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The Transition movement is a loose network of thousands of communities (ranging from favelas in Brazil to Japanese towns; from rural villages in England to Transition Los Angeles) unified in their drive to devise and implement positive solutions that build local resilience...
Almost everywhere we look, there is an emerging debate on the importance of sharing in relation to the grave challenges of our time. This conversation is most apparent in the sharing economy movement that has now taken the United States and Western Europe by storm, opening up...
During the 15 years, I lived and worked in Asia as a development professional from 1978 to 1992, I witness a troubling paradox. GDP was growing, incomes were rising, there was an expanding middle class, and a few people were getting fabulously rich. Development seemed to be...
Despite what many of those who advocate meat-eating would like to believe, humans do not sit at the top of the food chain. In any event, it’s a food web rather than a chain, due to the many complex interactions involved. An article commenting on our position in the food web...
Do you live in a developed nation or a developing nation? If your nation has an extensive system of roads, rail and airports, if it is fully electrified, if it is mostly urban and suburban, if modern medicine is widespread, if literacy and education are near-universal, if...
Back in in the day, an activist colleague of mine liked to wisecrack that whenever corporations talked about environmental solutions everyone could live with, what they meant were "solutions" only a politically acceptable number of people would die from. That is so 1980s...
If the aim of human society is happiness, freedom, and prosperity, there are indeed many alternative ways to achieve this without endangering the earth and ourselves, and without leaving behind half or more of humanity. This applies to India as to any other country, though...
2013 was another incredible year for fantastic, forward thinking social change films. More films pushing the envelope of creative thinking. More films giving a voice to the cutting edge ideas and perspectives of the global movement for a better world. More films telling the...
Hamburg City Council has disclosed ambitious plans to divert most cars away from its main thoroughfares in twenty years. In order to do so, local authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes in what is expected to become a large green network. In all, the Grünes Netz...
Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are both cheap to build and awesome to live in. They offer amenities like no other sustainable building style you have come across. For the reasons that follow, I believe Earthships can actually change the world. See for...
Considerations such as 'what do you really care about' and 'who do you serve' should be drivers of sustainability, not profit. Wouldn't it be nice if the best business decision were aligned with the best ecological decision? Some people say that often it already is, and that...
Things are getting better and better and worse and worse faster and faster simultaneously.” – Tom Atlee Was the year 2013 a cause for hope or a cause for despair? Were the positive developments signs that the world is turning the corner? Or were they delusionary exceptions...
Ruth Potts is the co-author, with Andrew Simms, of a pamphlet called The New Materialism, founder of Bread, Print and Roses, and organiser of the recent 'Festival of Making'. She describes her work as "inviting people to fall in love with stuff in a good way".  We sat down...
The Films For Action community has been cataloging social change documentaries on this site for several years now. And on top of our editor's work to scour the internet for the newest and best films to become available for free viewing online, we're lucky to have a...
Did you know that Seoul, South Korea is one of the world’s key sites for post-growth economic re-development? No? Neither did I, until I saw for myself.   I was pleased to be invited to give the keynote address at a conference titled “Reshaping the Way We Live,” put on...
The future of the human species - if there is to be a future - must be radically green, red, black and female. If we take this seriously - a human future, that is, if we really care about whether there will be a human future - each one of us who claims to care has to be...
It's a sign of a really good essay when bits of it linger with you for days after you've read it and it keeps popping up in your mind. Naomi Klein's "Why Science is Telling All of Us to Revolt and Change Our Lives Before We Destroy the Planet" is one of those. Her theme?...
In one vision of the distant future, after global warming has melted the ice caps and left the planet covered in water, Kevin Costner grows fish gills, lives on a trimaran, and battles pirates as he sails in search of the legend of “Dryland.” Waterworld is a constant...
(Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our parents and pass on to our children is squarely and solidly built on a Great Forgetting that occurred...
It would seem that there are certain strands of thought within many religions that are highly unsustainable, for the health of individuals as well society and the planet as a whole.  See this trailer for Holy Wars, as an illustration:
Canadian author Naomi Klein is so well known for her blade-sharp commentary that it’s easy to forget that she is, above all, a first-rate reporter. I got a glimpse into her priorities as I was working on this interview. Klein told me she was worried that some of the...
Neighbors in Conover Commons in Redmond, Washington, share an open field as their community gathering spot. This photo originally appeared in Jay Walljasper's book, How to Design Our World for Happiness. When we share our yards, sidewalks, and other common spaces, we find...
The city of Detroit isn’t looking too pretty to date. On July 18th as many know, Detroit filed for bankruptcy after falling an estimated $20 billion in debt to over 100,000 creditors. Due to the inability for the city government to provide for goods and services it once...
My first visit to Mondragon was in 1979. I had been searching the globe for years for a Relationship Age society which was also fully integrated into the modern world. My initial reaction to Mondragon was utter amazement. I had never expected to find such a mature and...
Happiness, or the lack thereof, lies at the root of what makes life meaningful. But figuring out what exactly constitutes happiness,especially in a culture like the Unites States that tends to conflate moneywith meaning, proves to be elusive. It's not enough, the new...
