SYSTEMS VIEW PLENARY: "BUILDING A LOCALIZATION MOVEMENT

Building a localization movement will take time, dedication, education, tenacity, compassion, understanding, and community organizing. In this dialogue about strategy, we will hear from elders who have been engaged in this movement for a long time, and who will share their vision for systemic change by the year 2050.  Are we focused on building mass movements? Uniting the left? Intensifying localization? How and where do we combine efforts? And how do we employ the art of transition in our struggle for a local and more resilient world?

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James Gustave (Gus) Speth is the co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he served as a senior attorney from 1970 to 1977. He is also the founder of the World Resource Institute, the Next System Project, and the New Economy Law Center at the Vermont Law School. From 1977 to 1981, Speth served as a member and Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of President Carter. His southern roots in the civil rights movement and an agrarian lifestyle came to bare on Speth's professional career, leading him to create and uphold the nation's toughest environmental laws. Since then, Speth joins the scores of scientists, environmentalists, activists, and people insisting that we cannot address the advancing climate crisis if we remain fixated on endless growth and consumption. Gus has authored many books including The Bridge at the Edge of the World, America the Possible, and his memoir, Angels by the River.

Jim Tull facilitates workshops on community building, cultural transformation, systems thinking and deep ecology retreats. He teaches Philosophy, Community Service and Global Studies at the Community College of Rhode Island, Providence College and Rhode Island’s state prison. In the summer of 2015, Jim and a small group of friends founded Listening Tree Cooperative, a community-based permaculture homestead, in Chepachet, Rhode Island. For much of his work life, Jim served as the co-director of Amos House, a homeless shelter and soup kitchen on Providence’s south side, while organizing dozens of campaigns promoting peace and justice.

Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of Local Futures, a pioneering organization dedicated to the renewal of community, ecological health and local economies worldwide. Norberg-Hodge is also an author of Ancient Futures (1991), a book about tradition and change in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. She is also the co-director of the award-winning documentary, The Economics of Happiness (2011), which makes the case for a systemic shift from global to local. Local Futures is now synonymous with the Economics of Happiness. An outspoken critic of economic globalization, she is a co-founder of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), along with Jerry Mander, Doug Tompkins, Vandana Shiva, Martin Khor, and others. She is the winner of the Right-Livlihood Award (widely known as the alternative nobel peace prize) and the Goa Peace Prize.