Nine Ways to Create a Local, Regenerative Economy

Originally published at: Nine Ways to Create a Local, Regenerative Economy - Systems Change Alliance

We need to address the failures of capitalism and its ineffective reforms head-on by creating decentralized and cooperative local economies, emphasizing local production with local resources, to meet local needs, and to build local wealth.

Three cheers for all of these policy directions.

Economy has inserted itself into as many aspects of life as it can, to destructive effect. But at the same time, from a systems change point of view, the only safe way out of this position is an evolutionary transcendence. Clearly, this is systems change work.

‘Policy’ is a top-down approach to systems change - metaphorically ‘changing the weather’. The problem is that complex adaptive systems have evolved to manipulate the weather - the biosphere does this - to the extent of generating ice-ages and warmings as ‘needed’. And the economy does this too - changing governments when it ‘needs’ to (there is a reason that ‘it’s the economy, stupid’ has been a mantra for many recent US presidential campaigners).

As systems change activists, we need more than policy. We need bottom-up drivers, too - we need changes to the ‘physics’ of the economy.

We need a fundamental change to the creation of what is used for money. Without this, all the policy initiatives in the world are ‘swimming against the tide’. Growth is endemic to the economy, driven by the - almost completely unconsidered - mode of issuance of the means of exchange, its confusion with ‘store of value’, and the institutions which have grow up around this mode. These are not so much evil institutions (as they are often portrayed), or the product of actions by ‘bad people’ (again as is often assumed), as structural outcomes of the system of money we use.

This would be just rhetoric from me, if I were not part of a group of excellent thinkers and do-ers who are developing practical tools for offering ‘producer credit’ means-of-exchange tools into the hands of grass-roots economic actors - communities, small businesses and trading communities, based on the Credit Commons Protocol.

It would be great to have a chance to communicate these points - and offer practical engagement to groups who need this work, at the upcoming conference.



Dear Dil, Thank you so much for the three cheers! I agree with you, top-down policies are not enough. Initiatives on the ground, like the one you are engaged in, are also very important, and sometimes those kinds of actions can drive us toward deeper policy changes from the top in which more people and common areas can be positively affected. It is not an either/or issue, but rather a both/and one. As you say, we need transcendence, a new story, a new worldview to guide us forward. Let us know what you would like to contribute to the conference. Most of the speakers have been confirmed, but there may still be some room. Warmly, Roar

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Thank you so much for a quick and encouraging response!.
I will check in with Matthew Slater and get back to you asap as to what we might suggest…

OK, here is a short overview of what we’d like to get across - three slides only.

this looks like a great topic. However, it turns out all the slots for the conference have been filled unless we get a cancellation. A couple of other possibilities. 1. We organize a separate online webinar for you guys marketed by SCA and your own group. We can invite people who attended the conference and others. 2. Someone for our staff interview one or both of you and we spread the word about to the same crowd of people.
Let me know what you think.

That’s a great offer - thank you - I’ll have a chat with Matthew and come back to you.


I’ve talked it over with Matt and, if it works for you, the interview approach seems most appropriate. This will give a good format in which to explore whichever aspects of the issue seem most relevant to your members focus.