Reweaving Our Economies Close to Home
From: Resilience Imperative
Despite 60 years of global economic expansion, incomes over the last 30 years have stagnated. People who were once beneficiaries of spiralling growth are no longer participants. The migration of manufacturing from North America to Asia’s lower-cost, less-exacting regulatory environment is a prime example of why this is so. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost. Entire neighborhoods and communities have been pushed down the path of economic decline. Most recently, the global financial meltdown has thrown millions more out of work across the globe.
At 25, Mike Lewis founded what is now known as the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Ever since he has been engaged community economic development (CED), development finance and the social and co-operative economy. He is a prolific author and a respected practitioner. From entrepreneurial development to building national networks, from strategic assistance to CED organizations in impoverished settings to designing tools and curriculum to strengthen community resilience, Mike has led hundreds of projects over the last 35 years. Drawing on this diverse experience, motivated by his grandchildren and increasingly conscious of the interplay of climate change, peak oil and the outrageous excesses of the global finance industry, Mike considers the issues and innovations outlined in ‘The Resilience Imperative’ as the core focus of his vocation.
Pat Conaty is a Californian working in England and Wales. He is a Fellow of new economics foundation and a research associate of Co-operatives UK. He specializes in action research on innovative forms of economic democracy and mutual enterprise. His work has been mainly in the fields of household debt solutions, community development finance and community land trusts.