Shortly after widespread lock-downs due to the COVID-19 pandemic took effect, many realized that communities and societies were going to come out the other side looking a lot different. While used frequently at the beginning of the lockdowns, the word “opportunity” was perhaps not the right choice as we hesitate to put any positive spin on this deeply devastating time that has provided little time for mass mourning. But the lockdowns did expose and deepen existing cracks in our social and economic systems. The care burden is disproportionately carried by women, the billionaires continue to amass fortunes while food banks struggle to keep up with demand, and both systemic and cultural racism reared its ugly head – Black Americans are infected at nearly three times the rate of whites, Indigenous populations face higher risk due to systemic inequities, and Asians continue to receive racist remarks referencing the origin of the virus.
Members of the Economics for the Anthropocene and Leadership for the Ecozoic communities quickly recognized the need to make public policy options to navigate through this transition toward better futures. Nearly 50 members of the community came together and collaborated on an ongoing open document to suggest the best kinds of policies for various areas of society including nature, care, learning, work, energy, food, infrastructure, equity, finance, well-being, and knowledge systems. Using our training from the E4A and L4E programs, we brainstormed ideas for individual action and both municipal and federal policy options.
With key guidance from L4E Postdoctoral Fellow Katie Kish and L4E Research Assistant Deissy Perilla, we have created a section of the E4A website that brings these ideas together to help motivate change. While these solutions and topics are all ongoing areas of research, collectively they represent a culminating project of how we can move toward a better future through policy. Each topic has individual calls to action, policy options, related academic publications, examples of success, and a video from the community linking to the ideas.
The purpose of these pages is to provide a quick and clear resource when faced with the opportunity to recommend change and to help people develop informed policies for real world action. We will continue to update the content on these pages as new ideas and examples emerge. We hope that the ideas on these pages will help inspire and ignite change.
If you are interested in learning more and contributing to policy and policy development with our group, please contact the Ecozoic Policy Project.