What is the Rules Change Project?

The Rules Change Project is an initiative to support action ideas for capitalism and the common good. America is not working for all of us. The Rules Change Project is an open coalition to spotlight, amplify and support existing efforts at economic “rules change.” It is an informal, non-partisan collaboration of individuals and independent groups seeking to help launch a national conversation.


 The Rules Change Project is an initiative to support action ideas for capitalism and the common good. It began with a small leadership summit at UMass Amherst in May, 2013: “Rules Change: Resetting the Playing Field for Corporations, People and Democracy.”

When the elite Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to craft the U.S. Constitution, American communities were relatively small. You could walk the town common, attend a meeting house or a town meeting, know and converse with your fellow citizens face to face. Government was a tiny influence on your daily life and what corporations existed were generally small and local.

Today, the two greatest forces in the American public square are government, and corporations. While each provides important services and benefits to people, much of the American public are worried about the potential for unchecked influence. Changes in the way we govern and interact with corporations are required to revitalize participatory democracy in the United States. One barrier may be a perception that proposed changes are new or radical. In fact, dozens of books have been written over 20 years that address key principles of policy rules changes. These changes could lead to a more just and sustainable, free-market, capitalist democracy.

For more, see the essay, “Restoring Democracy and Changing Corporate Rules.”


Creating plans in Amherst

READ: The Rules Change Vision: Why Now?
READ: Ideas for key leverage points

The Rules Change Project is in formation. It is for people concerned about inadequate oversight of large public corporations and financial institutions, and big-money domination of Washington politics.

Through writing, discussion and gathering, we provide a forum for the latest thought and action plans for promising changes in the way America makes and plays the rules of economic, social and community collaboration, including a rethinking of what we mean by global “competition.”. As a collaborative, or group, we do not lobby. We seek common ground on:

  • Rules change citizens can inspire in policies and governance and
  • Behavior changes they can make to foster more just and sustainable communities and marketplaces.

Our’s is a deliberative process to identify consensus on action steps that will adjust the rules of the game, not completely change the game. Our approach is to collaborate and build connections among existing initiatives.

Our unemotional, rational consideration of policy benefits and losses includes consideration of (a) limiting, via constitutional amendment, some corporate political campaign spending, and (b) enacting non-partisan methods for establishing congressional voting districts.

“Rules Change: Resetting the Playing Field for Corporations, People and Democracy,” kicked off with a three-day gathering May 3-5 (2013) organized by the UMass Donahue Institute at the request of U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., and four other non-profit policy groups, and with Pulitzer Prize-winner author Hedrick Smith as keynote speaker.

Hedrick Smith (keynote Amherst speaker)

Some 50 people attended or otherwise participated in the inaugural May 3-5 convening summit at UMass. Key convenors included U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, UMass Donahue Institute, Common Cause’, the New Economy Coalition, UnitedRepublic.orgFree Speech for People,the Institute for Policy Studies, Responsible Wealth / UFEGross National Happpiness USA, the Marlboro MBA in Managing for Sustainability, and individuals. Politicians, constitutional, legal and corporate governance scholars, policy strategists and advocates, media and engaged citizens are welcome at meetings and teleconferences of the Rules Change Project. For information, email:ruleschange2013@gmail.com

Participation in “Rules Change” is open to anyone, including public officials, authors, policy analysts, researchers, scholars and concerned citizens who are concerned about inadequate oversight of large public corporations and financial institutions and big-money domination of Washington politics, this gathering will provide a forum for consider rules changes, and assessing possibilities for consensus.




CONTACT US: ruleschange2013@gmail.com; +1-617-448-6600

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