Across the world millions of people are actively resisting the process of corporate globalization while simultaneously building viable local alternatives. Effective (and enjoyable!) change, in both cases, requires collective action – linking hands with like-minded people – from the global to the local. There are many community groups and ‘translocal’ alliances springing up across the world with the mission of dismantling corporate power, reclaiming democracy, and renewing local economies from the ground up.
“The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. It represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected.” Source: http://transitionus.org/about-us
A Common Security Club is “a place to: Come together to grapple with our personal security in a rapidly changing world; Learn about the root causes of our economic and ecological challenges: Explore ways to increase our personal/economic security through mutual aid and shared action; Build on what we have together – and strengthen the institutions that we all depend on; Make friends, find inspiration, have fun, and strengthen community; and, Be part of a national movement of common security clubs that are connected to religious, civic, labor and small business organizations – working to transform the economy so that it works for everyone.” Source: http://www.commonsecurityclub.org
Find a Common Security Club near you: http://www.commonsecurityclub.org
'Roots of Change' (RoC) is a guided study circle program emphasizing education for action. The program is run by the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and was recently updated in preparation for the release of The Economics of Happiness. ISEC helps set up small study circles and provides a series of readings and discussion question. The curriculum consists of over a dozen modules covering the full range of topics introduced in ‘The Economics of Happiness’ - but in much greater depth. The goal of RoC is to help participants see the big picture, unearth root causes, and forge strategies for effective local action. Study circles usually meet once or twice a month to discuss the readings and generate positive solutions. Join or start a 'Roots of Change' study circle in your community.
Put localization on the agenda at your neighborhood, community, city or county councils. Become affiliated with your neighborhood, community or city council. Contact your city government to find out where your councils meet.
If there isn’t an existing group in your area, start your own! Invite friends, community business owners, co-workers, neighbors, and family members to join you. Organize a series of focused meetings to map out your community’s assets and needs, research and brainstorm local solutions, identify partners and search for sources of funding.
dedicated to covering policy changes that impact your local economy (and local economies worldwide).
As Richard Heinberg explains, "The basic notion is simple: the CEL would be a local multi-function center that helps people impacted by hard times. It would do this by offering a variety of services, as well as opportunities for self-improvement, learning, enterprise incubation, and community involvement...." Read more
Start an ongoing political salon dedicated to discussing both the policies and the new economic institutions needed to build sustainable, equitable and community-controlled economies. Similarly, house parties can be excellent events to build community and discuss relevant local issues.
See ISEC's 'Films for Change' list for some ideas of provocative and inspiring films to consider. Headline your festival with a screening of The Economics of Happiness!
“Food Policy Councils (FPCs) bring together stakeholders from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. FPCs may take many forms, but are typically either commissioned by state or local government, or predominately a grassroots effort.” Source: http://www.foodsecurity.org/FPC/
If you’re a food producer, join the call for localization and food sovereignty. Link up with your regional member of the international farmers’ movement, La Via Campesina - one of the largest social movements in the world.
Learn how: http://viacampesina.org/en/
“Each of our100,000 members around the world are a part of a convivium. Our convivia are the local expression of the Slow Food philosophy. They build relationships with producers, campaign to protect traditional foods, organize tasting and seminars, encourage chefs to source locally, nominate producers to participate in international events and work to bring taste education into schools. Most importantly, they cultivate the appreciation of pleasure and quality in daily life. Every Slow Food member can participate in convivium activities anywhere in the world.” Source: http://www.slowfood.com/about_us/eng/where.lasso
Find a ‘convivium’ near you: http://www.slowfood.com/about_us/eng/where.lasso
For example: Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).
“BALLE's mission is to catalyze, strengthen and connect networks of locally owned independent businesses dedicated to building strong Local Living Economies.” Source: www.livingeconomies.org/aboutus/mission-and-principles
AMIBA “is a national 501c3 non-profit organization helping communities launch and successfully operate an Independent Business Alliance® (IBA), "buy independent, buy local" campaigns, and other efforts to support community.” Source: www.amiba.net/
For example: Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives
Help put localization on the agenda of the cooperative movement!
Help create equitable, democratic and sustainable local economies.
Help marshal the power of labor to rebuild sustainable and equitable local economies.