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Bioregions Map (Image Source: Ecotrust)

Re-regionalisation as a pathway to diverse regenerative economies

If we want to create healthy economies that protect rather than destroy local ecosystems, we will need to rewrite international trade rules in ways that include the social and ecological costs of production and consumptions, as well as trade. We need to protect local economies from ‘cheap’ imports made possible by hidden subsidies, externalising true costs, and outsourcing production (exploiting international inequality).

Activist, author and educator Daniel Christian Wahl speaks with Helena Norberg-Hodge (Director of Local Futures) about the multi-layered consequences of the pandemic on society. Daniel explains that to lessen the human impact on our planet, we need to decentralize the power of governments, and change our economic and monetary systems. He also emphasizes the importance of diversity in ensuring environmental stability. (Recorded on World Localization Day 2020, see more recordings from the day)

“The world is suffering from the perverse incentives of ‘unnatural capitalism’. When people say ‘free market’, I asked if free is a verb. We don’t have a free market, but a highly managed and often monopolized market. […] we have banks and companies that are ‘too big to fail’, but in truth are too big not to fail. The resulting extremes of concentration of wealth and political power are very bad for business and the economy (not to mention the environment, human rights, and democracy). One result is that small companies can’t advance too far against the big players with their legions of lawyers and Capitol Hill lobbyists, when in truth it’s small and medium-sized companies that provide the majority of jobs as well as innovation.”

— Kenny Ausubel (in Jay Harman, 2013:77)

Every time we speak about re-localisation and re-regionalisation it is important to emphasise that this path is not about simply creating the conditions that our bioregion can weather the storms of the next three decades of climate change and the many converging crises.

“Those who envision a possible future planet on which we continue […], and where we live by the green and the sun, have no choice but to bring whatever science, imagination, strength, and political finesse they have to the support of the inhabitory people — natives and peasants of the world. In making common cause with them, we become ‘reinhabitory’.”

— Gary Snyder, 1976

Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures

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