Two significant economic indicators currently point in opposite directions: Unemployment is at a record high and so is the stock market. While this dichotomy reflects certain changes in traditional economic models, what does it say about the way COVID-19 has affected life in our communities? Or, what will be needed for individuals, communities, and businesses to recover from this crisis, given the changing nature of work? Can we rebuild the global system so that it supports local economies and what opportunities does this crisis offer to rebuild better from the ground up? Makers have a role in reshaping the economy through local production, workforce development, and small business: Together we can plant the seeds for a more participatory economy that benefits more people.
- Victor Hwang is an economic growth expert whose ideas have shaped the economic lives of millions of people worldwide.
- Gina Lujan is a Social Entrepreneur, focusing on building community, business development, innovation, strategic planning and regional economic development at Hacker Lab.
- Ilana Preuss is the Founder of Recast City LLC, a consulting firm based in Washington D.C. that works with real estate developers, city and other civic leaders to integrate manufacturing space for small-scale producers into redevelopment projects and place-based economic development.
- Lee Wellington is the Founding Executive Director of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA), a national nonprofit that builds robust, inclusive manufacturing sectors in more than 250 cities across the US and built national learning communities on a range of issues including access to capital, community-embedded workforce programming, and mission driven industrial real estate development.