“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.
Colin shares his Guardian letter and hopes that readers will blog or forward on email the link at the foot of this page
Policies geared to achieving more job security, a decrease in inequality and protection of the environment
The rise in right wing populism seen in Italy’s election result shows the need for ‘progressive protectionism’, nurturing and rebuilding local economies through the permanent reduction in the level of international trade in goods, money and services, and enabling nation states to control the level of migration that their citizens desire.
The first step to an effective response by progressives to the rising tide of rightwing populism in Italy and elsewhere (Editorial, 6 March) is to realise that ever more open borders are the problem. It was predominantly the opposition to inadequately controlled immigration that resulted in the Italian election result, the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election.
Ed: Stan Labovitch in the next letter agrees: “In order for “progressives” to prevail, they need to understand rather than condemn the electorate, who fear unemployment and the never-ending flow of asylum seekers through Italy’s southern flank. The opulence that we tourists see in Sorrento, Venice or Rome, is not the experience of many Italians”.
The other contributing factor was globalisation, with its job-destroying and far-too-open borders to goods such as steel. Lastly, inadequately constrained flows of capital and financial services assisted in the economic crash of 2008. The only counter will be some form of protectionism.
Trump’s threatened trade war over steel (Report, 5 March) is the wrong kind of 1930s-style one-sided protectionism. He wants to curb imports that cause domestic unemployment, but at the same time plans to use all possible leverage to open up foreign markets to US exports.
To avoid a re-run of the 1930s will require a very different “progressive protectionism”. This could benefit all countries by nurturing and rebuilding local economies through the permanent reduction in the level of international trade in goods, money and services, while enabling nation states to control the level of migration that their citizens desire.
This approach can return a sense of optimism to the majority through championing policies geared to achieving more job security, a decrease in inequality and protection of the environment.
New Economy Convergence
This one-day meeting in London will provide an opportunity to take part in the rising global-to-local movement and to discuss the strategies required to move away from a corporate-led growth economy towards diverse local economies in service of people and planet.
There will be news of inspiring initiatives worldwide aimed at resisting global trade treaties and reclaiming our communities, cultures and natural environment. Meet others who care about democracy, social justice, fulfilling and dignified livelihoods, nutritious fresh food, meaningful education and about passing on a healthy and diverse environment to our children.
Speakers include Helena Norberg-Hodge, James Skinner, Molly Scott Cato, and Rupert Read (read more about the speakers here). The short version of The Economics of Happiness will be screened, and the event will include world café brainstorming sessions.
Saturday, September 17th, 2016 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Friends House 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ (use Garden entrance)
Tickets: £20 for a standard ticket; £15 for concessions. Full scholarships also available upon application; please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It already has members from over 30 countries.
The Local Futures website records that Helena, who trained as a linguist with Chomsky, has delivered her message in English, Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Ladakhi.
You are asked to consider joining forces with IAL – ‘the time seems ripe’.
In the wake of the Paris climate talks, Local Futures has released a 16 page action paper entitled Climate Change or System Change? (left).
It argues that globalization – the deregulation of trade and finance through an ongoing series of “free trade” treaties – is the driving force behind climate change.
The climate problem can only be tackled effectively if governments stop subsidising globalisation, and begin pursuing a localisation agenda instead.
A recording of Local Futures’ first webinar, with community economist Michael Shuman and Helena Norberg is now uploaded on YouTube.
In this event, recognised pioneers of the localisation movement – community-economist and author, Michael Shuman and Helena – explored localisation as a systemic solution-multiplier that simultaneously lowers CO2 emissions, restores democracy and provides secure livelihoods.
The conversation identified proven strategies that strengthen local economies including the need for an international movement for localization.
Climate Change or System Change? will be the focus of the second international webinar in January, as part of the Global to Local webinar series. More information will follow soon.
Contact via http://www.localfutures.org/contact-us/
See in more detail: https://britain2020.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/localisation-a-systemic-solution-multiplier-simultaneously-lowering-co2-emissions-restoring-democracy-and-providing-secure-livelihoods-part-1/
Brief extracts from the 16 page action paper entitled Climate Change or System Change? – may be seen here: https://britain2020.wordpress.com/localisation-systemic-solution-multiplier-part-2/