Building a vibrant local economy

January 3, 2013

An economy is like an ecosystem:  it has many interrelated and interdependent parts.  To build a "resilient local economy," we must recognize and cultivate many different aspects of change.

It is popular to focus on "green business" as the ticket to changing the economy.  Yet even if we change the complexion of businesses, businesses cannot do it alone.  They need multiple currencies, new concepts in financing, new economic indicators, and a change in our definition of "success" in order to truly support them.

Sound like a tall order?  Actually we have no choice.  With the transportation limits imposed by peak oil, the increasing economic burden of climate change, the imploding debt cycle, and "peak everything" resource depletion, our local communities desperately need Safety Nets to catch us through the fall.  We need to think not of the distant future, but of the stark reality in front of us.  In the words of the UK’s Tim Jackson,  we need to build "economic resilience through collapse."

Whether you are activist, consumer, businessperson, or homesteader, you will learn what to look for within your local community.  You will learn what elements are essential to a local economic "ecosystem" so that you can spot what is missing in your local area and help cultivate it.  You will learn how to recognize the glimmers of the new economic future as they emerge, so that you can help them thrive.

A one-page handout listing the ideas of this presentation can be downloaded for free at


We welcome you to distribute this in your local communities to help raise awareness.

The presenter …

Joanne is a frequent blogger here at Transition US.  Over the past year, she has explored each of the concepts in this presentation on her blog.

You can also find the written discussion at Joanne’s parallel site   Each post contains much greater detail about the Practical Tools, as well as many links to resources for further information.


Joanne’s most current writings on Economic Resilience are being released in a series of booklets.  You can access these via

Joanne Poyourow is the initiator of Transition Los Angeles.  She directs the Environmental Change-Makers in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles.  An economist by training, she was a CPA in public practice for 13 years.  She has studied many resources in post-growth economics and recently lead a discussion series on Transition Enterprises.  Her views on ecosystems are informed by Permaculture and by soil-building for organic food gardens.

Tags: 10 practical tools for a resilient local economy, local economies

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