The current economic system with its focus on money and GDP is highly destructive to our well-being and the entire the planet. It is hard to envision how we can move beyond this way of managing our activities and meeting our needs. There have been in recent decades a number of alternative economics concepts developed. The conceptualisation by Kate Raworth of a Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries that can be used to guide our economic activities is one of the more recent, and I think exciting, approaches to challenge the dominant paradigm.
The following clip is a good introduction to the concept:
Economics is often seen as something too complex for the average person. What if we took back the original meaning of the term economics, “the management of the household”, and began to articulate what we want our economy to achieve? Is endless growth really our endpoint, or do we want say a system where we balance the well-being of humanity with the capabilities of our planet as articulated in this Doughnut model?
The following podcast offers an easy to understand discussion of the development of our current economic system and how we can all in our own way begin to reshape the system.
For more information see Kate Raworth’s website.
I recently met with Sue Andrews, Julie Webb and Kylie Willison, the co-ordinators of the Adelaide LETS system, to chat about what makes them so passionate about LETS. The local exchange trading scheme (LETS) is a system that has developed over the years to allow disparate goods and services to be traded outside of the dominant monetary system. Continue reading
There is something so powerful about a well told story to move people in a way that reams of dry facts never will. On my travels last year I had the opportunity to attend a live session of The Moth in New York, where the audience members are also the story tellers. These live true story-sharing events draw in a wide cross section of the community and a similarly diverse range of stories.
It was for me a splendid example of how we all have stories to share and so can entertain each other without having to resort to mass produced, corporate-controlled forms of story telling. It gives power back to the common folk to share what is important to them. The sharing goes both ways. In a world were too many of us are isolated and disregarded, the story teller is empowered to share a part of their life to a receptive audience. It also enriches the audience by giving us a glimpse of another person’s experiences and in this way widens our view of the world. Continue reading
Pauline and Anne with another batch of Pauline’s seedlings.
The Unley community groups, in particular the Grow Grow Grow Your Own group, of Sustainable Communities SA have been working with their local council on the issue of food security for a while now. The group has been running gardening workshops to increase people’s skills in growing their own food and to create a community of skilled food growers in the Unley Council area. As an offshoot Pauline and Anne have been running a series of free propagation and seed raising workshops. Although each workshop takes a lot of time and effort to plan, both Pauline and Anne light up when they talk about them and the buzz they get from the sharing of knowledge with all the participants. Continue reading