Successful social movements are emergent, evolving, radically self-organizing, and involve the dedicated efforts of many people, each finding the role that best uses his or her gifts and passions.
Where do I start?
1. First – take a deep breath. Pause and think about your current circumstances and notice how you are already connected within your community and to what’s happening in the world.
- Do a reality check of how the current economic scenario is playing out for you and your family. What are the implications for your household, your work, and your community? What is your story?
- Claim your feelings; identify the issues/topics that make you angry, frustrated, discouraged, excited, encouraged, and/or optimistic.
- Make choices and adopt personal practices that support living more simply, reducing consumption and working, shopping, and playing locally. Consider paying with cash rather than a credit card, and moving your money to a community bank or credit union; look for ways to localize your investments. (Check out The Community Investing Center, a one-stop resource for individuals and financial professionals.)
2. Get informed and stay current
- Learn the “back story” and the “big picture” and dive into subjects that concern, interest, and/or exite you.
- Explore this site for David’s writings on the New Economy and the Great Turning.
- Listen with a discerning ear to mainstream media and practice identifying the underlying fallacies. Ask questions, challenge inaccuracies, and find news sources you can trust.
- Check out YES! Magazine’s Resource Guide on the New Economy – a great list of organizations, initiatives, and library material.
- Check out Next System Project, Inequality.org, and Institute for Policy Studies sites for articles, presentations, multi-media resources, and projects to explore.
- Become conversant with and promote exciting initiatives, e.g., re banking – the Public Banking Institute (and the state banking movement), and the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative.
3. Connect with others.
- Initiate conversation about the local (or national) economy with family, friends, and even people in the line at the market. (For conversation starters: “I’m not very comfortable talking about this, but I’m really concerned about….” or “I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling the pinch….” “How are you…really?”
- Take inventory of the groups you belong to or affiliate with – your work place, faith group, parents’ group, women’s or men’s club, a school or business/professional association, book club or coffee klatch, social service organization, initiative or candidate campaign, etc.. Consider which of these groups might be open to starting a conversation about a new Story and a new living economy.Start a discussion group for Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and/or Change the Story, Change the Future, using the companion Discussion Guides or creating your own format.Host or join a “Spiritual Read” based on Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice: The Interfaith Amigos’ Guide to Personal, Social, and Environmental Healing. The authors – a Jewish rabbi, a Christian pastor and an Islamic Imam – boldly examine issues of violence, environmental degradation and economic inequality to:
- Transcend polarization to foster unity over divides,
- Debunk faith misunderstandings to cultivate understanding, respect and relationships, and
- Offer spiritual practices for our ‘inner worlds’ to better sustain efforts in our ‘outer worlds.’
- Start or join a Resilience Circle (aka Common Security Club) to learn together, build a support network, and take action. “In the process, a resilience circle allows neighbors (co-workers, etc) to get to know one another, find inspiration, have fun, and strengthen community.”
- Check out David Brancaccio’s PBS documentary, “Fixing the Future” for inspiration, and explore “Get Involved” for ideas. (Check “comments” for continual updates posted by people from around the country.)
- Organize a community screening or a house party for “Economics of Happiness” followed by conversation. Explore their Local Futures site and their list of ways to Get Involved!).
4. Use your voice
- Share the information you find useful/informative with friends and colleagues via e-mail and word of mouth.
- Use social networking (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) to share information; disseminate links to books, articles, organizations, websites, films/videos, and events that resonate with your values and convey your ideas.
Facebook: We are active at David Korten and Kat Gjovik.
Twitter: David Korten tweets as @dkorten. Kat Gjovik tweets as @katgjovik.
- Speak, call, and write from your heart
– Make comments/testify at public meetings on the issues that matter to you; tell your story and why the issue matters; offer solutions.
– Take a city council person, business leader, or person of influence to coffee (or call) to talk about the New Economy.
– Write letters to elected officials, editors of local papers, organizational newsletters, etc., and/or submit stories, photos, videos.
– Create a blog or a website to express your concerns AND solutions.
5. Join the movement toward a New Economy!
- Find and join an organization that shares your values and interests and is leading the way to a New Economy. A few possibilities:
– YES! Magazine
– Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
– American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)
– The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, especially the Banking Initiative
- Lend your support in ways that work for you – volunteer your time and/or your talents, and/or share your funds to keep these organizations operating.
- Show up at community events…and bring friends.
MORE ways to get involved – from Friends, Partners, and Colleagues
- Small Planet Institute, Frances and Anna Lappe: 10 Things You Can Do Now – And Feel Better!
- Green America: Act Now for a Just Planet
- Public Citizen: Get Involved/Action Center
- United for a Fair Economy: Take Action