Heroes

Capitalism isn't working the way it should. Thankfully, we have options.

They say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Well, it's broke.

Money.

Sucks when you don't have enough, right?


Well, what if we could make it so more people could worry less about money?

I know I'd be all...

And, more importantly, what if we could do it without putting the health of the planet at greater risk?

We can.

They're calling it The Next System Project.

And they've assembled a phenomenal group of people to rally you along.

They say change doesn't happen overnight.

The truth is it's already happening. Maybe not in the places you'd hope — like Capitol Hill. (Side note: If you ask me, that's where too many good ideas go to die.)


OK, moving on...

Change could be happening right in your neighborhood.

In the video above, Angela Glover Blackwell refers to it as "the kernels of a systemic way to move forward."

She's talking about real-life, already-in-action ideas like...

A land trust is a non-profit that members of a community can establish to buy and develop land. These trusts can be used for commercial and retail purposes or, more commonly, for housing:

Ultimately, by separating the ownership of land and housing, this innovative approach prevents market factors from causing prices to rise significantly and, hence, guarantees that housing will remain affordable for future generations.

We all know fossil fuels won't last. And we should all know that burning them is making the world a less livable place. So why not invest more in renewable sources?

The main argument against it is money — oil and gas are "cheaper," which shouldn't actually matter. And at the end of the day, isn't money kinda pointless on an uninhabitable planet?


Farming isn't just for country folk. More people are coming around to urban agriculture as an alternative to the industrial food chain. Urban farmer and writer Rohit Kumar calls urban farming "the most important movement of our time" because of all the ways it benefits us beyond just the food:

  1. It boosts local economies.
  2. It reduces packaging waste, air pollution, and the use of chemical preservatives.
  3. It gets people more involved in local politics.
  4. It improves our attention on health and nutrition.
  5. It spurs interaction in communities.

Why should we give our hard-earned money to giant vampiric corporations? And why shouldn't more workers earn living wages and have a real stake in the businesses they're helping to run?

Cooperatively-owned businesses can make that possible while also generating billions of dollars in revenue, sparing the environment the punishment of conventional industry and pushing us to actually live our democratic ideals.

Those are just a few of the ideas we can elevate in the "next system." The whole idea is to expand on models that allow everyone to win. So what's not to like?

Let's not wait for the ship to sink, folks. We still have time to build a new one.

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It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

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I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

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