Connect with us

Business

Real energy for change can be found in communities, not manifestos

Published

on

Change happens in communities, not manifestos

Will Brett from the New Economics Foundation suggests we should look towards communities, not manifestos, when seeking energy for change. ‘Let’s move forward, not back,’ he writes.

In the 2010 election, Labour published a poster showing David Cameron as the TV cop character Gene Hunt in the hit show Ashes to Ashes, set in the 1980s.

By depicting him in this way, with limbs draped casually over a sporty red car and tie half-loosened, Labour weren’t just trying to make voters mistrust him. They were evoking fears of the bad old days when the Tories were in charge, wheeler dealers were running riot and you couldn’t rely on the police.

Unfortunately for Labour, the Tories repurposed the poster, adding the tagline: ‘Fire up the Quattro, it’s time for change’. But the reason Labour produced that poster in the first place was simple: if you can associate the opposition with the past – and yourselves with the future – then you win.

That’s why, in the same election year, the cover of Labour’s manifesto depicted a family literally gazing at the sunlit uplands. It’s why the 2015 Conservative manifesto and so many others have the word ‘FUTURE’ slapped on its cover. And it’s why election winners year after year have alighted on the phraseology of the future, from Harold Wilson’s White Heat to Tony Blair’s New Labour via Margaret Thatcher’s insistence that she was definitely ‘not for turning’.

All of which throws up a surprising and disturbing fact about the party manifestos released in recent weeks. All three of them – Labour, Lib Dem and Tory – feel stuck in the past.

 


Be informed and inspired.  Sign up and become a collaborator in creation of sustainable systems of service.

 Sign up today!


 

Granted, the Lib Dems called their manifesto Change Britain’s Future – but it is dominated by the idea that they might be able to reverse a decision already taken by the British public last year.

Energy for change tends to be found at the level of the community, below the radar of Westminster and Whitehall

The Conservative manifesto works hard to signal a break from the recent past, with a sharp tack to the left on workers’ rights and state intervention in the economy. But it is a shift to a set of ideas that were in fashion a long time ago. Workers on boards, industrial strategy – these are policies and approaches with which Harold Macmillan would have been perfectly familiar.

Labour’s manifesto also feels lifted almost directly from another age. Every problem facing the country is addressed through the same familiar formula: more state ownership, and/or more public spending. On some issues, this may be the right approach – but that appears to be more by accident than design.

These are ideas which had their time 40 years ago or more. You can see this obsession with the past in some of the language which dominates the manifestos. The Conservatives present us with ‘five giant challenges’, echoing the Beveridge Report of 1944. The Labour slogan (‘for the many, not the few’) is a direct lift from the first Blair manifesto in 1997. And so on.

But this is more than just a stylistic curiosity. It’s a sign that the main political parties have understood neither the scale of the challenge which lies before them, nor how to tap into the energy needed to address it.

All of the parties are faced with a public that has fundamentally lost faith in the potential for national politics to deliver for them. A combination of changing cultural expectations and crushing economic stagnation has left party politics stranded on the high ground. There is energy and commitment for change in this country, but our work at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) shows that this energy tends to be found at the level of the community, below the radar of Westminster and Whitehall.

The main political parties have understood neither the scale of the challenge which lies before them, nor how to tap into the energy needed to address it

This is where people feel they can have a real effect on their immediate environment – not by voting for a party to seize the reins in Westminster, but by taking action to change something now.

Where in the manifestos are the exciting, innovative ideas about how to harness this potential? None of them seem to recognise that there might be sources of prosperity other than the market and the state – that communities might be able to drive their own regeneration or create new models of business. Meanwhile charities, and civil society in general, barely get a look-in. It is as if the only two ways to get anything done in this country are to pull a lever in Whitehall or let the market run wild.

A vision for the country that is genuinely forward-looking has to do more than pay lip service to the future. It has to recognise the real sources of energy and change in the country, and seek to unlock them. These manifestos suggest that the parties do not really understand where that energy lies. So it is left to people in communities all over the country to show them.

Will Brett is director of news and media at the New Economics Foundation, where this article was originally published.

Source: Positive News  

 

 

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Business

Right to Repair Bill Introduced in Congress

Published

on

Hot on the heels of last week’s victory in the New York state senate, the fight for Right to Repair comes to the US Congress. Today, Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY) introduced the first broad federal Right to Repair bill: the Fair Repair Act.

“As electronics become integrated into more and more products in our lives, Right to Repair is increasingly important to all Americans,” said Kyle Wiens, iFixit CEO. Lawmakers everywhere are realizing the need to protect our Right to Repair—along with progress in the EU and Australia, 27 US states introduced Right to Repair legislation this year, a record number.

