Tracking the rise of localist movements & ideas from around the world.
The International Society for Ecology & Culture (ISEC) is pleased to announce the launch of Local Bites, our new podcast series featuring leading voices and inspiring examples from the worldwide movement for localization (listen to one of our first two episodes below).
Across the world, millions of people are challenging corporate power and rebuilding more just, democratic, ecological and human-scale economies – from the ground up. Literally hundreds of thousands of pro-local initiatives are sprouting out between the cracks of a destructive, consumerist and corporate-controlled global economy. Localist initiatives are emerging both in response to escalating social and environmental crises, and out of a simple yearning that many people have for a better, simpler way of life, and a deep need to reconnect to community and the natural world.
For instance, the local food movement is cultivating equitable, healthy and ecological alternatives to the corporate food economy through closer links between local producers and consumers, such as CSAs, food cooperatives, urban farms, farmers’ markets and food hubs. The local power movement is creating decentralized community-owned renewable energy systems that are successfully displacing large fossil fuel corporations. Transition Town groups are making their communities more resilient and convivial, while the grassroots new economy and cooperative movements are advancing a diverse array of democratic, community wealth-building initiatives. Perhaps most impressive of all, the 200 million strong small farmers movement, La Via Campesina, is leading the global struggle against corporate “free” trade deals, and calling for local food sovereignty. This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: although much more movement-building is needed to dismantle the corporate juggernaut, the rise of the localist movements offers tangible hope that a better world is possible.
The worldwide localization movement is growing so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to keep abreast of its splendid diversity of ideas and initiatives.
This is why ISEC has launched the Local Bites podcast, to track the rise of localist movements around the world. Each episode features visionary scholars and activists from this global “movement of movements.” Local Bites delivers both hard-hitting analysis and cutting-edge localist solutions to the most challenging crises of our time. The podcast also seeks to foster cross-pollination by highlighting initiatives in the global South and North.
In our forthcoming episode, ecologist and scholar-activist, Dr. Debal Deb, will help us make sense of the contested science surrounding corporate GMO technology. He will also share insights from his work on traditional agroecological farming systems, including the Vrihi project, which has cataloged and conserved literally hundreds of diverse and endangered local/traditional rice varieties in Eastern India – varieties critical for building more autonomous and resilient local food systems (learn more about Dr. Deb’s work by watching this short film). Don’t miss this inspiring and informative episode.
Episode 1 – Helena Norberg-Hodge On How Corporate “Free” Trade Treaties Threaten Local Communities And Economies Worldwide
In this inaugural episode, Local Bites interviewed ISEC’s Executive Director, Helena Norberg-Hodge, on how “free” trade treaties undermine local communities, economies and democracies around the world, and why localists need to join the global resistance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA, also known as TTIP). Norberg-Hodge ends her interview by suggesting an alternative international framework for advancing more democratic, localized economies.
Local Bites interviewed Dr. M. Jahi Chappell of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy on the question, “What kind of food and farming system do we need to feed a growing world population in an ecologically sustainable and socially just manner?” His responses challenge widely-held notions about the future of our food supply.