Dreaming BIG with LOCAL Action! Localism & the Sleeper Revolution

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So a friend just shared an article with me about something called Localism. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about these days. It’s a huge part of an organization I’ve mentioned before that continues to inspire me out of the UK called Locality.

But the paragraph my friend sent hits the nail right on the head of WHY this movement is so important:

It is a sleeper revolution. It flips the power structure. Under localism, the crucial power centre is at the tip of the shovel, where the actual work is being done. Expertise is not in the think tanks, but among those who have local knowledge, those with a feel for how things work in a specific place and an awareness of who gets stuff done. Success is not measured by how big you can scale, but by how deeply you can connect.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the SDG’s…

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Has anyone even heard of the SDG’s? Not exactly top of mind these days. Should be. Every government in the United Nations is supposed to be promoting them, supporting them…

The idea is to create a better world for all by 2030. That’s not far off - and we’re really just starting to hear about the SDG’s now.

17 Goals. Yipes! That’s a lot. And seems very overwhelming. Where does one start? At the local level, of course.

Many communities are starting to do just that. Some great examples of how various municipalities are working to raise awareness of the SDG’s around the world are here.

In simpler terms though - the agenda for the SDG’s is about leaving no one behind. #leavenoonebehind

This is not new. An organization I’m on the board of called CCEDNet (Canadian Community Economic Development Network) and many other organizations have been working on this for AGES. BIG national conference on all this coming up in Moncton, NB in September too. Called EconoUs.

Whether we’re talking localism or the SDG’s - the point is to find ways to build strong, powerful and INCLUSIVE communities where everyone benefits from living in those communities.

What can we do? What role do the SDG’s have to play in all this? 

It’s about the ‘sleeper revolution’. This is about each of us doing our bit. Connecting with each other on a human level - looking out for each other, our neighbours.

To me, this is what Localism, the SDG’s and all other rallying cries are really all about. Not that action at various other levels is not important - but we also need to realize we do have some power to make a difference AT. A. LOCAL. LEVEL. 

So, what are you going to do? What can you do with your neighbours? What can you do at any level where you feel you have some power? Because we all do. It’s just a question of feeling it, and acting on it. We need to be the change we want to see happen in our communities - and we need to be it NOW.

Originally published as an article on Laurie Cook's LinkedIn Profile


Laurie CookLaurie Cook is a Convenor with the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia and project lead for the United Way Halifax's Hub Convening Project. She was also this past year a volunteer Member Liaison for the Atlantic Region of CCEDNet. Her passion is community development, and besides being active professionally in the field for a number of years as a facilitator and community developer, Laurie also lives in Musquodoboit Harbour which is a rural area of the city. In 2006, as a volunteer, she chaired a community visioning process which led to several community initiatives that she was also involved in co-founding. These included:  redevelopment of an old school, design of a co-operative rural transportation service, development of a new women,s organization focused on economic empowerment for women and co-creation of a volunteer peer support group called Eastern Shore Mental Health

*The opinions expressed in blog posts are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of CCEDNet

Categories: 
International CED
Local economy
Social Economy & Social Enterprise
Sustainable Development