The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy (Paperback)
We find ourselves between a rock and a hot place--compelled by the intertwined forces of peak oil and climate change to reinvent our economic life at a much more local and regional scale. The Resilience Imperative argues for a major SEE (social, ecological, economic) change as a prerequisite for replacing the paradigm of limitless economic growth with a more decentralized, cooperative, steady-state economy.
The authors present a comprehensive series of strategic questions within the broad areas of:
- Energy sufficiency
- Local food systems
- Interest-free financing
- Affordable housing and land reform
- Sustainable community development
Each section is complemented by case studies of pioneering community initiatives rounded out by a discussion of transition factors and resilience reflections.
With a focus on securing and sustaining change, this provocative book challenges deeply embedded cultural assumptions. Profoundly hopeful and inspiring, The Resilience Imperative affirms the possibilities of positive change as it is shaped by individuals, communities, and institutions learning to live within our ecological limits.
Michael Lewis is the executive director of the Center for Community Enterprise and is well-known internationally as a practitioner, author, educator, and leader in the field of community economic development.
Patrick Conaty is an honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham and a director of Common Futures. Since 1999 he has worked for the new economics foundation (nef), where he has produced a wide range of publications about predatory lending, financial inclusion, community land trusts, and social venture finance.
About the Author
Michael Lewis is Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal He is well-known internationally as a practitioner, author, educator, and leader in the field of Community Economic Development. Michael has worked with a wide range of businesses, organizations, communities and governments on initiatives related to transition, community resource management, development finance and the social economy. Until recently he also led the B.C. - Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance, a university/ practitioner platform for applied research. Patrick Conaty is a Californian working in England and Wales. He is a Fellow of new economics foundation and a research associate of Community Finance Solutions at the University of Salford. Pat specializes in developmental research on cooperative and mutual enterprise and is a national expert in the fields of community development finance and community land trusts.
Review, E Magazine July 2012 K.B.
How can we get our economy back on track while simultaneously making it more socially, environmentally and financially sustainable?
The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy addresses this question through a series of warnings and historical examples. Authors Michael Lewis and Pat Conaty, who specialize in integrative economic systems, advocate for the U.S. moving away from a large economy reliant on fossil fuels to small, local economies.
Lewis and Conaty warn readers about the current era of volatility” caused by human impact on the environment and climate change and walk them through the links between fossil fuel consumption, climate change, the global economy and financial recessions. In part, what impedes our breaking out of the box is the conviction that economic growth and prosperity are synonymoustoo many believe that we can’t have one without the other,” they write. They stress that prosperity is determined by quality of life and that the economy should be stabilized, not continue to grow.
The authors offer as examples Sweden’s JAK, an interest-free lending system, and Community Land Trusts such as the Gramdan movement in India. The cooperation between individuals and policymakers is vital to create a country that can sustain itself and its practices, they posit. Without engagement, dialogue, and sometime fractious debate to determine what is most important, it is not possible to set strategy effectively or to learn from what works and what does not.” They argue that with more integration and cooperation between businesses, governments and communities, a more sustainable economy is possible.