“Every year I’ve worked on Right to Repair, it’s gotten bigger, as more and more people want to see independent repair protected,” said Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of Repair.org. Rep. Joe Morelle has been a champion for much of that journey, sponsoring legislation while in the Statehouse in Albany starting in 2015. Everywhere you go, people just want to be able to choose for themselves how to fix their stuff. You’d think manufacturers would wise up.”

Congressman Joe Morelle’s federal bill would require manufacturers to provide device owners and independent repair businesses with access to the parts, tools, and information they need to fix electronic devices.

“For too long, large corporations have hindered the progress of small business owners and everyday Americans by preventing them from the right to repair their own equipment,” said Congressman Morelle. “It’s long past time to level the playing field, which is why I’m so proud to introduce the Fair Repair Act and put the power back in the hands of consumers. This common-sense legislation will help make technology repairs more accessible and affordable for items from cell phones to laptops to farm equipment, finally giving individuals the autonomy they deserve.”

“Right to Repair just makes sense,” said Nathan Proctor, U.S. PIRG Senior Right to Repair Campaign Director. “It saves money and it keeps electronics in use and off the scrap heap. It helps farmers keep equipment in the field and out of the dealership. No matter how many lobbyists Apple, Microsoft or John Deere and the rest of the manufacturers throw at us, Right to Repair keeps pushing ahead, thanks to champions like Rep. Joe Morelle.”

“At iFixit, we believe that big tech companies shouldn’t get to dictate how we use the things we own or keep us from fixing our stuff.” said iFixit’s US Policy Lead, Kerry Maeve Sheehan. “We applaud Congressman Morelle for taking the fight for Right to Repair to Congress and standing up for farmers, independent repair shops, and consumers nationwide.”

We’re pleased to see Congress taking these problems seriously. In addition to supporting Congressman Morelle’s Fair Repair Act, we urge Congress to pass much-needed reforms to Section 1201 of the Copyright Act, to clarify that circumventing software locks to repair devices is always legal, and to expressly support the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to tackle unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive repair restrictions.

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading

Agriculture

For a healthier planet, management must change

Published

on

Our environment sustains all life. Both human and wildlife. When habitat degrades, the lives of all that depend on it also deteriorate: poor land = poor people and social breakdown.By Sarah Savory, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe (like many other countries in arid areas with seasonal rainfall) we are facing the many symptoms and signs of our country’s advancing desertification: ever-increasing droughts, floods, wildfires, poverty, poaching, social breakdown, violence, mass emigration to cities, biodiversity loss and climate change. No economy can survive if we destroy our soil – the only economy that can ultimately sustain any community, or nation, is based on the photosynthetic process — green plants growing on regenerating soil.


So, if we wanted to find out the optimum way to manage our wildlife, people and economy, logically, shouldn’t we be looking at our National Parks for the best examples of what we can do for our environment? Because in national parks, we not only have the best management the world knows, we don’t have any of the issues that are normally blamed for causing desertification: ignorance, greed, corruption, corporations, livestock, coal, oil, etc. Let’s do that now…the following are all photos taken in our national parks (the first 3 were taken in May right after the rainy season when they should still be looking their best!)

As you can see from those photos, some of the worst biodiversity loss and land degradation we have in Zimbabwe is occurring IN our National Parks. But, as I pointed out, those have been run using the best management known to us and have been protected and conserved for decades. We’ve clearly been missing something…

The above 8 pictures are a mixture of National Parks and Communal Land…can you tell which is which?

We are seeing this land degradation both inside and out of our Parks because there is an over-arching and common cause of desertification that nobody has understood, or been able to successfully address, until recently.

We spend our lives blaming resources for causing the damage (coal, oil, livestock, elephants, etc) but resources are natural, so how could they possibly be to blame? Only our management of them can be causing the problem.

ALL tool using animals (including humans) automatically use a genetically embedded management framework…and every single management decision made is in order to meet an objective, a need, or to address a problem. And those decisions are made with exactly the same framework, or thought process and for exactly the same reasons, whether it is an animal or a human.

For example, a hungry otter has an objective: he wants to break open a clamshell because he needs to eat. He uses a simple tool (technology, in the form of a stone) to do so. He does this based on past experience or what he learned from his mother.

Or, the president of the United States has an objective: to put a man on the moon within a decade. He and his team use the same tool (technology, but various and more sophisticated forms of it) and base their choices on past experience, research, expert advice, and so on. It’s the same process, or framework, in both cases, only the degree of sophistication has varied.

A screen shot taken from a short video clip we took with a film crew last month, of 4 different areas, all near to each other: you will clearly see the terrible desertification in both National Parks and nearby Communal Land. In comparison, you will see a vast difference on Dibangombe, the Africa Centre For Holistic Management (our learning centre, which is only 30km from Victoria Falls.) This habitat is being regenerated for all life by simply managing holistically. Every year on this land, despite the worsening droughts, the biodiversity increases and the land and wildlife flourish.
All this footage was taken in the same area, at the same time, with the same climate, the same soils, the same wildlife and the same humans.
But different management.

