The following sites describe a new worldview emerging to challenge the golden calf of corporate profits and the relentless consumerism in the industrialized countries that legitimizes and supports it. The destruction of natural resources and the untold human misery resulting from the status quo is all too real. The following sites demonstrate that people across the planet are grappling with a means to balance consumption with social and environmental needs in a manner that will allow every human being to meet their basic needs and preserve the world for our children. Economic democracy, self-reliance and sustainability are the key tenets of this movement. This section also contains sites that, while not advocating the new vision, nonetheless provide useable resources.
At The Local Level
At The Regional Level
At The National Level
Activism and Advocacy


World Game Institute
This site is based on the World Resources Inventory initiated by R. Buckminster Fuller, arguably the Leonardo DiVinci of our age. It identifies the important problems facing humanity and tells how to solve them. The ideas are based on feedback from over 50,000 people world wide, giving a good indication of where the entire world, given the "vote", would agree to move towards. See "What The World Wants and How to Pay For It." It shows us how to pay for restructuring. Would you be surprised to know that lack of money is not the cause of our problems?

The Millennium Institute
This site has a list of key indicators concerning the planet’s sustainability. It also include a downloadable version of a planning tool called Threshold 21. This is a National Sustainable Development model which integrates economic, social, and ecological variables to facilitate consensus building, planning, and decision-making.

Humanistic Economics
Humanistic economics is an alternative to the current hegemony of Social Darwinian neo-classical economics (often seemingly considered as being the end of economics). Humanistic economics focuses on human economic activity as being social and altruistically constructed, not just individualistically and selfishly derived. The importance of the ethical individual living within a vibrant local community, not merely as a lone wolf nor as a consumer of mass culture and production on a global scale, is often stressed. The importance of accounting for externalities (items not always put on the economic balance sheet like pollution or loss of biodiversity) also are key concepts.

Towards a Better Future: The Works of Manfred Davidmann
This site contains many thoughtful articles on how multinational corporations diminish local communities. Articles include: Exporting and Importing of Employment and Unemployment • Multinational Operations: Transfer Pricing and Taxation • The Right to Strike • Ownership and Limited Liability • Creating, Patenting and Marketing of New Forms of Life • Community and Public Ownership.

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
In 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, commonly known as the Earth Summit, the world’s governments emboldened by a large and vocal presence of people’s organizations from across the planet, signed an agreement to ensure the protection of natural systems and human populations. This agreement, entitled “Agenda 21”, also called for the creation of a commission to monitor the compliance of national governments with the terms of their agreement. This site reports the activities and findings of that commission.

The UN Economic and Social Development
This site contains the main documents that evolved out of the United Nations summit process beginning with the Earth Summit. Subjects include Environment • Human Settlements • Population • Social Development • Sustainable Development • Women • Human Rights • Drugs • Crime •Statistics • Trade. This summit process is noteworthy because for the first time in human history thousands of people's organizations from around the world came together to look at common problems and work with governments to define solutions.

Development Watch: Monitoring Progress on Sustainable Development
This is the site of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the largest sustainable development organization in the world. It contains a chart of indicators for sustainable development. Although the UNDP works primarily in third world countries, the lessons learned are easily transferable to local stakeholders involved in sustainable community development work in the US. The site contains information on: Consumption patterns • Education • Health • Housing • Role of groups • Water • Soil conservation, etc.

Division for Sustainable Development
Visit this site to obtain the original documents of the Earth Summit. The documents cover the following issues: Agriculture and Rural Development • Biological Diversity • Biotechnology • Business and Industry • Capacity Building • Changing Consumption Patterns • Children and Youth • Climate Change • Combating Poverty • Decision Making • Deforestation • Desertification and Drought • Education • Financial Resources • Forest Principles • Freshwater Resources • Hazardous Wastes Management • Human Health • Human Settlements • Indigenous People • Information • International Institutions • International Legal Instruments • Land Resources • Local Authorities • Non-Governmental Organizations • Preamble • Protection of Atmosphere • Protection of the Oceans • Radioactive Wastes Management • Role of Farmers • Science • Science and Technology • Solid Waste Management • Sustainability • Sustainable Development • Sustainable Mountain Development • Technology Transfer • Toxic Chemicals Management • Trade Unions • Women •

At The Local Level

What is a Sustainable Community?
This site addresses the question “What is a sustainable community?” Pointers to: Introduction. • Ethics, the First Issue. • Conservation, the Second Issue. • Competitiveness, the Third Issue • Identifying Sustainable Communities • Some Questions.

Center for Sustainable Communities
A site dedicated to building sustainable communities. It espouses four key values - promoting community, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, and social equity. Links to: A 10-session tutorial to help your community become more sustainable. • Case studies of communities and organizations with sustainable ideas and practices. • Contacts leading to a better world.

