“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work; but, rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”. Anon
Here you can find resources to help you create a positive, inspiring vision of what your local economy could be like, when it’s more resilient and founded on principles of social, environmental and economic sustainability.
The picture above is from an Occupy march; a movement which seems to have unleashed an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm for a better future. We can do the same thing: Occupy our local economies. Not by camping or marching though. Instead, by moving with other people into the imaginative space of thinking new thoughts and dreaming new things about how our economy can work in the future.
Former development economist David Korten’s book The Great Turning , a study of empire and how to transition away from it, concluded that one of the most powerful things people can do to change things in society, is to change the stories we tell ourselves and each other. Creating visions of the future is a way to change the stories we tell about what can be.
In a memo supporting the Occupy movement Richard Heinberg of the Post-Carbon Institute wrote “when our discussion turns to replacing the current system, we’ve got to embrace a bigger view of reality than the one held by stock traders and politicians. It’s not just our wealth they want to control, it’s our vision for what is both possible and necessary.”
Part of the ethos of the Transition movement is that we need to reclaim the power to create the future that we want, rather than just accepting the one that others create for us.
In a culture where we are encouraged to be passive consumers, its not always easy or obvious how to conceive a vision of what is possible. And then, we need to create a shared vision with a group of people, who may have ideas which are similar to yours or which are miles away.
A vision describes the longer-term goal that you are working towards – the future you want to co-create in say 10, 20 or 30 years time. It should be aspirational yet (in theory at least) achievable. A vision with a compelling well-articulated positive story attracts people and energy. As you’d expect, a confusing or vague vision is hard to sell to others, and difficult to keep going. Putting a date on it helps make it tangible – deadlines tend to focus the mind.
The Transition Network says this about visioning:
“Visioning is a core activity that will ideally run through all the activities of your Transition Initiative… Visioning is one of the things that distinguishes the Transition approach from most other sustainability/environmental approaches. Rather than campaigning against a grim and disastrous portrayal of the future, Transition suggests that instead we start with creating a positive vision of a future we do want”. See the Visioning ingredient on the TN website.
This section here explains how you can run a visioning workshop, and also provides some examples. To help give you some ideas of how your new economy might work, also see Suggested features of a new economy and What’s a Transition Enterprise for things that might be relevant for your vision.
RESOURCES IN THIS SECTION
Credits : Image source: Occupy