovitz on building community-sustaining local economies from the ground up. Alperovitz’s best-known work, the provocative What Then Must We Do? ( challenges readers to rethink the very nature of wealth and income production. Following a short film, audience members will be able to interact with Alperovitz via Skype, as well as participate in an afternoon discussion following his presentation.

The second session (Oct. 19, 10 a.m. – noon) features Scott Struchen, Peter Limberger and Keith Pearse, founders of Tangled Roots Brewing Company ( in Ottawa, Illinois. Struchen and his colleagues will discuss growing a “place-based” economy that capitalizes on regional assets. An optional afternoon program from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. will include discussion of using Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) to finance new businesses.

The final session in the series features Leodis Scott of Columbia Teachers College in New York ( on how universities, healthcare and finance industries can transform to better support local economic innovation.

Faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to attend all three sessions, all of which are free but do require registration for space planning purposes. The sessions will be held in Altgeld Hall, room 315 (also known as the Board Room). Registration may be completed at