Learning Community Set Up & Community Building
How to Get Started with MMN
A plan for how to begin, and some ideas for initial Learning Community activities.
It can be daunting to start a new Learning Community. Members of new Learning Communities might have different levels of familiarity with MMT, different areas of interest, and different goals for the community. Feel free to adopt or ignore as much of this plan as you want. If your members already have a clear set of goals and a plan for how to achieve them, don’t let us get in your way. But if you could use some ideas to get you on the right track, this section is for you.
Generally, we recommend starting with an initial meeting to get to know each other and discuss the following:
- Each person’s level of familiarity with MMT
- Each person’s interests and passions within or outside of MMT
- What the best way to communicate with each other/stay in contact
- What the frequency of meetings/contact you’d like to maintain as a group
Next, we’d strongly recommend setting community goals centered around MMT and learning. Using your group’s skills and interests, these goals can be as specific or broad as you’d like. We recommend setting 3-5 goals for the next 6-12 months as a group.
Some examples of goals your group might make are:
- Familiarize all Learning Community members with The Deficit Myth, The Case for the Job Guarantee, and other seminal MMT texts, through a reading group or otherwise.
- Convene a reading group on a shared area of interest within MMT.
- Talk to local elected officials or candidates about the advantages of MMT-informed talking points and campaign platforms.
- Form a partnership with chapters of political organizations like Democratic Socialists of America, Sunrise Movement, unions, etc. This could include putting on trainings or reading groups for these organizations and participating in mutual aid or political action efforts organized by those groups.
Then, it’s time to get to work. Decide with your group what the immediate next steps are for yourselves, and you’re off to the races! You may want to stagger work on your goals depending on the specifics of your group. For example, you may want to do a reading group for the Deficit Myth to get everyone on the same page about basic principles before you do a deep dive into a specific topic area. It’s also possible to work toward different goals at the same time, it just depends on your group’s specific familiarities and goals.
Examples of activities your group could engage in to progress toward your goals are:
- Participate in a reading group on The Deficit Myth
- Participate in a reading group on Debt and Money
- Team up with DSA and the Debt Collective to facilitate a reading group on Debt and Money for their organizations and participate in the week of action organized by DSA and the Debt Collective around the resumption of student debt payments on May 1, 2022.
Once you’ve accomplished all the goals from your six-month plan, or decided some goals are no longer appropriate, it’s time to convene a new goal setting meeting. If these meetings are held semi-annually, it gives newer members a chance to offer ideas for new goals and initiatives according to their interests and knowledge base.
Conditions for Maintaining Learning Community Status
The Modern Money Network “MMN” is a member led organization and relies on the success and dedication of local learning communities. These learning communities act as a site to bring people into MMN, a source for gathering material on MMT, for educating the community on MMT, and a support network for local students interested in MMT. MMN is committed to creating new MMN learning communities and to encouraging the growth of existing learning communities.
Once a new local learning community has been approved by the MMN national leadership, the learning community must adhere to these guidelines to maintain learning community status and affiliation with MMN.
- MMN learning communities must uphold and support the mission and goals of MMN
- Learning communities must comply with federal, state, and local/municipal laws
- Learning communities are responsible for submitting the following to the MMN national group on an annual basis: a list of learning community members with contact information, and a list of all meetings and events conducted by the learning community for the year
Review of learning community status:
Any member of MMN may contact the MMN national leadership to present a request for review of the status of an MMN learning community. The member requesting the status review is required to describe the specific reasons for requesting a review of the learning community’s status and to supply adequate, appropriate, factual information about the basis or bases for the request.
Basis for learning community status review include:
- Violation of the MMN national policies
- Use of MMN name, logo. Assets, or affiliation status in a manner that is not lawful, ethical, and/or consistent with MMN policies and procedures
- Statements or actions that harm or threaten MMN’s reputation, mission, ability to conduct its work, including but not limited to making improper alliances
- Involvement with collaborative alliances, individuals, groups, and organizations whose purposes or actions are inconsistent with MMN’s mission or public policy
- Statements or actions that are contrary to MMN’s Equity policy
- Statements or actions that malign, threaten, attack, harass a leader, member, and/or volunteer of MMN
- Other antagonistic behavior
Upon receipt of a request for review of a learning community’s status, MMN national leadership, will review the situation assessing all the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged wrongful conduct and attempt a resolution which can include termination of learning community status.
