Last year there was a New Era blog about the International Alliance for Localization (IAL), co-founded by Helena. People and groups from 58 different countries have joined the alliance to date and more are signing up every day. The lists of individual and organisational members may be seen here.
IAL’s recent message: the localisation of our food systems is possibly the single most important strategy for building new economic models that benefit both people and planet.
Since food is something that every person needs every day, even small shifts in the way it is produced, transported and marketed can have big impacts.
For a while now, the average age of farmers worldwide has hovered around 60 years old. As the older generations of farmers retire, the question grows more pressing: who will grow the food of the future, and what will their farms look like? Fortunately, a small but growing number of young people around the world have begun to renew their interest in farming, and they’re likely to have smaller, more diversified, less chemical dependent and more community-oriented farms than the generation preceding them. Not only that, but a surprising number of people with college degrees and “prestigious” desk jobs are leaving urban areas and returning to the land.
We’ve chosen a selection of inspiring short films from the USA, Canada, China, India, Thailand and Australia that offer a glimpse into small diverse farming operations around the world. The films are divided into seven categories:
- Introduction — The New Local Food Movement
- Diverse Farming Systems
- Local Food Webs — Exploring Systems of Distribution
- Local Food Processors — AKA Making Delicious Food
- Challenges & Solutions
- Ecovillages & Networks for New Farmers
- And Finally, A Little More Inspiration
We encourage you to pick a few of your favourite films from the list and organize a ‘viewing night’ for your friends or your local community — to inspire others to get involved in working for food system change. Let us know how it goes by tagging us on Facebook and Twitter, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please share with us any other short films about inspiring food and farming initiatives that you know of. We’d be happy to share them with others.
A later message is about ‘Happiness in A Time of Crisis’: 5 Day / 4 Night Residential Course, The Gaunts House, Dorset, UK. July 11th – 15th, 2019
A highly participatory, first-of-its-kind residential event at Gaunts House, bringing together Helena Norberg-Hodge (founder of Local Futures), Satish Kumar and Mac Macartney – three highly sought-after, internationally-recognized and inspirational speakers – as well as distinguished guests, facilitators, thinkers and activists from around the world. This 5-day course gives you the chance to meet friendly, like-minded people to discuss how we can transform the global economy and make a happier world.
“I have seen how the global economy destroys people’s fundamental relationships with one another and the Earth by breaking down interdependent local economies.
“To counter this, I believe that we need community and political engagement in the form of resistance and renewal – resistance to further globalisation, along with the renewal of localised systems in food, energy, finance and other sectors of the economy. I’m convinced that this is the most strategic path towards genuine sustainability”.
She sends an invitation to the forthcoming Economics of Happiness conference in Bristol, October 19-21.
ISEC is working in collaboration with Happy City and the former mayor of Bristol. Jonathan will be chairing.
Helena explains: “Localization is not about eliminating international trade, or reducing all economic activity to a village level, but about shifting the power from transnational corporations to nation states, while simultaneously building up regional self-reliance”.
Two Local Futures initiatives: Planet Local and the International Alliance on Localization
Planet Local is a web series showcasing inspiring localization initiatives from around the world. The series highlights diverse examples of localization in action in such areas as community renewable energy, local food and farming, local economy, eco-villages, alternative education, radical democracy, the local commons, and more. Planet Local demonstrates that the movement for localization is broader and more diverse than many people realize, manifesting as a powerful mosaic of small-scale solutions happening on a planet-wide scale. The series aims to inspire a politics of hope, grounded in actual existing projects that too often go unnoticed by the mainstream media.
People and groups from 58 different countries have joined the International Alliance
The International Alliance for Localisation (IAL) was originally conceived as a way to formalise and expand this informal network of groups and individuals who are working on issues that fall under the broad umbrella of this global-to-local shift network. The hope is that the IAL will help to catalyse a powerful global movement for localisation.
The general public and even most local groups themselves are often unaware that they are, in fact, part of a rapidly growing worldwide localisation movement. We believe that linking together these groups that are currently operating in isolation can greatly strengthen them all.
Here are some of the key individuals who have been part of the consensus-building process:
- Michael Shuman, one of the first economists to promote localisation;
- Camila Moreno, a Brazilian trade and agriculture activist;
- Bayo Akomolafe, a Nigerian writer, researcher and storyteller;
- Manish Jain, an ‘unlearning’ advocate and co-founder of India’s Swaraj University;
- Carlo Sibilia, a member of Italy’s 5 Star Movement;
- Keibo Oiwa, a leader of Japan’s ‘Slow Life’ movement;
- Yoji Kamata, founder of the Ancient Futures Association of Japan;
- Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics and The Ascent of Humanity;
- Judy Wicks, co-founder of BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies);
- Carol Black, director and editor of the film Schooling the World;
- Richard Heinberg, ‘peak oil’ expert and author;
- Ross Jackson, founder of the Global Ecovillage Network;
- and Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
The mission of the IAL is two-fold: to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among the multitude of groups and individuals who are engaged in grass-roots localisation initiatives; and also to enable this diverse localisation movement to speak with a more unified voice in resistance to further globalisation – one loud and powerful enough to break through the ‘noise’ of corporate-dominated political and economic discourse.
Join Local Futures at Earth, Culture, Economy
25th-29th June | Schumacher College, Totnes, UK
What would the world look like if humans lived harmoniously with nature rather than creating environmental mayhem? What strategies can be employed to overcome the entrenched power of big business, big banks, and big government?
We’ll dig into these questions in Earth, Culture, Economy, an open course at Schumacher College led by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Stephan Harding, and Satish Kumar. Our approach will be broad and holistic and we will consider a range of themes from the perspective of both the global North and South, including:
• How to measure real progress
We also have two other events coming up in the UK this summer:
An evening of discussion and Q&A
19th June | London, UK
A how-to course on big picture activism
13th-17th July | 42 Acres, Frome, UK
These events will present a global perspective on localisation and equip you with practical strategies for supporting genuine social, ecological, and economic renewal wherever you may be. We look forward to seeing you there!