What the tropical nation of Costa Rica lacks in size, it more than makes up for in a wealth of biodiversity. Despite occupying just 0.03% of the planet’s surface, the region's lush forests are home to an incredible 500 thousand unique organisms -- representing over 4% of...
Due to Sweden’s innovative waste-to-energy program and highly efficient recycling habits, the Scandinavian nation faces an interesting dilemma.                                                              They have run out of trash. Sweden’s waste management and...
Faced with July 4th celebrations that are focused on militarism, ultra-nationalism, and “bombs bursting in air,” many American families who do not share those values turn July 4th into another summer holiday focused on picnics, sports, and fireworks, while doing their...
“People are realizing that we can’t rely on the industrial food system much longer. The awakening that’s happening is our greatest opportunity,” says New Mexican farmer and activist Miguel Santistevan. This awakening has sparked the revival of local, sustainable food...
Frances Coppola explores how increasing automation is fundamentally shifting the nature of work away from 'making stuff' towards personal services. One of the most interesting issues to arise in the course of the "comment-athon" on my post "The Golden Calf" was the...
I entered engineering school at Columbia University in September of last year intent on pursuing my interest in the development of alternative energy technology.  Throughout this past year, my classmates and I have been often reminded of how engineers are really public...
A century ago, industrialists like Andrew Carnegie believed that Darwin’s theories justified an economy of vicious competition and inequality. They left us with an ideological legacy that says the corporate economy, in which wealth concentrates in the hands of a few, produces...
1. Green Worker Cooperative’s Co-op Academy?, The Bronx, N.Y. Ideas for co-ops may flourish, but few people understand exactly how to make theirs real. The Co-op Academy is providing answers. Founded four years ago by Omar Freilla (who recently made Ebony magazine’s list...
Yesterday, after 21 months in federal custody, climate activist Tim DeChristopher approached the pulpit at his church in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a free man. The First Unitarian congregation rose in uproarious applause, tears streaming down more than a few faces. “It’s good...
The solar era has begun: the industry is booming, prices are dropping, and solar energy at last seems poised to help topple the climate-altering dominance of fossil fuels. But bringing it to the masses won’t be as simple as just soaking up the sun. To gain a better...
Despite impressive green economic growth during this country’s job-challenged recovery, particularly in the wind energy sector, the conservative right is systematically seeking to reverse this trend by repealing state-mandated renewable energy targets, even if many of the...
“There it is,” I said, camera in hand. “I’ve been looking for that poster for my ecological city slide show.” Before me was a sign I’d seen several times flashing by through the window of my moving train. It turned out to be part of a campaign by the Vancouver Aquarium...
As regular readers of this blog know, I have in previous posts commented on hunter-gatherers' playfulness; their playful religious practices; their playful approach toward productive work; their non-d
An increasing foundation of scientific research shows a significant linkage between personal well being and environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. This is not coincidence; it is a profound truth of crucial importance in the quest to create sustainable societies...
October 2012, Notre dames des Landes, France -- Chris leans forward, her long fingers play with the dial of the car radio “I’m trying to find 107.7 FM“ … a burst of Classical music, a fragment of cheesy pop. “ Ah! Here we go! I think I’ve got it?”  The plastic pitch of a...
Patrick Crouch practices the kind of gardening that Detroit has recently become famous for. The typical plot at Earthworks Urban Farm, where he serves as program manager, is cultivated on borrowed land and in close proximity to houses and apartment buildings. These plots...
The organic farming industry is booming. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its federal organic certification program in 2002, the number of organic farms has more than doubled. U.S. organic food sales have also grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $31.5 billion...
2012 was another big year for break-out films in the social change genre. With most of the bases covered for all of the major problems we're facing, more and more films this year focused on the solutions side of the equation, giving a voice to the uplifting stories of...
My ecological journey started in the forests of the Himalaya. My father was a forest conservator, and my mother became a farmer after fleeing the tragic partition of India and Pakistan. It is from the Himalayan forests and ecosystems that I learned most of what I know about...
A bold new threat to the economic status quo brings on a press blackout. Social pain, anger at ecological degradation and the inability of traditional politics to address deep economic failings has fueled an extraordinary amount of practical on-the-ground institutional...
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” Emmanuel of Oakland, California, responded when asked about carrying a reusable shopping bag. “It looks like a man-purse.”1 Emmanuel was part of a recent OgilvyEarth study entitled, Mainstream Green: Moving Sustainability from Niche to Normal...
If indigenous and modern world views are going to inform each other to shift the trajectory of humankind toward a just, thriving, and sustainable future, an important step in this direction is for the modern world to better understand indigenous peoples’ stories, perceptions...
We know that television's numbing effect is an unhealthy side-effect of our modern world, however Jenny Nazak argues that we individually have the power to incite people to goodness using the bounty of multimedia platforms available to each and every one of...
In Brief: There will be at least 100 million more Americans by 2050, and likely 150 million more. Yet the cities that will house them are so spatially and economically unstable that it is impossible to do much beyond superficial sustainability planning. One solution is to...