The New Better Off Reinventing the American Dream

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Are we living the good life - and what defines good, anyway? Americans today are constructing a completely different framework for success than their parents' generation, using new metrics that TEDWomen speaker and columnist Courtney Martin has termed collectively the "New Better Off".

The New Better Off puts a name to the American phenomenon of rejecting the traditional dream of a nine-to-five job, home ownership, and a nuclear family structure - illuminating the alternate ways Americans are seeking happiness and success. Including commentary on recent changes in how we view work, customs and community, marriage, rituals, money, living arrangements, and spirituality, The New Better Off uses personal stories and social analysis to explore the trends shaping our country today. Martin covers growing topics such as freelancing, collaborative consumption, communal living, and the breaking down of gender roles.

The New Better Off is about the creative choices individuals are making in their vocational and personal lives, but it's also about the movements, formal and informal, that are coalescing around the New Better Off idea - people who are reinventing the social safety net and figuring out how to truly better their own communities.