Partnerships and coalitions are essential for creating broad-based and lasting economic and social change. SCEPA is grateful for early backing from Bernard L. Schwartz, whose vision helped shape our growth, and for Tony James’ support and guidance. With the help of our funders and partners, SCEPA continues to foster research collaborations, host convenings, and promote dialogue between our students, academics, policymakers, and activists.
As the economic policy think tank within The New School’s Department of Economics, SCEPA’s team of faculty and research associates is uniquely placed to think beyond the assumptions, values, and technicalities of the neoliberal era. With the emergence of new dynamics and values, the heterodox framework of economic thinking has become an increasingly vital counterbalance to capitalism and mainstream economic theory. Previous funding from the Hewlett Foundation supported early steps in identifying how to improve heterodox thinking; and with new support from the One Project initiative, we are building on that research and rethinking how we teach economics to the next generation.
We recognize a thirst for the tools to make sense of lived economic experience, to have greater capacity to rethink economic justice and how to attain fairness and security. Today’s teaching of economics falls short in this regard, so we are creating a course that centers the major issues of the day to engage students in consideration of social values, power, justice, democracy, and equity. This course will help prepare the next generation to evaluate issues on technical and ethical levels, empirically and philosophically; how to mold an economy that is fair and provides the social protections and shared prosperity that will sustain our democracy and our climate for the future.
With support from the RRF Foundation for Aging, SCEPA is partnering with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) to advance awareness of older workers’ experiences and retirement inequalities, and to foster discussion among researchers, advocates, and policymakers that will lead to meaningful reform. To that end, SCEPA and EPI are creating an Older Workers and Retirement Chartbook to provide the diverse universe of organizations working with older Americans with the latest economic data and trends in retirement income security. Our aim is to provide an informative, relatable, and accessible narrative with visually appealing graphics to the general public while providing researchers, policymakers, advocates, and journalists with authoritative and easily shareable charts and statistics. The Chartbook will illustrate systemic failures within the employer-based retirement system and link challenges facing older workers to retirement insecurity. It will highlight the disparate impact of these failures on workers of color, women, non-college-educated workers, small business employees, older workers in onerous jobs, and other workers at greater risk of facing hardship at older ages.
Finally, continued funding from the Thyssen Foundation supports new research and events spotlighting New School graduate students and alumni who focus on climate policy and climate economics, among other areas.