Building Sustainable Communities


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A presentation made during a consultation, 'Building Sustainable Communities in Today's World,' at Windsor Castle, UK; October 2012

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Building Sustainable Communities

  1. 1. Building Sustainable Communities in Todays World St. George’s House, Windsor Castle; October, 2012
  2. 2. Shifting Economic ParadigmsConventional Globalist Emerging Bioregional ModelModel • Secure• Innovative • Accessible• Competitive • Fair• Efficient • EcologicalA “winner take all” Assists and unites, theattitude and a “culture of work of others for adesire.” collaborative, harmonious, and self-reliant future.
  3. 3. Globalism BioregionalismDrivers Make Money Create LivelihoodsMain Activity Use $ to make $ Community needsSize Large Small – mediumOwnership Impersonal Absentee PersonalFinancial Capital Global LocalPurpose Maximize Profit Beneficial OutputRole of Profit To be Maximized Sustain ViabilityCoordination Central planning Self OrganizingCooperation To defeat competition Common goodCompetition Eliminate the unfit EfficiencyRole of Gov. Protect property Common interestsTrade Free and unregulated Fair and Balanced David Korten: ‘Agenda for a New Economy’
  4. 4. Standard Transformational I.C.E. S.A.F.E. Technologies Technologies• Monoculture/GMO, • Aquaponics, & Cloned Agri-food, Organic Agriculture,• Nuclear, Coal, Oil, • Decentralized, Natural Gas Renewable Energy,• Automobiles • Mass Transit• Big Media • Social Media• Big Box, Chain Store • Social Enterprise
  5. 5. Future Scenarios for Communities “Partial ‘solutions’ serve merely as cosmetics to conceal the deep seated nature of the ecological crisis”, Murray Bookchin (‘The Ecology of Freedom’, 1982)Scenario 1: Abandon Suburbs & Cities Scenario 2: Eco-Cities/VillagesThey are high energy consumers , demand Massive public transportation , Urbanan eco-footprint many times their area. high-rise agriculture, High density to saveMassive failing infrastructure. global natural areas.‘No future for built environment.’ ‘Havens for the wealthy.’Scenario 3: Steady-State Scenario 4: TransformationalUse remaining natural resources to invest Low energy, solar-designs, food securityin conservation and new technology. and local trade. Self-organizingRebuild infrastructure. Planned economy.. governance with confederation of regions‘Vested interests continue to control and municipalities.resources and wealth.’ ‘Doing well by doing good.’
  6. 6. Ten Best Green Jobs for the Next Decade Illustration by Erika Schneider#1 Farmers-There is a huge need for more farmers Up to tens of millions of them.Related careers: Urban Gardener; Farmers Market and CSA Coordinator; Artisanal Cheese Makers; and other food producers.• The rest of the list: Forester, Solar Power Installer, Energy Efficiency Builder, Wind Turbine Fabricator, Conservation Biologist, Green MBA and Entrepreneur, Recycler, Sustainability Systems Developer, Urban PlannerSee:
  7. 7. Organic Farms as Subdivision Amenities Eco-villages, Permaculture Villages, Conservation Communities Prairie Crossing ~ Portland Oregon, Serenbe ~ Atlanta, GeorgiaO.U.R. Eco-village ~ Vancouver Island, Crystal Waters ~ Brisbane, Australia
  8. 8. Can local food jump-start the economy?Ontario’s $10 Challenge• If every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food, an additional $2.4 billion/year would go into the local economy. Circulating grows those dollars, adds $3.6 billion and creates 10,000 new jobs. (See: Prince Edward Island,• Population: 136,000• Approximately 45,333 households• Assume Weekly Food Expenditures = $130/home /wk ($5,893,290)• Annual Is. Food Expenditures: >$300 million/yearA 20% shift in local food purchases would infusean additional $60 million into the local economy.The multiplier effect would bring the economicimpact to $ 300-500 million, annually.**Reference BALLE Nova Scotia
  9. 9. ‘Find a place. Dig in. Assume responsibility.’• A recent food study conducted in Ohio determined that a 25% shift to local produce would create 1 new job for every 150 people.• If the same formula is applied to Prince Edward Island’s population of 136,000 people, then 906 new (full-time, permanent) jobs could potentially be created.See, Local Food Opportunities Report ; City ofEdmonton’s Food and Agriculture.
  10. 10. “Discover the world of Prince Edward Islands premier artisans.”Handmade on PEI. For you.“Jewelry, pottery, body care products, fibre and textiles, glass, folk art, metal arts,basketry, sculpture, visual arts, woodwork… The artisans of Prince Edward Islandhandcraft exclusive creations forged from a lifetime of experience and Islandinspiration.”• $30 million per year in sales.• Only $6 million (20%)produced on PEI.• If 40%, it would equal $12 million.• Multiplier effect = $36 - 48 million!!! ‘My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.’ - Louis Riel
  11. 11. A bioregional, S.A.F.E., economy is not exclusively a geographically ‘local’ economy. Serve the bio-region first; creating self-reliance and then export surplus. Not only about price, quality, safety, reliability, nor consistency. It is about the intangible qualities of trust, security, fairness, ecological sustainability and friendship.It is about collaborating with partners ratherthan competing with rivals.
  12. 12. Adam Smith (1723 – 1790 )Social philosopher, pioneer of political economy, author of The Wealth ofNations. He is considered one of the most influential founders of moderneconomics and capitalism. World vision of local market economies populated by small entrepreneurs, artisans and family farmers with strong ties to community engaged in producing goods and services to meet mutual needs. He believed in mutual aid and the duty to not do harm to others and shared a philosophical belief that equality of citizenship was impossible in a nation where inequality of wealth remained the rule. He also believed in the duty of government to restrain those who fail in their duty to others.
  13. 13. ‘As our planet’s life-supportsystem begins to fail and our verysurvival as a species is broughtinto question, remember that ourchildren and grandchildren willask not what ourgeneration said,but what it did’ HRH The Prince of Wales