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We are in a transitional period in world history. The signs of economic, political, and ecological dysfunction are everywhere. New systems of societal organization are coming. But what will those systems bring?
Next System Studies involve research into questions of systemic design, change, and movements – or put another way, “Where are we going and where do we need to go? How might we get there? What must we do to get there?”
As a Next System Fellow, you would become a member of the newest addition to Mason's prestigious Arlington Fellows program. As a Next System Fellow you will:
Intern with a partner organization, union, or research group, or with Mason’s own Democratizing NOVA project.
Set yourself up for a career in social and public service, organizing, research, technology development, cooperative and social entrepreneurship, teaching, and more.
Take four courses for 15 credits that help you complete requirements for your major: Social Change and the Next System (SOCI 395/633, 3 credits); Internship (SOCI 416, 6 credits - fulfills Capstone Requirement); Power, Politics, and Society (SOCI 340, 3 credits); Technology and Society: Big Data, Cryptocurrencies, and Platform Cooperativism (SOCI 391, 3 credits). Note that if you have already completed one of the above courses, we may be able to accommodate you.
Learn about and engage directly with real world next system projects such as worker cooperatives and solidarity economy initiatives, community owned enterprises and services, campaigns for abolition and political democracy, transition and resilient communities, democratic and sustainable technologies, non-violent conflict resolution and restorative justice projects, and more.
On Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, hundreds of leading policymakers, innovators, community organizers, and academics came together to take up the challenge of preparing our society for a transition to a system that provides the best outcomes for all. "The Next System and the Academy: Systemic Crises, Movements, and Change in the 2020s," featured keynote speaker U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (2nd CD, WI), Kali Akuno (Cooperation Jackson), Dr. Gar Alperovitz (Democracy Collaborative), Dr. Amy Best (George Mason University), Dr. Diane Fujino (UC Santa Barbara), Peter Knowlton (UE General President, retired), Dr. Ben Manski (George Mason University), and Mike Strode (U.S. Solidarity Economy Network).
"To borrow from Lev Tolstoy, ‘What then must society do?’ Or to paraphrase Gar Alperovitz, ‘system change is coming; what kind of system do we want and how do we get there?’ These are the questions at the center of next system studies.”