Monday, June 22, 2009

Local Community First says Michael Shuman

The work we have been doing in the community is reaching a new level in West End. The planets seem to be aligning with the conservative business sector, local community organisations and innovative individuals to explore new ways to respond to what Robert and I call 'the triple crunch' of climate change, peak oil and the GER.

The week started with dinner at Rosey & Wilf's house where visiting American, Meg Wheatley led a group discussion on what makes fearless leaders. It was a wonderful experience to hear people's views on what keeps them going, tales of perserverence in the face of adversity, and courageous moments. With Rosey's wonderful Moroccan cooking to keep us nourished, the night will be one that never leaves me.

After speaking at the Community Centred Economies Conference in Brisbane, US localisation guru, Michael Shuman says we should think local first - it's environmentally, socially and economically sensible, and the benefits far outweigh any investment in the multi-nationals / big corporates. Michael is the co-founder of BALLE, and author of The Small-Mart Revolution. He was the guest speaker at a workshop I organised yesterday for the West End community at Souths Leagues Club. It was a fantastic day. We were blessed with great workshop weather (pouring rain) and wonderful local catering / produce from Gemma (Stove Cafe), Food Connect and Ruth, Marty & Vonny (Black Star).

Michael was brilliant, the group work stimulating, and this morning I've been inundated with calls and emails from locals who want to hit the ground running. WooHoo! This is the 'community' I've been waiting for.

The day wouldn't have been possible without those that gave up their Sunday to attend, nor without the financial help and moral support of West End Traders Association, West End Community Association, Raedar Research (Darren Godwell), Judy Abernethy, Fiona O'Sullivan, Spiral Community Hub, Mary Maher and husband Phil Vanderzeil.

Thanks also to the wonderful poetry by Gilbert and music by Ashley and Jamie.

We're living the post-carbon transition as we speak!

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