Sustainable Communities Initiatives
The Sustainable Communities Initiative is a research program of the University of Victoria. Its purpose is to promote greater understanding of communities in the context of their biophysical, economic and social viability. The SCI currently supports the following projects: Forestry-based community sustainability auditing • Sustainable Communities Initiative • Vancouver Island Tomorrow.

Institute for the Study of Civic Values
At a time when millions of Americans are struggling to identify the values
that we share, the Institute for the Study of Civic Values believes that it is our
civic values---the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution, and the Bill of Rights--that bring us together as a people.

At The Regional Level

Ecology and Community: The Bioregional Vision
Bioregions answer the question: decentralize to what? This concept provides an ecological basis for reorganizing society at the local level.

The Bioregional Homepage
This site contains a list of principles upon with the vision of bioregionalism is based. It also contains stories and pointers to related sites.

At The National Level

The President’s Council on Sustainable Development
One of the obligations of all national governments who signed Agenda 21 was to prepare a national report on the state of their nation and what steps would be taken to bring about sustainable development. This site contains the full text of the US National Report as well as reports from the following: Eco-Efficiency Task Force • Energy and Transportation Task Force • Natural Resources Task Force • Population and Consumption Task Force • Principles, Goals and Definitions Task Force • Public Linkage, Dialogue and Education Task Force • Sustainable Agriculture Task Force • Sustainable Communities Task Force. The site also contains a speech by Vice President Gore, who was a strong presence during the UN Summit process and who is a leading proponent of sustainable development.

Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development
Under the Clinton administration, the federal government has become more environmentally friendly. This Department of Energy site provides the following: Definition of Sustainable Development • Success stories • Model codes and ordinances • Articles on Sustainability • Publications, manuals and software • Sustainable Development resources (lists over 800 organizations involved in sustainable development).

EcoNet: Development and Sustainable Development
This site lists many organizations and publications that promote the work of sustainable development and sustainable communities.

EcoNet's Environmental Organizations Page
This site contains a long list of environmental organizations that have web sites. It gives a good description of each. Look here for help in articulating local environmental problems and finding resources to link your efforts with larger campaigns.

Activism And Advocacy

Human Rights Internet
Know your rights! This site will help you articulate your basic human rights and know what you are fighting for. Pointers to: About HRI • Documentation Centre • Publications • U.N. Information • Resource Guides • Children's Rights • World Calendar • HR Education • HR on the Web • Job Announcements.

Essential Information
Founded in 1982 by Ralph Nader, Essential Information is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization involved in a variety of projects to encourage citizens to become active and engaged in their communities. They provide provocative information to the public on important topics neglected by the mass media and policy makers. Essential Information publishes a monthly magazine, books and reports, sponsors investigative journalism conferences, provides writers with grants to pursue investigations and operate clearing houses which disseminate information to grassroots organizations in the United States and the Third World. Links to: GIS Project (Provides data on Banking/Fair Lending, Crime, and the Environment) • Multinational Monitor • Multinationals and Development Clearinghouse • Newsprints • Network Services • Good Works • Essential Books.

New Citizenship
Having a new vision is critical but building local participation of community members is equally important. This site will help you get your bearings on contemporary democratic theory • civil society • civic action • community building.

Idea Central: Electronic Policy Network
This site has policy studies available on-line. Topics include Economics and Politics • Welfare and Family • Civic Participation • Health Policy. Viewpoints range from center to progressive.

The People Centered Development Forum
David Korten, the President of the People Centered Development Forum is one of the leading theorists of the new paradigm of sustainability. His voice has been known for many years among nonprofits engaged in international development work and among the United Nations community. More recently Mr. Korten has gained greater prominence because of his best selling book “When Corporations Rule the World”. Visit this site to become acquainted with leading social thinkers and to read articles like: Rights of Money versus Rights of Living Persons, Food Security for People, and Economics Without Ethics: The Crisis of Spirituality.

Many third world countries that depend upon the export of primary commodities like lumber, coffee or fruit are caught in a trap - the more they produce, the lower the price falls on the international market. If they try to add value to their goods by processing them, they run into tariff barriers imposed by the rich industrialized countries. To make matters worse, they have to compete with subsidized exports dumped on the world market by surplus producing countries. This site is home of a council of non-profits who work with the world’s poor to help them develop local economies and meet basic needs. They share valuable lessons of use to organizers in this country as well.

Democratic Socialists of America
A mega-site of progressive literature and links. Dedicated to forming "a society in which people have a real voice in the choices and relationships that affect the entirety of our lives." These people aren’t afraid to use the “S” word.

Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life
Bad Subjects, an electronic journal, started at Berkeley in 1992 “seeks to revitalize a progressive politics in retreat. We think too many people on the left have taken political convictions for granted. So we challenge progressive dogma by encouraging our readers to think hard about the political dimension to all aspects of everyday life. We also seek to broaden the audience for leftist and progressive work through a commitment to accessibility, contemporary relevance, and a willingness to respect and learn from all points of view.”


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