Small is beautiful – an economic idea that has sadly been forgotten EF Schumacher's Small is Beautiful was the first book on politics I ever read; it was the only book about politics I ever saw my father read or heard him talk about. It arrived in our cottage in rural North Yorkshire as a manifesto from a radical countercultural world with which we had no contact. Re-reading its dense mixture of philosophy, environmentalism and economics, I can't think what I could possibly have understood of it at 13, but in a bid to impress my father I ploughed on to the end. Looking back over the intervening almost four decades, the book's influence has been enormous.
Avaaz: can online campaigning reinvent politics? How do you run an organisation with 17 million bosses? Avaaz, the online campaigning giant that has taken action on Palestinian statehood, phone hacking and News International, and the pre-trial detention of Bradley Manning, among much else, is making its annual attempt to find an answer to that question this week. Avaaz's 2012 campaigns included a petition with nearly 1m signatures calling for universal education in Pakistan after the shooting of 15-year-old schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai. It was delivered by a UN envoy directly to the Pakistani president – who signed it himself. Avaaz also amassed 1.8m signatures for Palestinian statehood, and was part of the internet-wide efforts against new censorship laws in January. But now, in a bid to decide what to do next, the five-year-old activism organisation is holding what one staffer describes as a "global party conference" to let its members try to set the agenda for the year ahead.
The Spanish Revolution Continues This is from Valencia, Spain, about ten hours ago. But you wouldn't know from watching the media... This is from Valencia, Spain, about ten hours ago. But you wouldn't know from watching the media, because they've already made the decision not to televise the revolution. Share this widely if you stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Spain, who continue to fight the culture of banking corruption and greed that rules governments worldwide.
en français Details Category: About Published on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:08 CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance of members and partners which constitutes an influential network of organisations at the local, national, regional and international levels, and spans the spectrum of civil society. The Secret Agents of Capitalism Are All Around Us The young people grouped at the end of the bar resemble Gap models. They are facially attractive, in that asymmetrical sort of way, and they wear the new uniform of the Internet cast-aside who still has money to carouse with: tight dark blue jeans, T-shirts a bit too small and hair slightly greased. It's a Wednesday night at a small bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side. ''I feel so great, so real,'' says a slight young woman with spindly arms and wide eyes. A blue bandanna is tied tightly around her head.
An Unconventional Billionaire Is Revolutionizing Philanthropy By Closing His Foundation Some people are into extreme sports, others extreme eating. You could call self-made billionaire Chuck Feeney an extreme philanthropist. Feeney, the 83-year-old co-founder of the pioneering retail business Duty Free Shoppers (the company that sells the tax-free alcohol and perfume in airports), is practically unknown as a public figure. Though Forbes once ranked him the 23rd-richest person alive, you wouldn’t realize it if you met him on the street: In his prime, he famously wore a $15 watch and flew economy. You certainly won’t find his name on any buildings.
mancunian green: Boon - or Bobbins? As the banking crisis continues, alternative or complementary currencies are back on the agenda, as evidenced by George Monbiot's last piece in the Guardian , and a feature on Lewes Pounds on BBC's radio 4 in the last couple of days. The idea of an alternative currency is not new, and back around 15-20 years ago, LETS schems (Local Exchange Trading Systems)were seen as a key part of the move to a sustainable society and there were close links between Green party activists and LETS schemes in various places around the country. The scheme in Manchester used a currency called 'bobbins' after the cotton industry and for a while local Green Party membership could be paid for in bobbins, though hardly anybody ever did. Unfortunately in recent years I have heard much less about them, and even their co-ordinating body, Letslink, reports a likely drop in membership since the early days. I can think of two reasons why this might be.
GNH Centre Bhutan Gross National Happiness, or GNH, is a holistic and sustainable approach to development, which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that humans want to search for happiness. The objective of GNH is to achieve a balanced development in all the facets of life that are essential; for our happiness. • The Story of GNH • The 4 Pillars & 9 Domains • GNH Today • GNH Organizations Why does GNH matter? We are in the age of the Anthropocene when the fate of the planet and all life is within the power of mankind. Boundless consumerism amidst widening socio-economic inequality and instability is causing rapid resource depletion and degradation.
Notes From The Underground “I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’… I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’ But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’”– Bob Dylan Seventeen years ago, I read a book called The Evolving Self. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, it profoundly affected the direction of my life. Here’s the section of the book that became a splinter in my mind and resonated the most with me: “In order to gain control of consciousness, we must learn how to moderate the biases built into the machinery of the brain. We allow a whole series of illusions to stand between ourselves and reality….
CHIEF SEATTLE'S LETTER CHIEF SEATTLE'S LETTER "The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? Fighting corporate seeds in South Asia These photos tell a story of corporate power and its impact on ordinary people. They were taken in the Indian and Bangladeshi countryside where farmers have been fighting the expansion of industrial agriculture for decades. In India, Monsanto has a tight grip on cotton growing with a 90% market share in cotton seeds. Its business model shores up its control of agriculture as farmers are pushed into uncontrollable debt because of expensive seeds and chemicals. Over the past twenty years nearly 300,000 farmers have committed suicide in India. But there are positive alternatives to these corporate-controlled seeds.