Increasing frustration with globalisation is expressing itself in many forms – such as the recent Occupy movements springing up all over the world, including, briefly last month, in Byron Bay.
At a meeting last Thursday, around 200 people heard about an action plan for the renewal of local communities, including local investment and business.
It is the ongoing work of Energising Communities (www.energisingcommunities.org.au).
In Byron Bay corporate lawyers and communications experts organised eleven speakers, including live video links with Michael Shuman, NY director of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and Martin Blake, UK carbon zero solutions expert speaking from Singapore.
Govts back unsound globalisation
Mr Shuman explained that governments worldwide back a type of globalisation he called ‘TINA’ – There Is No Alternative. These are the global conglomerates, speculative trading and sub-prime mortgages which delivered the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.
He explains there is an alternative, ‘LOIS’: Locally Owned Import Substitution.
Paul Niederer, CEO Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (ASSOB), pointed out that when the $1.3 trillion traded on the stock market is analysed, only 4.7 per cent is activity based on products and services.
The rest is speculative, little more than gambling. He explained how ASSOB provides advice and an internet platform to help small enterprises raise large amounts of capital.
Energising Communities selected Byron Bay Community Centre as an outstanding example of community enterprise. BBCC manager Paul Spooner said that largely through the work of some 200 volunteers the centre offers services for the homeless, administers no-interest loans and maintains a high-quality theatre. He sees a new service in developing local enterprises as with the new collective of local fashion designers.