How localizing our economies can support better public and ecological health (Interview with Helena Norberg-Hodge of Local Futures)
This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.
Helena Norberg-Hodge (@helenanhodge) is a pioneer of the new economy movement and a leading proponent of “localization” (or decentralization).
As the author of Ancient Futures and Local is Our Future, she also founded The International Alliance for Localization and Local Futures (@econofhappiness), which works to renew ecological, social and spiritual wellbeing by guiding communities towards a sustainable future of interconnected, localized economies.
In this podcast episode, Helena sheds light on why we need to question our view of economic wealth being the indicator of a community's welfare; what it means that we're not only facing social, economic, and ecological crises, but also a spiritual crisis that underlies it all; how the globalization of our economy has led to the degradation of our public and environmental wellbeing; and more.
To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Helena and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.
On localizing our economies:
"We have to understand that there is another path [besides globalization] that we can already see if we look closely around the world. There is another path that's being built from the bottom-up—which we call localization.
Localization is about rebuilding more local, human-scale, face-to-face relationships. It's about real human interdependence, and building a clearer relationship between what we use, what we eat, what building materials we have, and what resources we use; and the land from which it comes."
On the importance of slowing down:
"In order for us to live in a way that we can respect the richness and diversity of life, we must scale down and we must slow down.
And that's really what localization is about."
On how localization can simultaneously address a multitude of our societal and ecological challenges:
"[It's important that] people who are concerned about poverty, the climate, the epidemic of depression, the loss of democracy or any other [global ecological, social, and economic] issue, can see that all of us must focus on the economic transition [to a more localized economy].
It is an economic transition that is about regaining genuine democracy. [Localization] is something that I believe could, in a relatively short period of time, lead to the biggest, most powerful people's movement we've ever had.
Until now, most of the movements have been focused more narrowly, and haven't been touching on elements that affect every human being."
Final words of wisdom
“Keep dreaming but turn it into a dream about not just the earth, but about people who are happy and healthy as well. We need to be aware that there is a path that is equally healthy for people as it is for nature—it's the same direction.
And it is so wonderful that you have a message that you can bring to people who are scared of the “green message.”
My message is to dream of human and ecological wellbeing.”
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