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Our Mission

The Next American Economy: Building a New Paradigm

The Roosevelt Institute’s Next American Economy project identifies the trends and challenges that will shape our economy in the next 25 years to better inform the policy decisions we must make today. While politicians, policymakers, and scholars -- particularly in Washington, D.C. -- are often driven by short-term policy exigencies, the Next American Economy project takes a long view of economic transformation.

We are particularly focused on the potential impact of new technologies on productivity, employment, and inequality. Through a series of initiatives -- including a breakfast series, an expert working group, and original research -- we bring together a range of stakeholders to foster discussions that will lead to better policy proposals.

In 2014, we will produce: (1) descriptions of plausible outcomes for the future American economy; (2) a series of papers tackling topics of debate and dissension among working group members; (3) a research agenda for future substantive work; and (4) a set of high-quality videos for public dissemination and discussion.

The 2014 Working Group

In 2014, the Next American Economy project is moving past theoretical discussions to develop a set of specific descriptions of potential future economic scenarios. We are not suggesting an effort to foretell the future. Rather, we seek to identify plausible outcomes.

Social scientists, economists, political scientists, and geo-political experts, among others, have tackled the disparate trends that will shape the future American economy, but to date, there has been inadequate integration of this research and no effort to develop a holistic sense of alternative future scenarios. Developing these scenarios is the intent of the Next American Economy project in 2014.

To accomplish this, we have established a small, eclectic group of entrepreneurs, policymakers, and scholars, who will convene twice in 2014. The working group’s initial output will be descriptive and designed to debate a series of critical and timely questions: (1) Are we at an inflection point in the nature of innovation and technological change? (2) How will the rise of cities change the geography of economic activity? (3) How will economic trends alter the nature of work and employment? (4) Is the trend of widening income inequality likely to continue or stagnate?

In the second phase, our work will be more proscriptive and identify interventions needed to improve future outcomes. For example, we will tackle topics such as the development of entrepreneurship platforms, reforms in education, and the need for a new social contract.

The 2014 working group is possible thanks to the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.