Resource Guide

Resources for living economies

support community

Eco-Trustof Portland, Oregon, supports sustainable economic development in resource-dependent communities in the Pacific Northwest. They have developed “patterns,” which integrate social, financial, and natural capital to show how they fit together to form a “Conservation Economy.”

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance provides practical information for communities interested in local energy independence, waste management, and supporting locally owned businesses. The “New Rules Project” highlights local communities that have rewritten rules, policies, and public subsidies to encourage locally controlled sustainable economies.

buy local and fair traded

Co-op Americais probably the most comprehensive practical resource for businesses or individuals who want to move toward more just and sustainable economies through either purchasing or investment. Co-op America publishes The National Green Pages, a directory of sustainable businesses.

Global Exchange provides educational tools and resources aimed at promoting corporate responsibility, improved international relations, socially responsible tourism and human rights campaigns. The website includes a good listing of companies and organizations that support fair trade practices.

Local Harvestis developing a public directory of small farms nationwide, providing people with direct contact to farms in their area. It also lists food outlets that support local farms.

Booksense allows you to purchase new books online from local independent bookstores.

Abebooks.comcarries used books from local independent bookstores

create business alliances

The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)is focused on developing local chapters to help local independent businesses thrive in the midst of corporate monoculture. AMIBA chapters raise awareness of the benefits of buying from independent businesses and help link businesses for collaboration, advocacy, exchanges, and business transactions. They have chapters in Boulder, CO; Austin, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Corvallis, OR; Duluth, MN; and Ontario, Ottawa., 303/402-1575

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) was launched in 2001 by the San Francisco-based Social Ventures Network. By mid-2002, BALLE had signed on 17 regional chapters, which are encouraging people to buy from, work for, and otherwise support locally owned, values-based enterprises. BALLE chapters also facilitate business-to-business relationships among firms committed to living economy values.

GEO: Grassroots Economic Organizing Newslettercovers economic democracy and provides a global forum for networks of worker cooperatives.

InBusiness Magazinepublishes success stories about local independent and sustainable businesses.
610/967-4135 ext. 22

National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils(NARC&DC), in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture publishes stories of successful community sustainability.

finance living economies

The Institute for Community Economics (ICE)provides technical assistance and financing to community land trusts and those working to produce and preserve affordable housing, land, and other resources in communities where they are most needed. ICE coordinates a national network of over 90 land trusts operating in 23 states. ICE's revolving loan fund accepts funds from socially concerned individuals and makes low-cost loans available to nonprofit housing groups., 413/746-8660

The National Community Reinvestment Coalitionworks to keep credit and banking services available in neighborhoods, particularly low-income communities., 202/628-8866

The E. F. Schumacher Society, named after the author of Small Is Beautiful, applies the values of human-scale communities and respect for the natural environment to economic issues. They promote community land trusts, local currencies, and local sustainable economies.

Self-Helpis a community development lender that has provided over $1.5 billion in financing to over 24,000 home buyers, small businesses, and nonprofits. Self-Help reaches people who are underserved by conventional lenders—particularly minorities, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families—through the support of socially responsible citizens and institutions across the US.

The Social Investment Forumis the best source of information on socially responsible investments—investments that screen out the worst environmental and social offenders. If you want to invest your savings in the living economy, check out Community Development Financial Institutions, which invest in local housing and commerce. Find a guide to this investing on the Social Investment Forum

rein in corporate rule

Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy(POCLAD) conducts research on the history of corporations and labor struggles, and provides resources in the form of books, reports, and articles., 508/398-1145

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watchprovides regularly updated information and analysis of US legislation in relation to globalization.

CorpWatchpublishes information on corporate power and resistance to corporate globalization. CorpWatch is working to eliminate corporate partnerships within the United Nations and to hold corporations accountable to environmental and human rights standards. The group's Greenwash awards recognize corporations that spend more promoting an eco-friendly appearance than they do actually protecting the environment., 415/561-6568

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)confronts government's links to such issues as the oil industry's fraudulent use of Native American land and public subsidies provided to arms exporters. Also provides whistleblower-protection information and supports contract suspensions for companies with criminal records., 202/347-1122

Citizen Worksprovides links to a host of information regarding corporate crime. The website includes a discussion guide and suggested reading list to facilitate starting a local corporate reform group.

read all about it

Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth, by Lester R. Brown, challenges us to consider the economy part of the environment.
W.W. Norton & Company, 2001

Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street, by Jeff Gates, on re-creating democracy through redistribution of wealth and spreading of ownership. Perseus Books, 2001

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, on coming to terms with our economy's scarcest resource: natural capital. Little, Brown & Company, 1999

The Natural Step Story: Seeding a Quiet Revolution, by Karl-Henrik Robèrt, by the founder of The Natural Step, lays out a framework for sustainable production. New Society Publishers, 2002

The Nature of Economies, by Jane Jacobs, a conversation on the underlying principles of a living economy. Vintage Books, 2001

The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, by David C. Korten, documents the accelerating problems dealing with unrestrained corporate power and then creates a vision of a new living economy. Berrett-Koehler Publishers with Kumarian Press Inc., 1999

Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé, the author of Diet for a New A Small Planet and her daughter, traces their travels around the world finding people rebuilding their local economies, improving food security, health, and democracy (see excerpt, page 40). Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2002

The Future of Money, by Bernard Lietaer, a former currency speculator who helped design Europe's currency and is now helping
design complementary currencies. (See YES! spring 1997.) Random House Group Ltd (UK), 2001

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, shows how to use the principle, “Waste equals food” to design products that reduce environmental damage and begin to make our ecosystems healthy. North Point Press, 2002

How Wal-Mart is Destroying America and the World and What You Can Do About It, by Bill Quinn, tells the story of what happens when a Wal-Mart store comes to town and how citizens are succeeding in keeping them out. Ten Speed Press, revised and updated, 2000

Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age, by Michael H. Shuman, provides a thorough overview of many approaches to creating a local living economy. Routledge, 2000

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, by E.F. Schumacher. This classic on human-scale, life-sustaining economics was re-issued in 1999, with an introduction by Paul Hawken. Hartley & Marks

White Dog Café Cookbook, by Judy Wicks and Kevin Von Klause. The White Dog Café in Philadelphia is a business that walks its talk. (See YES! Spring 2001.) Running Press, 1998

What Comes Next: Proposals for a Different Society, by Thad Williamson, assesses proposed alternatives to the current political and economic system. The National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives, 1998

Working Capital: The Power of Labor's Pensions, edited by Archon Fung, Tessa Hebb, and Joel Rogers, shows how workers can turn their $7 trillion in pension funds into a powerful tool to promote progressive goals. Cornell University Press, 2001

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