by Ray Mylius
Community groups formed as the core element in the organisation of SCSA are proving successful in their aims of building community relationships and strengthening sustainability activities. We have also given attention to economic issues and to the groups’ relevance to resilience.
In North America a movement based on similar insights is setting up resilience circles aiming to increase personal security during these challenging times. Groups of 10 – 20 people come together for three purposes: learning, mutual aid, and social action. These groups are exploring a new kind of security based in mutual aid and community support, and helping build a new kind of economy that’s fair and in harmony with the earth. Circles also go by other names such as Common Security Clubs.
Richard Heinberg’s Post-Carbon Institute is proposing Community Economic Laboratories (CELs). They are described as a strategy needed to help the swelling ranks of low-income people in America adjust and adapt to the new reality of tight credit, chronically less-affordable energy, high unemployment rates, rising levels of homelessness, and steeply declining tax revenues. Many needs will be better met locally by largely volunteer-driven non-profit organizations, co-ops, and hybrid public-private agencies and programs.
While Australia’s economic circumstances are not yet as serious as those in America, the suggested scope of potential activities of CELs is relevant to our thinking about the future development of Our Urban Village.