As we head into #NCEO2022 (April 25-28, 2022), it is a perfect time to revisit an episode we aired last fall as part of an ongoing conversation about EO as a movement. Bret Keisling was joined by Jack Moriarty, founder and executive director of Ownership America, who believes EO may be on the road to becoming a movement as it addresses many societal and community issues such as equitable wealth and income distribution, provided that the EO community can come together to work towards a movement.
This episode was originally aired on November 5, 2021, as "Mini-cast 159: The Road to an EO Movement."
Mini-cast 182 Transcript
[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: Next week I'm going to be in Seattle, Washington with my friend and podcasting colleague, Jesse Tyler host of the Owner to Owner podcast. We'll be joined by more than 1,500 passionate employee owners and advocates at The National Center for Employee Ownership's Annual EO Conference. Jesse and I are presenting on Wednesday, April 26th on "Boosting EO through Social Media and Podcasting."
[00:00:23] I can't wait. If you're going to be in Seattle, reach out. I'd love to say hello and meet you in person. I'm very excited that as I'm recording this, we've confirmed eight guests that I'll record upcoming episodes with during the conference and what a great assortment of guests they are.
[00:00:40] We have a CEO and author, an employee owner, an ESOP lawyer, an investment banker, an ESOP consultant who focuses on many things, including open book management and financial literacy. We have the founding executive director of one of our state centers, and we'll have a combined episode with an ESOP attorney and ESOP company lawyer that will focus on equity and compensation.
[00:01:03] I can't wait to bring you all those episodes over the next few months, as well as share some of Jesse's and my experiences from the conference. Almost everybody who's anybody in employee ownership will be at the conference. And that got me thinking back to the previous episodes we've done about whether EO is a movement and if it's poised to become a movement.
[00:01:23] So I'm bringing you this episode from our archives, which is an interesting look at EO as a movement. I hope to see you in Seattle. In the meantime, enjoy this episode.
[00:01:35] Bret Keisling: Welcome to the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. Last week on Episode 158 of the ESOP Mini-cast, I had a brief conversation with Loren Rodgers, Jennifer Briggs, and Victor Aspengren, where I gave my premise that I think, finally, there is hope for an EO movement.
[00:01:58] We haven't been a movement, but we've got the indicia of the movement. I've just recorded a full-length episode with Jack Moriarty, who is the founder and executive director of Ownership America and I'm going to pose the same question.
[00:02:12] First of all, Jack, welcome to the Mini-cast.
[00:02:14] Jack Moriarty: Thanks so much, Bret.
[00:02:15] Bret Keisling: I'm going to tee it up.
[00:02:16] I am hopeful, as I'd said on last week's Mini-cast, with the introduction of Ownership America, with the introduction of EO Equals, with the introduction of my own EO Podcast Network and the great work everybody who's already been in the space has been doing, it seems like maybe we'll look back in a while and say 2021 was the year that we began to coalesce into a movement. Am I on the right track?
[00:02:38] Jack Moriarty: I think you're spot on, Bret. I think there's every opportunity right now to build a real movement for employee ownership. And I think we're in such a unique moment coming out of the pandemic and thinking about what do we want our economy to look like, that employee ownership is so well positioned to move us in the direction of a more equitable economy. An economy that's better positioned to compete internationally. Help rebuild our supply chains domestically. There's so many benefits and they're really found all across the political spectrum. So, I'm with you a hundred percent. Now is the time to really move the needle and to get out in front of people and preach the gospel of employee ownership.
[00:03:17] I will give you one caveat though, which is that it won't happen automatically.
[00:03:21] I think you could have made this same, or a similar case, for employee ownership coming out of the Great Recession in 2008. And yet we still didn't see that awareness, that political mainstreaming for employee ownership.
[00:03:33] So, I think it's going to take a lot of work. It's going to take collaboration. And it's going to take really mobilizing people and getting people to generate grassroots demand for employee ownership, to be motivated to get out in their community, to talk about the issue, to give their state legislators and their members of Congress, a call.
[00:03:52] This is a movement that needs to be built from the ground up. That's the model we're building at Ownership America. And I think if we do that, we know employee ownership is a policy answer to so many questions that we're asking right now around wealth inequality and racial equity and industrial competitiveness.
[00:04:09] So, I think we have the tools. It's a question of, can we put it all together? Can we really move the needle? Get people talking about this issue. Generate political attention and momentum, which will give us the kinds of policies to really take employee ownership to the next level.
[00:04:25] Bret Keisling: I love that, Jack. And partly because it speaks to the reality, and I posed the question of will we look back at some time and say, is this a movement? And you're exactly right. There have been points, and 2008 was one of them, where we could have said, hey, that might've been where it could have happened, but we know that it didn't.
[00:04:42] So, I love that everything is lined up and now it is up to all of us: the professional advisors, the organizations, the advocates, and the employee owners. But if we were going to come together as a movement, I'd love to just build on all the progress.
[00:04:57] Jack, everybody is going to have a great opportunity to hear all about Ownership America on an upcoming podcast. And I'm looking forward to sharing your story and Ownership America's with them.
[00:05:06] Thanks for hopping on and sharing your thoughts on the Mini-cast.
[00:05:08] Jack Moriarty: You bet. Thanks Bret.
[00:05:09] Bret Keisling: With that folks, we'll wrap up this version of the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.
[00:05:17] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, production assistance by Victoria Huerta, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design, and I'm Bitsy McCann.
Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.
A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.