Revoking of learning community status in the event of inactivity:
MMN can close a learning community if there is a lack of participation or activity from the learning community over a 12-month period.
Learning Community Code of Conduct
This sample Learning Community Code of Conduct provides a base document for your learning community to decide together what guidelines you’d like to have in place as you move forward together. Feel free to add as much or as little to this as you’d like!
Disputes or Wrongdoings
Learning Community Sample Constitution
This sample constitution is provided to you in case your group wants your Learning Community to be able to be recognized by another organization, such as a school, for example.
Learning Community Name: [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community Date Prepared: [Insert Date]
Article I – Name
The student organization constituted herein is called the [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community of the Modern Money Network.
Article II – Purpose
[Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community seeks to promote an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory, public money and finance through discussions, reading groups, guest speakers, and other forms of collaborative learning.
Article III – Membership
Active members of the [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community are those who have attended at least one meeting or event during the past calendar year. Only active members may vote or hold office.
We will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy (including pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services (including membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services).
Article IV – Officers & Elections
The officers of this organization shall be two Co-Chairs, Treasurer, and Steering Committee (the Committee) of up to eight (8) Members, inclusive of the Co-Chairs and Treasurer.
Two Co-Chairs and the Treasurer shall constitute the Executive Committee.
Any one of the Co-Chairs can serve as the primary contact with the Modern Money Network Board of Directors. The primary contact will regularly check the Element chat including all Learning Community primary contacts, and will keep the [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community apprised of any updates from that chat. The Co-Chairs serve as the signatories.
Co-Chairs may be nominated by any active member of the [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community and will be selected by consensus. In the event of a dispute, Co-Chairs would be elected by majority voting among active members of [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community.
Elections for the Executive Committee will be by ballot at an election meeting designated by the Steering Committee.
There is no defined length of service for the Co-Chairs and Treasurer as long as they remain active members of the [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community. The process to remove a Co-Chair or Treasurer outside of the annual election cycle requires an active member to propose removal, and a 2/3 majority vote from the active membership. The vote to remove a Co-Chair or Treasurer will be conducted at a monthly meeting.
Article V – Meetings
The organization will meet approximately once a month. These general meetings will be called by the Executive Committee. Quorum for a general meeting will be 5 members. An emergency meeting requires the approval of both Co-Chairs. Members will be notified of emergency meetings via email or Element message by the Co- Chairs.
Article VI – Constitutional Amendments
Any active member of the [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community may propose a constitutional amendment by contacting the Steering Committee in writing. The required period of time between the proposed amendment and a final vote is 7 days. If an amendment is going to be voted upon, active members will be notified by email 48 hours in advance of the vote. An amendment will need a 2/3 majority vote from the active membership to pass.
Article VII – Dissolution
Dissolution will be decided by either a 2/3 majority vote from the active membership or if [Insert Location or Topic Name] Learning Community has no meeting with quorum for 2 years.
Article VIII – Amendments
Any Amendment to this Constitution must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Steering Committee. Where possible, amendments should be announced at a General Meeting before being submitted to a vote. The Board shall review this Constitution for proposed amendments once every two years.
Date of Review. This Constitution was last reviewed [DATE].
This list of resources is broken down by content format, and is meant to be an introduction to MMT. By no means is this comprehensive, but should serve as a starting point for those learning about Modern Money Theory. If you add to or expand this list, please feel free to share with us! We’re working on a growing collection of MMT resources at all levels of knowledge and learning with the goal of making it available to all MMN members.
- BBC Reel. Why We Need to Debunk the “Deficit Myth.” https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p08jbbry/why-we-need-to-debunk-the-deficit-myth-.
- Deficit Owls. Unemployment Is Created By Government And Can Only Be Solved By Government. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBgfAV78yII&list=PLZJAgo9FgHWao1lUs2cH2o- K0O6kLSUBE.
