Local Living Economies

In the beginning…
September 17, 2008, 8:33 pm
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The Living Economy Blog is now underway.  I’ll post links and articles about creating the next economy — a global economy based on networks of local living economies all around the world.


BALLE Conference Speaker: Tom Stearns
May 27, 2009, 10:46 pm
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From the New York Times
Uniting Around Food to Save an Ailing Town

Published: October 7, 2008

THIS town’s granite companies shut down years ago and even the rowdy bars and porno theater that once inspired the nickname “Little Chicago” have gone.

Facing a Main Street dotted with vacant stores, residents of this hardscrabble community of 3,000 are reaching into its past to secure its future, betting on farming to make Hardwick the town that was saved by food.

With the fervor of Internet pioneers, young artisans and agricultural entrepreneurs are expanding aggressively, reaching out to investors and working together to create a collective strength never before seen in this seedbed of Yankee individualism.

Rob Lewis, the town manager, said these enterprises have added 75 to 100 jobs to the area in the past few years.

Read more…

10% Shift in New England
April 17, 2009, 6:46 pm
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Green Money Journal: Notes From the Leading Edge of Social Finance
September 25, 2008, 9:15 pm
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Notes From the Leading Edge of Social Finance
By Don Shaffer

The era of Wall Street domination is over.

It may take ten years, or fifty years, but the signs are clear. A relative few committed investors are driving the shift to an entirely new approach to working with money.

If today’s capital markets can be described as complex, opaque, and anonymous – based on short-term outcomes, we are beginning to see more and more financial transactions that are direct, transparent, and personal-based on long-term relationships.

Exotic hedge funds – out.
Investments that contribute directly to community health and self-reliance – in.

In the years to come, there will be significant growth of…

  • Small-scale community banks
  • Holding companies for privately held, triple-bottom-line businesses
  • New funds that re-define venture capital and the notion of “exit strategy”
  • And much more…

Who will be the most powerful change agents in this emerging financial system?

Read more…

Yes! Magazine: Main Street Before Wall Street
September 25, 2008, 9:01 pm
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Main Street Before Wall Street
by David Korten

Events of the past few weeks have exposed the danger of a financial system devoted to reckless speculation that produces nothing of real value and, as we are now being told, presents a risk to the whole global economy. The Bush administration proposes handing $700 billion to Treasury Secretary Paulson to disburse—without oversight or review—to those who created the current mess. Spending what many analysts believe will grow to at least a trillion dollars to prop up this predatory system for a few more months, or even years, seems less than a great idea, which hopefully makes this a teachable moment.

We might start with the lesson that there is an essential role for government. Market fundamentalists have long argued that markets freed from governmental interference self-correct. We can now see clearly that the more Wall Street freed itself from regulatory oversight, the more its most powerful players manipulated markets and politics to their personal benefit. The more reckless their risk taking became, the greater the instability of the financial system, and the greater the threat to the rest of the economy.

So what would a healthy financial system look like? Let’s start with the relationship between Main Street and Wall Street. Main Street is the world of local businesses and working people engaged in producing and exchanging real goods and services—a world of real wealth. Wall Street as it now exists is a world of pure money in which the sole game is to use money to make money for people who have money—a world of speculative gains and unearned claims against the real wealth of Main Street.

Read more…

Green For All
September 19, 2008, 5:58 pm
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Green Jobs Now National Day of Action brought to you by Green For All is just 8 days away! Check out the video and plan an event in your community or find one happening near by.

Story of Stuff
September 19, 2008, 5:51 pm
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Community Food Enterprise
September 19, 2008, 5:34 pm
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Community Food Enterprise: Local Success in a Global Marketplace

The Wallace Center at Winrock International, in partnership with the Training & Development Corporation, is pleased to announce Community Food Enterprise: Local Success in a Global Marketplace, a project jointly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Evidence is mounting worldwide that a powerful path to prosperity for communities across the globe may be local ownership of enterprises that meet food needs. Various meta trends, such as rising oil prices and new models of small-scale organization, are changing the economics of food. These changes are fostering a new generation of community-based enterprises as farmers and other local entrepreneurs begin to take greater ownership roles.

Read More…

Here is the list of ten U.S.-based local food enterprises to be profiled as part of Community Food Enterprise: Local Success in a Global Marketplace. The project is designed to highlight successful models of locally owned food enterprises from around the world.

Now the list:

•    Anna Marie Seafood, Dulac, Louisiana

•    Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Appalachian Harvest, Abingdon, Virginia

•    Indian Springs Farmers Association, Petal, Mississippi

•    Intervale Center, Burlington, Vermont

•    Lorentz Meats, Cannon Falls, Minnesota

•    Oklahoma Food Coop, Norman, Oklahoma

•    Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport, California

•    Weaver Street Market, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina

•    White Dog Café, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

•    Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, Ann Arbor, Michigan