Citizen-led Economic Transition – a four point framework for guiding action

Perhaps we all agree the current economic system is the problem. This is, of course, a generalisation which could be endlessly unpicked and elaborated. But if we’re concerned about global warming, biospheric damage, inequality, etc, the globe-sized elephant in the room, so to speak, is the dominant economic system powered by fossil fuels and predicated on endless consumption and growth. It’s efficiency-oriented and centralising, concentrating ever greater economic and political power in the hands of oligarchs and autocrats, which means change will not come easy.

Perhaps by now we also know that change is coming one way or the other. Experts warn we must rapidly reduce the energetic and material throughput of the global economic system by orders of magnitude in the coming years or face severe consequences, including a variety of collapse scenarios. These consequences will hit real people in real communities in our towns, cities, and surrounding regions. This suggests what’s needed is not just a radical rethink, but a radical reconfiguration of how we meet our needs.

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Brexit and the New Resilience

Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to make sense of the ‘brexit’ vote and it’s implications for me and my family, as well as the grass roots movement in which I have been an enthusiastic participant. And like everyone else, I’m reading interesting opinion pieces and analyses across the spectrum, talking to friends and colleagues, and pulling at every thread trying to weave together some fabric of understanding of this moment in history. Nobody knows what’s next or where we’re heading. It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.

Hope - Caravan ProjectRegardless of your vote, your analysis, your personal circumstances, we’ve all got to step back from the anger, demonizing, and fear. Generating this kind of negative energy perpetuates division and is ultimately self harming. What we need are cool heads and compassionate hearts. Above all, we need practical action. Re-read your Macy or Camus, if necessary, but we must summon the courage to face the reality of our situation in this society and our role in it. All you systems thinkers, students of complexity, advocates of holistic solutions — isn’t this the moment we’ve been training for?

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