- Manchester International Law Centre. Reimagining Finance in the 21st Century – Rohan Grey. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSxXxROOqLY.
- Modern Money Australia. Introduction to MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) Part 1 (of 2) – YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX59aMG682A.
- Modern Money Basics. The Basics of Modern Money. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDL4c8fMODk&t=2s.
- Murphy, Richard. Money & Banks – YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvRueM6wBgoZH8Gf_Jd-IhVeLNuJhGyuc.
- PEGS Institute. PEGS Institute Trailer. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evnBfMdtDI0.
- The Power of the Pound. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHxloLkMXeU.
- Stony Brook University. Presidential Lecture Series: Stephanie Kelton. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS9nP-BKa3M&t=754s.
- UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Stephanie Kelton: The Public Purse. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IBEoWSiTHc&t=1s.
- Hasan, Medhi. Deconstructed Podcast: How to Save the U.S. Economy, With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Stephanie Kelton. https://theintercept.com/2020/03/20/deconstructed-podcast-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-coronavirus-economy/.
- Pressley, Ayanna. RESOLUTION: Recognizing the Duty of the Federal Government to Create a Federal Job Guarantee. 117TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION, https://pressley.house.gov/sites/pressley.house.gov/files/Pressley%20Federal%20Job%20Guarantee%20Resolution%20vF.pdf.
- Ballinger, Clint. 1000 Castaways : Fundamentals of Economics. 2019. www.hive.co.uk, https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Clint-Ballinger/1000-Castaways–Fundamentals-of-Economics/23969536.
- Kelton, Stephanie. The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy. PublicAffairs, 2020, https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Deficit_Myth/ JcWWDwAAQBAJ?hl=en.
- Burke, Ashley. “MMT and the Homes Guarantee.” LPE Project, 10 Sept. 2020, https://lpeproject.org/blog/mmt-and-the-homes-guarantee/.
- Grey, Rohan, et al. “An MMT Response on What Causes Inflation.” Financial Times, 1 Mar. 2019, https://www.ft.com/content/539618f8-b88c-3125-8031-cf46ca197c64.
- —. RIP, Paul Volcker: The Fed Chair Who Thought We Lived Too Well. Dec. 2019. www.thenation. com, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/volcker-inflation-economy/.
- Kelton, Stephanie. “Op-Ed: Congress Can Give Every American a Pony (If It Breeds Enough Ponies).” Los Angeles Times, 29 Sept. 2017, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kelton-pony-for-all-20170929-story.html.
- Macdonald, David. “The Federal Deficit Will Become Whose Surplus?” The Monitor, https://monitormag.ca/articles/the-federal-deficit-will-become-whose-surplus. Accessed 9 Sept. 2021.
- Mosler, Warren. “The UMKC Buckaroo: A Currency Model for World Prosperity.” HuffPost, 31:23 400AD, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-umkc-buckaroo-a-curre_b_970447.
- Nwanevu, Osita. “Spreading the Gospel of Modern Monetary Theory.” The New Republic, Oct. 2019. The New Republic, https://newrepublic.com/article/155249/spreading-gospel-modern-monetary-theory.
- Beaman, Will. “Money Beyond Sovereignty (Essay).” Money on the Left, 23 Mar. 2021, https://moneyontheleft.org/2021/03/23/money-beyond-sovereignty-essay/.
- Cawley, Joel. “Book Review: The Deficit Myth, by Stephanie Kelton.” Medium, 15 Sept. 2020, https://jcawley-37424.medium.com/book-review-the-deficit-myth-by-stephanie-kelton-c1eecb3cb1bb.
- Coventry, Geoff. The Basics of Modern Money. https://modernmoneybasics.com/. Accessed 9 Sept. 2021.
- Ferguson, Scott, et al. “#Unis4all: An Open Letter to the U.S. Higher Education Community.” Public Seminar, 22 May 2020, https://publicseminar.org/2020/05/unis4all-an-open-letter-to-the-u-s-higher-education-community/.
- Mosler, Warren. “Innocent Frauds.” Mosler Economics / Modern Monetary Theory, https://moslereconomics.com/mandatory-readings/innocent-frauds/. Accessed 9 Sept. 2021.