EcoliseWiki:Status Report 2021 content

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Revision as of 17:45, 23 March 2020 by Tom Henfrey (talk | contribs) (Sustainability in Practice: working with nature, transition design, commons ecologies)

Core Content Structure

Being Spaces for/of...

Economic Diversity
It is increasingly evident that current economic paradigms - particularly the capitalist premise of perpetual growth in GDP - are fundamentally incompatible with sustainability, including fulfillment of the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals and Green New Deal. However, diverse and abundant alternative ideas and models now exist, which abandon theoretical dogma in favour of the practical question of how to live together in shared prosperity on an ecologically finite planet.
Democratic Political Practice/Inclusive Governance
Environmentally and socially destructive economic systems are inherently connected with centralised and inequitable political systems capable of co-option by those who already hold wealth and power. Moving towards sustainability and social justice requires more inclusive and democratic forms of decision-making and allocation of rights over shared resources. Approaches to inclusive governance already in use by many communities of place and/or practice provide potential models for a wider democratisation of society.
Living Values
Incumbent economic and political systems implicitly embed values at odds with sustainability and social justice, and hence build these in operationally as both operational features and inevitable outcomes. Community initiatives seeking to create and enact alternative economic and governnance paradigms operate according to very different sets of values. Making these values explicit enables critical self-reflection (and formal evaluation) on whether and to what extent they are, or are not, being upheld, and at the same time highlights contrasts with dominant systems.
Regenerative Cultures
Values of sustainability, justice and care, in the context of accelerating social and ecological degeneration, oblige us to move from exploitation to regeneration as the cultural premise for human societies. Regenerative cultures take many different forms, rooted in place and responsive to local and regional environmental, ecological, economic, social, and cultural conditions. They represent diverse possible responses to current crises, and indicate potential trajectories towards human presence on earth becoming something that safeguards and enriches the biosphere.

Collaborative Networks

Translocal Networks
Locally rooted action that remains local in perspective and scope is limited in its potential, in itself, to contribute to wider transformation. Collaboration among those working towards regenerative cultures in different places allows them to become more than the some of their parts. Through networking, mutual inspiration, shared learning, diffusion of ideas and practices, and strategic action at national and international levels, local and regional initiatives connect, spread and grow into broad-based movements for change.
Territorial/Bioregional Partnerships
The specific thematic focus of any translocal network is never by itself adequate to navigate the complexity of local realities. When multiple networks and converge upon a single physical locality, broad partnerships of actors working at local-to-regional scale can emerge, each bringing its own set of perspectives and competencies. Their combination in multi-stakeholder partnerships working towards agreed broad goals creates the greatest potential for both rapid local transition and catalysing wider societal transformation.
Social Solidarity Economy
An economy based on principles of competition and self-interest puts provision of basic needs at odds with regeneration of social and ecological value. Collective, democratically organised action through inclusive place-based partnerships, connected via translocal networks, can be the basis for reshaping economic life at all levels on the basis of solidarity, cooperation and care for people and other living systems.

Sustainability in Practice

Working with Nature
Conceptual and material separation from nature is a key root cause of current crises. Recognising that human economies are living systems, embedded within and dependent upon biological processes, is key to their sustainability. Understanding the principles that allow ecological systems to combine productivity and resilience can also inform the intentional design of human systems.
  • Nature-based solutions
    • Biomimicry
    • Ecomimicry
    • Permaculture
  • Ecology of mind
  • Biocultural diversity
Transition Design
Environmental and socially destructive impact are not incidental contingent side-effects of capitalism, but inherent, if unintended, consequences of its need to extract surplus value. Recognising this raises the converse prospect of deliberate design of socio-economic systems for sustainable and equitable outcomes, through inclusive and democractic processes and as unique expressions of local biocultural conditions, and in mutually beneficial interrelationships with other localities.
  • Autonomous design
  • Relocalisation
  • Autopoiesis
  • Structural coupling
Commons Ecologies
Basing production on private property disincentivises social responsibility, while centralised state control undermines individual and community autonomy. Commons, in which users self-organise for the stewardship and allocation of shared resources on the basis of need and capability, are the basis of all known cases of human societies living within local ecological limits. Commons ecologies existing in mutually generative relationships with each other are an outcome of Transition design that provide a potential model for global sustainable society, rooted in diverse local specifics
Social Innovation
  • Grassroots innovations
  • Transformative learning
Growing Edges