US Students Reimagine Intro To Economics

Econ101 but as you’ve never seen it before…

A crash course for US students and young activists to understand our economy and reimagine it for the benefit of people and the planet

As students and young people, we can clearly see that there is something wrong with our present economic system. Costs of living are soaring while wages stagnate, inequality is ever-rising, and global economic activity is trampling our environment at an unprecedented rate. 

In this world of crisis, it is important for us students and young activists to understand how our economy works and acquire the tools to imagine and build systems that are more democratic, equitable, and sustainable.

Why hasn’t the federal minimum wage changed in 14 years?

How did we get where we are today? Have we reached the ‘optimal’ economic system or can it be improved?

Can economies grow infinitely on a finite planet?

These key questions rarely ever arise in economics classes. Econ degrees and curricula are often focused on abstract theories and models, many of which are outdated and based on assumptions that are no longer fit for our 21st century economy. In addition, the perspectives of women, people of color, and working class people are usually underrepresented, if not absent, from mainstream curricula and from economics scholarship and policy-making more generally.

This crash course offers a critical, pluralist, and interdisciplinary introduction to the discipline of economics and to the US economic system.

  • Do you want to learn the basics of economics without having to take a college-level course?
  • Are you an economics student dissatisfied with the introduction you received? 
  • Are you a young activist looking to understand the economic system and how it might interact with your sphere of action?

Then this course is perfect for you!

Rethinking ECON101 Will:

  • Guide you through the foundations of mainstream economics
  • Expose the myths of some dominant economic ideas
  • Introduce new approaches to understanding the economy
  • Equip you with the tools to take action at your school and join the campaign to rethink economics

What will the course cover?

The detailed course syllabus will be shared with participants two weeks before the course begins.

Sessions 1-3: Introducing the principles of mainstream economics; a brief history of how economic thought has developed; interrogation of some of the foundations of mainstream economics.

Sessions 4-7: Introduction to different perspectives on understanding economics (post-Keynesian, radical political economy, ecological, feminist) through the lens of the real economy: ; economic institutions, structures of power and exploitation, engagement with the environment and existing systems of oppression (racism, patriarchy).

Sessions 8-9: Exploration of alternative forms of economic organization inside and outside of the United States.

Session 10: Action! Learn how to translate the learnings from this course into campaigns and movements for change.

When and where?

Rethinking Econ101 is a 10-session online course.

The course will start on Monday 18th September at 15:00 Pacific Time / 18:00 Eastern Time and will take place each week on Zoom for 90 minutes.

If you aren’t able to attend at that time, you can take part asynchronously with recordings of the sessions being shared.

Spaces are limited to 100 people. So make sure to register by the 10th of September to secure your spot. If you miss this deadline, please just get in touch at

Who is this course for?

This course is designed primarily for US-based students (undergraduate or graduate) and activists, of all backgrounds, who want to learn economics and understand their economic system better.

If there are spaces leftover, we also welcome students who are not based in the US. Just bear in mind that we will be referring to the US economic system and university structure and use predominantly US-based examples.

I’m part of a group at my school. Can we do it together?

Yes! Please do! Every participant should try to join alongside at least one other person from their school or that they know. This will ensure the course is as useful as possible for you!

So please apply as a group (a student group at your university, for instance) and enjoy your discussions in-person. If you are part of a student group, we invite you to bring this opportunity to your friends there and make this course one of your club activities.

If you are an interested individual but you are having a hard time finding interested people, please get in touch at

Is there prior knowledge required?

You don’t need any preexisting knowledge in economics (or mathematics!) in order to join. The only requirement is that you come armed with curiosity and motivation.

To make sure that everyone has some level of common understanding and good ground for discussion, all participants will be required to do some reading prior to each session (1 to 2 hours max).

PS There won’t be any tests or mandatory homework!

Does the course cost anything?

This course is free to join.

However, a donation to the best of your capacity is highly encouraged, to help cover the costs of putting this course together and start preparing the next one!

We recommend the following donation tiers:

  • $20 – a small donation that goes a long way in supporting our work!
  • $60 – covers the true cost of attending
  • $120 – a solidarity donation that sponsors someone else’s spot on the course!

Produced by Rethinking Economics USA in collaboration with:

Financially supported by: