The Emergence of local sustainable economies:

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8 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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The Emergence of local sustainable economies:

Stories of resilience, renewal and rebirth

Anne
-
Marie Codur

Global Development and Environment Institute

Tufts University

The Emergence of local sustainable economies:

Stories of resilience, renewal and rebirth

Anne
-
Marie Codur

Global Development and Environment Institute

Tufts University

The three systemic global crises


Global Environmental Crisis: destruction of biodiversity
(Massive destruction of habitats
-

6
th

global extinction),
global climate change,…



Social Inequality and Injustice crisis: 1% people on Earth
has 46% of world’s wealth


richest 300 people have the
same has 3
billion people!!!!


20% of world population consumes 82.7% of global


production while 20% poorest live on 1.4% of global


production



Global Financial crisis: “
2008 wasn

t the real crash. The real
crash is coming.


-

Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital
(quoted in June 2012)






Public opinions


French
polling company IFOP,
2011

Do you think our
current economic system is deeply
dysfunctional?
Agree:

French: 52%

Germans: 42%

Americans: 32%

Do you think we ought to abandon this model for another one? Agree:

French: 33%

Italians: 22%

Germans: 12%


BBC poll, 2009

Do you think a strong public policy is needed in favor of a more
equitable redistribution of wealth? Agree:

Chileans: 91%; French: 87%; Spaniards: 83%; Germans: 77%

Russians: 63%; British: 67%

Americans: 41%

GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE REGULATED
AND GUIDED TOWARDS A STEADY
-
STATE…

3 scenarios

1) More and more crashes and catastrophes… resulting in
a «

Fortress world

» of the few against the masses of
destitute people in a devastated planet: see Sci Fi movie
«

Elysium

»


2) EMERGENCE OF A GLOBAL GOVERNANCE SYSTEM ?

(but G8, G20 have shown their limitations and national
governments have lost ability to exert control on global
financial markets and global corporations)


3) EMERGENCE OF MILLIONS OF INITIATIVES FROM THE
GROUND UP…



EMERGENCE OF

LOCAL SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES

Socio
-
ecosystem’s vital flows

Natural ecosystem

Solar
energy

water

nutrients

biomass

Energy

water

Land/Food
production

Other basic

Resources

Families, communities,

Firms, organizations,


Institutions,
governance system


Socio
-
ecosystem

MONEY: enabler of vital
exchanges

Labor

Local solutions to Global crises

ACCESS TO BASIC RESSOURCES: WATER, FOOD, ENERGY

Re
-
appropriation by local users of systems of natural resources:


Ex
:
community
-
owned
water
systems



Re
-
orientation of food production towards more self
-
sufficiency of
local communities: slow food models



Harnessing locally renewable energies, solar, wind, geothermic


WORK:
Emergence of socially equitable forms of organizations:


worker cooperatives


MONEY: EMERGENCE OF LOCAL COMPLEMENTARY CURRENCIES

community
-
based
currencies to re
-
energize local flow of exchanges
among people deprived of monetary
means, to use underutilized
resources (unemployed or under
-
employed people) and to re
-
create
social ties of solidarity between people



WATER

The threat of losing access to common
goods: global corporations’ water grab

Cochabamba, Bolivia

The acequias of New
Mexico are communal
irrigation canals, a
way to share water for
agriculture in a dry
land.

Tiwa Indians irrigated
farmland in the area
as long as 1.300 years
ago.

“Communities have relied on institutions resembling neither the state nor the market to
govern some resource systems with reasonable degrees of success over long periods of
time ” Elinor Ostrom, in “Governing the Commons” (1990)

Re
-
creating collective systems of
management of the commons

Felton, California





2002:

Felton water system sold to California
American Water Co. (Cal
-
Am), a subsidiary of
RWE
Aktiengesellschaft

-

the third largest
water company in the
world. RWE
filed for a
74% rate increase
.
Cal
-
Am has a monopoly on
the water delivery system and the
Public Utility
Commission
guarantees Cal
-
Am an 11%
profit


In 2003, residents form a coalition to buy back
their water resources to Cal
-
Am


at ballot,
75% voters voted YES


A six
-
year legal battle
ensued


In 2008 Felton citizens won back their water


Inspired dozens of other towns to do the same

FOOD

Indian farmers vs. Green revolution: Resist the
privatization of crops’ genetic pool

March against Monsanto, New Delhi, May 25, 2013:

loosing their lands to debt (caused by high prices of GMO seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc…)
200,000 Indian farmers killed themselves since 1997


Vandana Shiva: the seeds belong

to the farmer!








The keepers of seed banks:
















“ I might be illiterate but I can argue with any scientist
that I can produce with those free seeds and some
organic manure a much healthier food than with
those modern seeds that are so expensive and those
chemicals that are exhausting the soils”


-

Chandramma, 58 year old woman from Medak,



Andhra Pradesh, India

Stopping Food, Inc.


USA, July 4, 2013






Dakar, Senegal, Feb. 7, 2011: NO TO AGRA!


(Alliance for a Green revolution in Africa


is promoted by Rockefeller


& Gates foundations)


Farmers’ response:

WE ARE THE SOLUTION

Celebrating African Family Farming!





Urban agriculture in Detroit

We want to help make Motown a thriving Growtown”









B












Beekeepers inspect a


bee
-
laden frame from a hive


at Detroit’s D
-
Town

Farm



The New Food revolution?

Carlo Petrini, pioneer of
the Slow Food movement

Permaculture home


when best management
practices are used for
organic crops, overall yields
are just 13% lower than
conventional levels



Comparing the yields of organic and
conventional agriculture.

Nature
,
2012

Can organic farming
feed the world?

Research has shown
that organic agriculture,
if practiced on the
earth’s 1.4 billion
tillable hectares, could
sequester nearly 40% of
current CO2 emissions


Tim de la Salle, “Regenerative
Organic Farming: A solution to
Global Farming”, Rodale Institute
2008


ENERGY

Harnessing renewable energies locally

Transition Towns: Marlow, UK


establishing 100 solar
panels in their town


as a community project

Harnessing solar energy in Africa



Solar Sister is a social enterprise business


Our mission is to empower women with
economic opportunity and eradicate
energy poverty. We use a market based
program to distribute solar technology
that provides income to women
entrepreneurs and is the most effective
distribution for new technology to rural
households.


WORK

1843


founding of Rochdale equitable
pioneers society

A man
-
made common resource:

the worker
-
owned cooperative model

1934 Upton Sinclair’s electoral
program to end poverty in
California by seizing idle
factories and farm land where
the owner had failed to pay
property taxes


and transform
them into self
-
sufficient,
worker
-
run co
-
ops

Mondragon cooperatives,

Basque country, Spain

Father Arizmendiarrieta,
founder of the Mondragon
cooperatives (1954)

From Argentina economic crisis (1999
-
2002)

and its Empresas recuperadas…

By 2003, there were 170
“recovered” firms
employing more than 9000
workers in Argentina

…To the revival of Cleveland’s

inner city neighborhoods through

the Evergreen cooperatives

The largest female cooperative in the world


Started in 1959 with a seed capital of Rs.

80, Lijjat had an annual turnover
of around Rs. 650

(over $100 million) in 2010


Started with the hand
-
made production of Papad, the popular indian
crispy bread, by thousands of poor urban women to provide them with
sustainable livelihood



It provides employment to around 42,000 people.

Cooperatives that empower women

Production of olive oil, and argan oil (used in
cosmetics) by women
-
owned cooperatives in
Morocco

MONEY

Nurturing the local economy through
community
-
based currencies

local currencies

National/global banks

Conventional money

Local Socio
-
economic system

Impoverished
families

unemployed

Food, Housing, Health,

Education, Basic goods

and services

Markets of
goods,
services,
factors of prod

Access to

Access to

Money flows “leaking out” from local to global system

Reconnecting people together

People with resources

Social gap between have and have not

Local currencies as resilience strategy



Local Exchange Trading System (LETS)


The function of the LETSystem

The LETSystem is an economic system intentionally designed to address the
problems and limitations of conventional money.

