We believe economies should be focused on meeting the needs of people, and not just that, but creating the conditions for people to create for themselves fulfilling, integrated and meaningful lives. This implies openness and inclusiveness in our political, economic, and cultural institutions, de-centralised and democratic decision making, and ecologically regenerative or at least ecologically benign systems of production.
Our current system seems to be just the opposite: focused on the accumulation of material things to satisfy emotional and social needs, and concentrating wealth and power into the hands of a few individuals and corporations. Whether intended or not, the consequences are injustice and poverty for billions around the world, alienation and complicity for millions of ‘middle class’, and planetary-scale ecological destruction to the point where we are in the process of triggering mass extinctions, perhaps even our own.
This situation compels citizen action. Voting is necessary but insufficient. We must all begin where we stand to resist destructive economic patterns and behaviours, joining with our neighbours and fellow citizens to begin building the alternative in our own communities. If global oligarchy and ecological destruction is the problem, at least part of the solution is citizen-led action at the grass roots.
We believe acting locally is part of the solution, but communities must also connect with each other in mutual aid and support, to learn, cooperate, and coordinate. We think this spirit of solidarity must be a proactive and productive thread in the fabric of a new global culture.
For our part, we seek to be catalysts for this kind of shift to occur. Through our work, we seek to share our experience and the tools and ideas we think might be useful to others. In return, we seek to learn from the ideas and experience of the groups and organisations we work with. In this regard, we see our role as facilitating dialogues among and between communities – those communities in which we live and work, as well as communities of practice. Through these dialogues, the seeds of community to community relationship and solidarity are sown, innovations are cross-pollinated, developed, and spread.
The situation is urgent, this work important, but while we’re at it, let’s have a good time. Let’s celebrate ourselves and each other, share a meal, sing a song, tell irreverent jokes, and not take ourselves so seriously that we forget the unfolding miracle of being alive on this earth.