Simon Anholt: Which Country Does the Most Good for the World? (TED video)

Posted by & filed under People Systems, Society.

It’s an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In… Read more »

Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some… Read more »

Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Food Shortages, Society.

When you grow your own food, you know for a fact that every piece does not look as ‘perfect’ as those sold in stores. They are each unique, sometimes odd-looking, but taste delicious nonetheless. In our industrial world, these so-called imperfect fruits and veggies go straight to the dumpster and contribute to a shocking amount… Read more »

Ecuador Takes First Step Toward a Commons Economy

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Government sponsors research on how to transition to commoning and open networks. by David Bollier A child during a parade in Ecuador by mavik2007, Flickr Creative Commons In 2013, the government of Ecuador launched a major strategic research project to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador” based on the principles of open networks, peer production and commoning.  Michel… Read more »

Towering Imbroglio

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Is the government preparing to dispose of our forests and other public land? Planning laws inhibit prosperity. That’s what we’re told by almost everyone. Those long and tortuous negotiations over what should be built where are a brake on progress. All the major parties and most of the media believe that we would be better… Read more »

Revisiting Masanobu Fukuoka’s Revolutionary Agriculture

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, General, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real…. Read more »

Earthworker – Australia’s First Worker-Owned Green Manufacturing Cooperative

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Energy Systems, Society, Village Development.

The Earthworker Cooperative is a community-led initiative addressing two significant problems; the stark reality of climate change, and a lack of secure, dignified work in sustainable industries. Earthworker is responding to these issues by setting up an Australia-wide network of community-owned cooperatives in sustainable industries. This is beginning with Eureka’s Future – a worker-owned factory… Read more »

Vandana Shiva Keynote Speech – Food Otherwise Conference (Netherlands, February 2014)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Conferences, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, GMOs, Health & Disease, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014. "Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience." If you prefer, you can read the transcript… Read more »

The Promise of the Commons

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Regular readers may remember an article I posted back in 2010 — Kings, Conquerors, Capitalism and Resilience Lost — where I covered a little historical ground for one particular former ‘East Bloc’ country; a history shared by several countries in central Europe. The article outlined how previously resilient land-based communities — which had lived and… Read more »

Ripping Apart the Fabric of the Nation

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

In an extraordinary coup, farmers’ unions and the UK government have torpedoed the European Soil Framework Directive. “British soils are reaching crisis point”. Don’t take my word for it — this is a quote from a loyal friend of the farming industry, Farmers’ Weekly. You would expect farmers to try to protect their soils, which… Read more »

A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Peak Oil, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock. The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship… Read more »