Category: People Systems

Simon Anholt: Which Country Does the Most Good for the World? (TED video)

It’s an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In a riveting and funny talk, he answers the question, "Which country does the most good?" […]

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Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some things — it’s increasingly heralded as the only way to organize our society. The market […]

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Ecuador Takes First Step Toward a Commons Economy

Government sponsors research on how to transition to commoning and open networks. by David Bollier A child during a parade in Ecuador by mavik2007, Flickr Creative Commons In 2013, the government of Ecuador launched a major strategic research project to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador” based on the principles of open networks, peer production and commoning.  Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation would be leading the research team for the next […]

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The Promise of the Commons

Regular readers may remember an article I posted back in 2010 — Kings, Conquerors, Capitalism and Resilience Lost — where I covered a little historical ground for one particular former ‘East Bloc’ country; a history shared by several countries in central Europe. The article outlined how previously resilient land-based communities — which had lived and even thrived for centuries in close relation to each other and the land that sustained […]

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How a Commons Way of Life Helps Curb Climate Change

It offers an appealing alternative to more stuff and more money, which drives environmental destruction today. It’s easy to not think about the looming climate crisis. For one thing, it’s depressing to ponder the misery ahead if we don’t take drastic steps now to curb greenhouse emissions. It’s even more depressing when you consider that even the most modest steps to reduce carbon use in the US have been derailed […]

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This Collapse is a ‘Crisis of Bigness’

Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it’s a collapse. by Paul Kingsnorth The results of half a century of debt-fuelled “growth” are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair. To […]

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Designing Authentic Community

Humankind can never do the important work of re-designing our agricultural systems on a community scale with dysfunctional and alienated communities. This is the core wisdom of permaculture: permanent (i.e. stable) culture for permanent agriculture. But, we need to re-design these systems as soon as possible, because our unsustainable and unstable reality is catching up with us quickly and creating much suffering! Dunbar’s number I’ve been thinking a lot about […]

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Permaculture Explains the Political Control Matrix, and the Solutions – Part 1

by Peter Greg The idea of how Permaculture parallels with politics has been a question that has been stuck in my mind for weeks now, and I’ve been fascinated with the idea of how we can use Permaculture to recover some of our political power. The more you look into politics in the modern day with an open mind, the more it starts to resemble a ‘mutated’ eco-system of sorts, […]

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Do We Really Need Compulsory Schooling? An Interview with Peter Gray

Marcin Gerwin: It seems almost natural that when children reach the age of six or seven they go to school. The idea of compulsory schools seems obvious and it is rarely questioned. However, one may start to wonder if forcing children to learn is an effective way to provide education at all. We learn easier when we want to do it rather than when we are told to. Is it […]

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Grow Heathrow: Response to Comments

Photo: Transition Heathrow Having received some rather interesting comments on the article about Grow Heathrow, I felt it worthwhile to expand upon some of the issues surrounding the project. As it says in my article (1), the legal situation of Grow Heathrow is far from certain and court proceedings against the people who set up the project actually began a few months into it. However, the project is still going […]

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