To this day, this decision making process works just fine for the otter. But imagine that one day, the otter invents a machine that can crack open 1,000 clam shells a day and that all the other otters suddenly stop doing what otters are designed to do and just come to him to get their clams. They still use the decision making process but everything else has changed…that tiny advance in technology would have inadvertently set off a complex chain reaction through the whole ecosystem and there would soon be catastrophic environmental knock-on effects because the balance of the ecosystem has been upset. The ecosystem will keep trying to adjust to this change but eventually it will start to collapse. Imagine the otter started charging for the clams. Now, with every decision the otters make, in order to make sure their ecosystem didn’t collapse, they would need to be simultaneously addressing the social, environmental and economic aspects of their actions. Their management would have to evolve with the change.

This is exactly what happened to humans…As soon as our technology advanced, our management should have evolved to accommodate for it. But it didn’t.

Our natural world is rapidly collapsing all around us and we have ended up constantly chasing our tails and dealing with the symptoms and complications we’ve created. While there have been thousands of books written over the years on different types of management, if you dig a little deeper and ‘peel the onion’ the same genetically embedded framework is still inadvertently being used.

In the last 400 years, our technology has advanced faster than in all of the two hundred thousand or so years of modern human existence. Over those same few centuries, you can now see why the health of our planet has entered a breathtaking decline.  We now have the knowledge to change that…

No matter what we are managing, we cannot ever escape an inevitable web of social, economic and environmental complexity, so, in order to truly address any issue, the people and the finances have to be addressed simultaneously, not just the land itself. Isolating one particular part of the problem, or singling out a species and trying to manage it successfully, is no different from trying to isolate and manage the hydrogen in water.

With this knowledge, the Holistic Management Framework was developed. And, incredibly, it all started here in Zimbabwe, by my father, Allan Savory, an independent Zimbabwean scientist. This new decision making process ensures that no matter what we are managing, we focus on the root cause of any problem. It also makes sure that all our decisions are socially or culturally sound, economically viable and ecologically regenerative by using 7 simple filtering checks. And, it introduces us to a new, biological tool: animal impact and movement, that can be used to help us reverse desertification and regenerate our land and rivers.

This framework has received world-wide acclaim and is now being mirrored in forty three Holistic Management hubs on six continents, including the first university-led hub in the USA.

Now we can begin to understand that most of the problems we are facing in Zimbabwe today are simply symptoms of reductionist management.

Imagine that one day, someone starts to beat you really hard over the head, once a day, every day, with a cricket bat. It really hurts, and instead of trying to take the bat away from them, you just take a dispirin to deal with the headache it’s caused and carry on.

After a week, the pain will be getting much worse and the dispirin will no longer be strong enough, so you’d need a new painkiller. The stopain comes out. After a while, stopain won’t be enough, so you turn to Brufen. And so it goes on. Yet the blows continue.

Eventually, your organs will be struggling from all the medication and you’ll end up in hospital with very serious complications. The best doctors and specialists in the world are called in at great expense and they rush around treating all your worsening, and now life-threatening, symptoms. None of them can understand why you aren’t getting better – they’ve used the best medicines and procedures known. It’s because everyone is so focused on your symptoms, that nobody has looked up and seen the person standing behind you with the cricket bat.

It sounds silly when I put it like that, doesn’t it? But that is exactly what we are doing.

Our planet is in that hospital with life threatening complications, with Governments, Organisations and individuals doing their best, spending millions of dollars, often using expert advice, to find out how to treat the patient, but nobody has realised that they are only treating symptoms. Nobody has noticed the guy standing there with the bat.

The holistic management framework stops the blows to the head. As soon as we do that and the cause is being treated, all the symptoms will automatically begin to heal and fall away.

I am going to show you a screen shot taken from a short video clip we took with a film crew last month, of 4 different areas, all near to each other: you will clearly see the terrible desertification in both National Parks and nearby Communal Land. In comparison, you will see a vast difference on Dibangombe, the Africa Centre For Holistic Management (our learning centre, which is only 30km from Victoria Falls.) This habitat is being regenerated for all life by simply managing holistically. Every year on this land, despite the worsening droughts, the biodiversity increases and the land and wildlife flourish.

All this footage was taken in the same area, at the same time, with the same climate, the same soils, the same wildlife and the same humans.

But different management.

These pictures were taken on the same day on land only 30km apart in February 2018, The 2 photos on the left are Zambezi National Park and the photo on the right is Africa Centre for Holistic Management (Dibangombe)

The great news is that we can turn it all around and we don’t have the thousands of different problems we all think we do. We only have to adjust one thing. Our management.

