Does strategic community organising create and lead sweeping social change? Or does social change momentum arrive from disruptive actions and sweep individuals and organisations along with it? This is the question tackled by US labour, civil rights and immigration rights activist brothers Paul and Mark Engler in This is an Uprising; the answer, of course, is ‘both’. Continue reading →
The aftermath of the stunning victory of Donald Trump to the White House has left many asking the same question: how on Earth did he do it?
While the analysis is still fresh, and formulating, one can highlight three theories as to why Trump will be the next President of the United States.
The first, and probably most common among liberals, is that Trump’s victory was due to him effectively stoking racial fears. This theory is based on the idea of a “whitelash”, the idea “that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage.” Donald Trump’s victory was the result of a backlash from white people who saw their status diminishing with increasing diversity in the United States. Continue reading →
Green Agenda editors Clare Ozich and Simon Copland sat down recently with Amanda Cahill to talk about economic transformation and her new project, Next Economy.
Amanda is the Director and Founder of the Centre for Social Change. Her work includes answering the question – what do economic systems that are good for people and the planet look like?
Recently, the USA based New Economy Coalition (NEC) held its second biannual national conference, Common Bound, in Buffalo, New York State. A handful of Australians were in attendance to learn about the stunning diversity of projects, organisations, collaborations and directions this expanding movement is generating. The coalition that now comprises over 157 member organisations came together after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The groundswell of the Occupy Movement led to the energising of social and political momentum towards structural and policy alternatives to the existing corporate controlled economic system. As the seemingly disparate Occupy activists searched for democratic, equitable and sustainable solutions, their ranks flowed into and connected the many organisations that had already been working towards ecological, social and ethical economic systems and structures. Continue reading →
This is an edited version of a presentation to the UNSW / Australian Earth Laws Alliance conference, Building the New Economy, Sydney, August 15. It is also the first stage in a larger research paper being prepared for the Green Institute. Comment, feedback and ideas are welcome.
Confronting Advertising: The elephant in the bus shelter
Here is how Nancy Shaley, president of the Shaley Agency, describes her profession: “Advertising at its best is making people feel that, without their product, you’re a loser.” Continue reading →
The Green Institute has published a collated paper on The End of Coal. The essays in the paper argue that not only that change is coming, but also that, if we embrace and accelerate that change, it brings with it tremendous opportunities to build a better, fairer democracy, economy and society.
In our second piece publishing extracts from the paper, Green Agenda is pleased to publish two different perspectives on the transition from coal for communities and workers and the opportunities provided for economic renewal.
The first essay is from Amanda Cahill reflecting on her experiences working with communities facing the end of coal. The second is from Drew Hutton arguing for a different democracy to accompany a new economy.
Continue reading →
The Green Institute has published a collated paper on The End of Coal, asking the questions: How should governments respond to coal’s rapid and terminal decline? Will governments and corporations act to protect people and the planet, or will they try to extract the last drops of profit from coal before it is left it behind?
The essays in the paper argue that not only that change is coming, but also that, if we embrace and accelerate that change, it brings with it tremendous opportunities to build a better, fairer democracy, economy and society.
Green Agenda is pleased to publish a selection of the essays collated in The End of Coal, starting with the Introduction by Green Institute Director, Tim Hollo.
Continue reading →
Why work and workers matter in the environmental debate
It is not hard to imagine that the world of work is a place of deep ecological impact that will be fundamentally changed by endeavours to green the economy. The implications of climate change for all workers and employers are enormous: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that 80 per cent of Europe’s CO2 emissions come from industrial production. Thus, the world of work is a critical site of ecological harm and therefore needs to be a site of deep environmentally focused transformation. Continue reading →
For decades there has been concern in social and political theory about ‘the decline of the public sphere’. According to many prominent writers on the issue, an effective role for the public sphere in the exercise of political power is something that we have lost. For Hannah Arendt in her work The human condition (1958), societies in the modern age have lost the experience of politics. Arendt describes this ‘politics’ as the founding and preserving of political bodies that constitute a realm, the public realm, where people can be ‘seen and heard’ trying to find the right words at the right moment, trying to persuade others to agree on a particular course of action, trying to engage in deeds worthy of remembrance. Continue reading →
The world is rapidly changing around us. It always has done. Change is one thing that is constant.
Although with global warming, rising sea levels, growing inequality, the digital revolution there is force behind the notion that we are living through a period of significant transition – both a time of fear and opportunity.
Transitions happen at a global, community and personal level. They can make the world, societies, the land and environment along with people healthier, happier and more sustainable. Or they can move us towards an ugly society and barren world.
A film festival occurring in Melbourne and Adelaide is dedicated to exploring the idea of transitions in the world through documentaries. Continue reading →