2007 National Conference


Who We Are & What We Do

Welcome to “What’s the economy for, anyway?”, an educational resource project of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement in association with the Forum on Social Wealth , the Political Economy Research Institute , the Center for Popular Economics , and with support from the University of Washington and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

We are a group of faculty, staff, students, and community members committed to educating the public about the economy. Our goal is to promote a national conversation about the question, “What’s the economy for, anyway?” that allows us to see how our country compares with others when it comes to trends in quality of life, social justice and sustainability. Some of our current projects include:

Creating a resource database for students and teachers interested in learning more about different aspects of the economy (e.g., health, environment, leisure, wealth, poverty, etc.)

Generating teaching resources and activities that challenge students to think critically about the economy in terms of its purpose, structure, history, and measurement.

Providing some quick statistics in our by the numbers link to spark conversations.

Providing PowerPoint slide shows that introduce users and students to the themes and concerns of our project by utilizing comparative statistics and examining traditional and alternative indices.

Click here to read our mission statement.

Please note that the site and the project are both works in progress. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions please contact Tim Jones at taojones@u.washington.edu.






We are motivated by a simple but important question that tends to be overlooked in public policy and academic circles alike:

What's the economy for, anyway?

Is it about having the biggest GDP or the highest stock market average?

Is it about producing a healthy, happy, fair and sustainable society?

Or is it about something else all together?