It’s time for us to evolve from using our outdated, reductionist management framework. We need to adapt to a new way of thinking and  apply this paradigm-shifting decision  making framework so that we can all work together towards regenerating our Zimbabwe.

Culturally. Socially. Economically. Environmentally. For for our people and for our wildlife.

Let’s start by stopping the blows to the head!

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading

Business

Free to Download Fight the Fire: Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs

Published

on

Fight the Fire

Fight The Fire Book Cover

OUT NOW!

“The most compelling and concise guide to averting climate breakdown.” – Brendan Montague, editor, The Ecologist.

Download Jonathan Neale’s Fight the Fire from The Ecologist for free now.

The Ecologist has published Fight the Fire for free so that it is accessible to all.

We would like to thank our readers for donating £1,000 to cover some of the costs of publishing and promoting this book.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [2.23 MB]

Get Mobilized and Make Love Go Viral!
Continue Reading
A web of Life for ALL Life2 days ago

Rich nations “must consign coal power to history” – UK COP26 president

Oceans and Water3 weeks ago

Time To Flip the Ocean Script — From Victim to Solution

A web of Life for ALL Life3 weeks ago

Allan Savory: A holistic management shift is required

A note from the Publisher3 weeks ago

New Report by National Academy of Sciences (USA): Social Media is Hazardous to Your Health

Featured News4 weeks ago

Listen to the Science: The Impacts of Climate on the Health of People and Planet

Agriculture1 month ago

Ecocide must be listed alongside genocide as an international crime

Energy and Transportation1 month ago

A Controversial Nuclear Waste Cleanup Could Put a critical Legal Question Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Agriculture1 month ago

How is The Gates Foundation is driving the world’s food system in the wrong direction.

Energy and Transportation1 month ago

New report details Big Polluters’ next Big Con

Featured News1 month ago

The ACCESS ACT Takes a Step Towards a More Interoperable Future

Business1 month ago

Right to Repair Bill Introduced in Congress

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

The Earth is Alive! Here’s how to regenerate the soil

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Can re-thinking our lawns solve Climate Change?

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Stop ripping up our future (Mining in Brasil)

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Learning how Everything Connects is Vital to our Survival

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

The Importance of Protecting our Right to Clean Water

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Creating Human-Like Civil Rights of Nature Laws in your Community

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

Learning from the Past; Not Making the Same Mistakes: David Korten, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Gunna Jung

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

How re-imagining education empowers imagination

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

How Cooperatives Benefit Community Health and well-being

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

The Power and Potential of Living, Breathing Architecture and Design

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

How to Survive the Industrial-Aged Food System

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

How can we eradicate heart disease?

A web of Life for ALL Life1 month ago

If not now, there is no WHEN

Editorials1 month ago

Everything Connects

Featured News1 month ago

The Earth is Alive! Here’s how to regenerate the soil

Mobilized World Summit1 month ago

How re-imagining education empowers imagination

Mobilized World Summit1 month ago

How Cooperatives Benefit Community Health and well-being

Featured News2 months ago

Polish people take their government to court as climate impacts hit home

Our future is in OUR Hands
Arts2 months ago

Chautauquas and Lyceums and TED Talks, oh my!

Featured News2 months ago

First in the U.S.: “Rights of Nature” State Constitutional Amendment Filed in Florida to Protect Waterways

Economics2 months ago

Local food sourcing saves people and climate

Agriculture2 months ago

Hemp for Victory

Economics2 months ago

How the World Bank helped re-establish colonial plantations

Barry Dossenko2 months ago

Healing the Sick Society: Enabling A World that Works for All

Agriculture2 months ago

For a healthier planet, management must change

Mobilized World Summit2 months ago

How re-thinking architecture and design is good for planetary health

Mobilized World Summit3 months ago

Convergence: Artists, Activists, Scientists, media Makers and Earth Shakers Unite

Agriculture3 months ago

Grassroots strategies to preserve farmland and access to land for peasant farming and agroecology

Agriculture3 months ago

Understanding “The Global Land Grab

Economics3 months ago

A Cooperative Approach to Climate Action

Energy and Transportation3 months ago

Connecting Customers to Create a Virtual Power Plant

Editorials3 months ago

The Thirty-Years War.

Economics3 months ago

Can Covid-19 be the Opportunity to Shine the light on the need for Localization?

Featured News3 months ago

The Big Water and Fisheries Power Grab

Business4 months ago

Free to Download Fight the Fire: Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs

Economics4 months ago

TNI’s State of Power podcast: Understanding Wealth, Power, Colonialism and Slavery

Featured News4 months ago

Overcoming Environmental Greenwashing: Show us the Evidence!

Arts4 months ago

Fearless Bravery: Pennebaker and Hegedus on Documenting Life as it is happening

Arts4 months ago

Beatles Producer George Martin: Can too Much Technology Stifle Creativity?

Trending

Translate »
Skip to toolbar