Can the current profit-driven, exclusive and gentrified housing market give way to a limited equity, inclusive and affordable model of homeownership? New Economy Law Center Fellow, Janelle Orsi (Director of Sustainable Economies Law Center), explores this question in the following blog post that encourages us to consider “a different model of property ownership” in alignment with new economy objectives.
“Chase it down and read it!” is what New Economy Law Center Fellow, David Bollier, advises in regards to a recently published (Sept. 2015) new economy book by British design expert John Thackara. From establishment of a “food commons” to bioregionalist redesign of urban landscapes, Thackara’s How to Thrive in the Next Economy illustrates emerging examples of what life in a more socially responsible, environmentally sustainable economic system might look like. See below to read Bollier’s full review.
David Bollier, “John Thackara’s Intimate Tour of the Emerging New Economy,” October 5, 2016, http://bollier.org/blog/john-thackara%E2%80%99s-intimate-tour-emerging-new-economy
New Economy Law Center co-founder, Gus Speth, and colleagues at the Next System Project discuss the necessity and challenges of moving beyond the current political economy towards a more just, democratic, and sustainable system. In the following working paper presented during the recent “After Fossil Fuels: The Next Economy” conference in Oberlin, Ohio, they identify the nature and key drivers of our systemic crisis and insist that what must be changed is “at the level of the basic institutional design of the political-economic system itself.”
Gar Alperovitz et al. “Systemic Crisis and Systemic Change in the United States in the 21st Century,” The Next System Project, September 2016, http://thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NSPOberlin-final.pdf
The movement to create an “economy for the common good” has officially reached the United States. Austrian author and alternative economic advocate, Christian Felber, who started the movement five years ago, recently completed a U.S. tour to introduce the concept and initiate partnerships. The New Economy Law Center at Vermont Law School hosted him on September 20, 2016. During his time here, he met with community leaders from the Building a Local Economy (BALE) center and he presented an evening talk on campus. Click the link below to read the full report of his U.S. tour.
In the following article, NELC Fellow Linda Sheehan explains why the current approach to environmental protection is failing, and how recognizing our relationship with the natural world and nature’s inherent right in law can be a transformative remedy.
Paul Raskin of the Great Transition Initiative explores several scenarios regarding the future of human civilization in a new book titled “Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization.” In doing so, he offers hope for a global transformation of our destructive system, driven by a global citizens movement. According to NELC Fellow and co-founder Gus Speth, building this powerful, bottom-up movement “should move rapidly to the top of our collective priority list.” Speth praises Raskin’s latest work, calling it “a stirring guide to a world that works.” To read Speth’s reflective piece in its entirety, see below.
Gus Speth, “Reflection on ‘Journey to Earthland,’” Great Transition Initiative (October 2016) http://www.greattransition.org/publication/jte-reflections-speth
South Royalton’s local economy center, BALE (Building a Local Economy), is hosting several events as part of a yearlong series focusing on the new economy, localization and wellbeing –“Localize the Economy: Build Resilient Communities”. Tuesday, September 27 Gwendolyn Hallsmith speaks about transforming the money economy to fund infrastructure needed to address climate change. The series continues Thursday, October 6 with a screening of the film “The Economics of Happiness” followed by a discussion with filmmaker Steven Gorelick. Then on Tuesday, October 11 author George Lakey will talk about “Viking Economics,” discussing lessons learned from the economic model used in Scandinavian countries. All events start at 7:15pm at the BALE center, 35 S. Windsor Street, South Royalton, VT 05068.
Gwendolyn Hallsmith of Vermonters for a New Economy, takes up the challenge recently offered by Bill McKibben about the unimaginably huge scale of the effort needed to stall climate change. Hallsmith’s talk, “Coining Infrastructure” looks to a transformative view of the money economy (used before and essential now).
Meet filmmaker Steven Gorelick and watch his film, “The Economics of Happiness” as BALE partners with the international group, Local Futures. Join the dialogue following the film. See the trailer HERE.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016: George Lakey
George Lakey, author of Viking Economics, is active in the Earth Quaker Action Team. Turning economics “talk” into engaging, understandable dialogue is his skill. Here he speaks about research into the political struggles and victories of the Scandinavian people; how they now enjoy more equitable, entrepreneurial, and successful economies. Dialogue follows on how we might move toward a system based on abundance instead of scarcity.
In August the United Nations General Assembly issued a summary report based on a UN-initiated virtual dialogue among experts in Earth jurisprudence with regards to advancing global sustainability in harmony with nature. The dialogue focused on aligning human governance systems with an Earth-centered perspective. Experts discussed developments and recommendations for doing so across eight disciplines, including: Earth-centered law; ecological economics; education; holistic science; the humanities; philosophy and ethics; the arts, media, design and architecture; and theology and spirituality.
Read the full report here – http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/71/266
Several NELC Fellows participated in the virtual dialogue. Linda Sheehan offered her expertise in Earth-centered law, while Peter Brown and Joshua Farley contributed input in the area of ecological economics. See below for their individual pieces.
In June 2015 Hawaii became the first state in the nation to formally commit to 100 percent clean, renewable power generation. A year later, the island archipelago is facing some critical choices in how to get to that goal. NELC Fellow and VLS Distinguished Energy Law Scholar for 2016, Prof. Shalanda Baker, describes these choices under the current regulatory structure and their implications for energy policy and energy justice.
Shalanda H. Baker, Assoc. Prof. of Law and Environmental Law Program Faculty Advisor at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, “Restoring Power to Hawai’i: (Missed) Opportunities for Energy Justice on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy,” Hot Topics in Environmental Law lecture at VLS, June 9, 2016
A global movement is coalescing advancing systemic change in the law through enacting nature’s rights provisions as well as through legal activism promoting international recognition of ecocide as a fifth crime against peace. Femke Wijdekop discusses the latter development in a new piece for the Great Transition Initiative. In the following commentary, Earth Law Center Executive Director and NELC Senior Fellow Linda Sheehan responds to this piece reflecting on the role of legal activism and strategies for pushing ecocentric systemic reform forward.
Linda Sheehan, “Commentary on ‘Against Ecocide: Legal Protection for Earth,” Great Transition Initiative (August 2016), http://www.greattransition.org/commentary/linda-sheehan-against-ecocide-femke-wijdekop