|DEFINING THE NEW PARADIGM|
At The Local Level
At The Regional Level
At The National Level
Activism and Advocacy
The Millennium Institute
This site has a list of key indicators concerning the planets 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 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
In 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, commonly known as the Earth Summit, the worlds governments emboldened by a large and vocal presence of peoples 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
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
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
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.
Center of Excellence for Sustainable
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
This site lists many organizations and publications that promote the work of sustainable development and sustainable communities.
EcoNet's Environmental Organizations
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.
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.
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
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
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 worlds 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 arent 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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