Community Resources for Sustainability, Self-Reliance and Resilience
See also: Community Co-Intelligence
Here are sites that can help you understand more about community
sustainability, self-reliance and resilience:
The grand central of sustainability networking is WISERearth.
You gotta see it -- and use it -- to believe it.
The Global Ecovillage Network
provides info and connections to conscious eco-living experiments
around the world. People interested in intentional communities will
find the Fellowship of Intentional Communities
site fascinating. It also has great links on sustainability subjects.
The Rocky Mountain Institute
provides guidance for communities that want to be economically and
ecologically more sustainable.
in the UXA" - John Curl provides compelling history about
how people have worked together for mutual aid, including an inspiring
story of Oakland, CA, in the 1930s.
The Simple Living Network provides
"tools and living examples for those who are serious about
learning to live a more conscious, simple, healthy and restorative
In Context, Grassroots
Economic Organizing, and Yes!
are all magazines that provide inspiring, educational and practical
articles about building a sustainable, humane, positive future.
Many useful articles are on-line, and they can lead you to more
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance
has been researching and promoting environmentally sound economic
development strategies including community energy and financial
self-reliance for many years. In particular, see its New
Rules Project, a growing storehouse of model community and local
economy-building rules, laws, regulations, and ordinances.
Sustainable Community Network offers "New
Resources for Sustainable Community" provides interesting
online articles, as well as links. And People
in Action for a Better World offers link-lists to other community
and sustainability websites.
For information about the basic principles of sustainability,
Natural Step. Also become familiar with permaculture,
a coherent theory and practice of sustainability in all areas, at
all levels, starting with the garden.
With a bit of web research you'll find many regional community-development
organizations, such as the North
Central Regional Center for Rural Development.
Learning for Sustainability
offers guidance for sustainable development and collective learning
at the leading edge of the mainstream.
is an alternative wikipedia on sustainable solutions to community
and global challenges
The Community Solution
offers down-to-earth solutions to support local resilience in a
future increasingly defined by peak oil, climate change, and shaky
economies and infrastructure
Center for Community
Enterprise has an extensive toolbox for community resilience
and renewal (although not necessarily environmental sustainability),
especially for small towns.
For guidance and examples of local currencies that keep economic
energy within the local community, check out local
and complementary currencies.
Worldchanging is a big
blog of alternative approaches and sustainability initiatives of
- Creating Community Anywhere by Carolyn Shaffer
and Kristin Anundsen (Tarcher/Perigree, 1993). "The most
comprehensive book I know of about the community movement."
-- M. Scott Peck. Building community with friends, family, support
groups, neighborhoods, co-workers, cyber-companions, shared households
and visionary communities. Excellent guidance on conflict, decision-making,
celebrations, communication and dealing with community evolution
and "shadow side."
- The Basketmaker: Helping People Create Communities of
Opportunity, ed. by Michael Patterson, et. al. (available
A fascinating mix of vision, inspiration, how-to's, references
and stories, especially targetted for people working with disadvantaged
communities, but powerfully useful to all of us.
- The Quickening of America: Rebuilding
our Nation, Remaking our Lives by Frances Moore Lappé
and Paul Du Bois (Jossey-Bass, 1994). Powerful examples and new
theory about how Americans are "doing democracy."
- Reworking Success by Robert Theobald (New
Society, 1997). An accessible re-examination of how to make communities
and societies work better in the 21st Century.
- Building Communities from the Inside Out:
A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets
by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight (Center for Urban Affairs
and Policy Research, 1993; $15 from ACTA Publications  397-2282).
The manual for asset-based community development.
- The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of
American Society by Amitai Etzioni (Touchstone/Simon &
Schuster, 1993). The kick-off of the communitarian movement.
- The Power in our Hands: Neighborhood-Based
World Shaking by Tony Gibson (Jon Carpenter, UK,1996). How-tos
and stories for those who want to make a creative difference in
- Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities
in a Global Age by Michael H. Shuman (The Free Press, 1998).
The title says it.
- Self-Reliant Cities by David Morris (Sierra Club
Books,1982). The classic visionary text on the relationships of
American cities to energy. This and many other books on that topic
can be found at http://www.ilsr.org/pubs/pubbroch.html
Other Resources for Community
Self-Organization and Collective Intelligence
Community Resources from the
Note: During 1998-1999 the CII did a "Using
the Year 2000 Problem (Y2K) for Cultural Breakthrough and Transformation"
Program which contains many pages that may be of interest
to community organizers concerned about major crises now or in
the future that may challenge the resilience of their communities.
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