The Emergence of Local Sustainable Economies

Report
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 - 6th 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
Solar
energy
MONEY: enabler of vital
exchanges
biomass
Socio-ecosystem
Families, communities,
Firms, organizations,
Natural ecosystem
water
Labor
Energy
nutrients
water
Land/Food
production
Institutions,
governance system
Other basic
Resources
Local solutions to Global crises
ACCESS TO BASIC RESOURCES: 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
Re-creating collective systems of
management of the commons
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)
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
Can organic farming
feed the world?
“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
Permaculture home
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
A man-made common resource:
the worker-owned cooperative model
1843 – founding of Rochdale equitable
pioneers society
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
National/global banks
Money flows “leaking out” from local to global system
Conventional money
Food, Housing, Health,
Education, Basic goods
and services
Access to
Local Socio-economic system
Reconnecting people together
Markets of
People with resources
goods,
local currencies
services,
factors of prod
Access to
unemployed
Impoverished
families
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.
Système 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 socalled 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
Human beings
Relations between them
Inputs = HR – are disposable,
laid off when are of no use
Consumers of outputs , ensnared
by advertisement to consume
always more…
None. Producers and consumers
are disconnected, atomized,
anonymous individuals
Workers, under constant threat of
being laid off, are discouraged to
join unions
Environment
Input and sink
Relations between Humans
and Environment
Disconnected – food production is
industrialized, seeds are owned by
corporations, water is privatized,
etc…
Millions of “streams” of local
sustainable economies
Family, neighbors, community
Caring for each other : recreating
networks of activity where everyone
is useful
Community’s values shape
consumption decisions
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…
Home: where people live, which they
need to protect for themselves and
their children
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
High levels, and increasing levels are
needed
Energy
Investment
Not necessary, especially if no
demographic growth
Low levels – increasingly provided locally
by renewable sources (wind, solar,
geothermal)
High levels of accumulation in corporate Local small-scale investment, crowdfinancial institutions/stock markets –
sourcing by pooling people’s resources
with high risks of instability
Currencies
Global currencies, increasingly
vulnerable to crisis (Euro-zone)
Resilience strategy: Emergence of local
currencies, time banks, and other nonmonetary 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 socioeconomic 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?

similar documents