Rather than proposing a replacement for conventional money, the LETSystem
is designed to integrate with all aspects of economic and financial life. It is
a complementary system rather than an alternative one.


Syst
ème d’Echange Local : SEL


TIME BANKS

One hour of person A = One hour of person B

Recreates equality in the economy






Can be used to address unmet needs of services
that require lots of time: elder care, children care

=> Rebuilds social ties of solidarity between people



The
Nayahan

Banjar

system in Bali:

an ancient time bank

Japan
Fureai

Kippu

Time Banking for
elderly care

Investing in local economies: towards
community capitalism

What would the world be like
if we invested 50% of our
assets within 50 miles of
where we live?


every dollar spent at a locally owned business
generates two to four times more economic benefit

measured in income, wealth, jobs, and tax revenue

than a dollar spent at a globally owned business
. That
is because locally owned businesses spend much more
of their money locally and thereby pump up the so
-
called economic multiplier.



-

Michael Shuman

“Plugging the leaks”

New Economics Foundation (UK)
framework to help towns and local
communities to maximize multiplier
effect of local investments
inside
the
Community and avoid too much

“leaking” outside


Develop projects and strategies which
encourage the local cycling of money
.




These could be local currencies, Time
Banks, Credit Unions or a range of other
strategies.



To summarize…



Global
Mainstream

Economy

Millions of “streams” of local
sustainable economies

Human beings

Inputs = HR


are disposable,

laid off when are of no use



Consumers of outputs , ensnared
by advertisement to consume
always more…

Family, neighbors, community

Caring for each other : recreating
networks of activity where everyone
is useful

Community’s values shape
consumption decisions

Relations between them

None. Producers and consumers
are disconnected, atomized,
anonymous individuals

Workers, under constant threat of
being laid off, are discouraged to
join unions

Networks of people who know and
trust each other


close relations
between producers and consumers
(often the same people!) no more
than 1 degree of separation…

Environment

Input and sink

Home: where people live, which they
need to protect for themselves and
their children

Relations between Humans
and Environment

Disconnected


food production is
industrialized, seeds are owned by
corporations, water is privatized,
etc…

Close interconnections


organic
gardening, re
-
appropriating ancestral
customs, protect biodiversity of
seeds, recreating local governance of
natural commons, water systems,…



Global Mainstream Economy

Millions of “streams” of local
sustainable economies

Main economic actors

Multinational Corporations

Small
-
scale enterprises, cooperatives of
citizens/workers/shareholders

Time

Fast, accelerating pace

Slow pace

Growth

Absolutely needed or the whole system
is in crisis

Not necessary, especially if no
demographic growth

Energy

High levels, and increasing levels are
needed

Low levels


increasingly provided locally
by renewable sources (wind, solar,
geothermal)

Investment

High levels of accumulation in corporate
financial institutions/stock markets


with high risks of instability

Local small
-
scale investment, crowd
-
sourcing by pooling people’s resources

Currencies

Global currencies, increasingly
vulnerable to crisis (Euro
-
zone)

Resilience strategy: Emergence of local
currencies, time banks, and other non
-
monetary systems of exchanges

Governance

Concentration of power in fewer hands.
Democratic Deficit


national
governments and elected officials
increasingly powerless

Vibrant local democracies, high level of
participation/commitment from citizens
in the design and implementation of
their local policies

Conclusion

Emergence of
alternative economic models
:

Combining the best of globalization: networks of
communication, information, global social networks
of citizens (Facebook, twitter, global community of
bloggers…)

With resilient sustainable forms of local socio
-
economic systems (food, water, energy, local
governance, cooperatives, housing,…)

Question:

Where is the tipping point? When does the critical
mass of all of these local alternative systems start
coalescing into a global network of local systems?