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March 5, 2021

Interview with Helena Norbert-Hodge on big-picture activism

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Helena Norbert-Hodge, pioneer of the localisation movement

Talking about people power

Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  Wednesday 13 Feb 7pm  |  $15 

On Wednesday 13 Feb Helena Norbert-Hodge, pioneer of the localisation movement and founder of Global Economics of Happiness, presents an event focused on big-picture activism.

Helena is without a doubt one of the most inspirational and passionate people on the subject, a thinker who continues to be a catalyst for change. She is presenting an event that features Manish Jaine from India, who is the co founder of Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development, Swaraj University and global Ecoversities Network. Also in attendance is Camila Moreno of Brazil – she is a strong critic of the colonialism of global knowledge systems and a leading climate policy expert. Michael Shuman of the US is a lawyer and economist and one of the world’s foremost authorise on local business and finance, he authored Local Dollars, Local Sense. Kai Sawyer of Japan is a nonviolence activist who after Fukushima founded Tokyo Urban Permaculture to transfer politics and culture of Tokyo. Anja Lyngbaek of Mexico/Denmark is an associate director of Local Futures and coordinator of the International Alliance for Localisation. She headed Local Futures’ first-ever local food program in the UK. She has lived and worked in Mexico for 15 years where she has founded two NGOs focused on food sovereignty, agroecology, and eco-design.

These are big ideas to make big changes by us, the small people. But hopefully lots of us. Helena is a truly inspirational speaker with immense knowledge, so I asked her to answer some key questions to drill down to what underpins her philosophy and this upcoming event.

What is Big Picture Activism?

Big Picture Activism is a process of personal and public education that exposes the economic root cause of our multiple crises, enabling us to more effectively counter the threats to planetary and human wellbeing while at the same time building a more ecologically sustainable, happier, and more peaceful world.

How can we work together to build a fundamentally different economic system… what are three things we could do that move us forward?

1. Connect with others in your community to explore joint action. In other words, change the ‘I’ to a ‘we’.

2. Educate yourselves and others about the need to go beyond the left/right political theatre to focus on fundamental economic change.

3. Start or join a localisation initiative – a farmers market, a community bank, a tool-sharing library.

What does localisation mean? How can we put it into place in our lives?

Localisation is a process of reducing our dependence on the global market and rebuilding economic structures closer to home. This is essential to reduce pollution of all kinds, to restore livelihoods and democracy, and to renew the fabric of community.

How do we restore ‘hope’ to a population that doesn’t trust governments to make the change for the wellbeing of our future generations?

Governments on their own are not going to provide the answers, whatever their political colour. The hope lies in the power of people’s movements to pressure for fundamental change while simultaneously starting to build alternatives from the bottom up.

What should we expect for your event at Byron Theatre?

An eye-opening discussion from an unusually international perspective that will send people away energised, inspired, and ready to join with others to take action for systemic change – change that goes beyond addressing single-issue ‘symptoms’ or corporate ‘pseudo solutions’.

Big Picture Activism at the Byron Theatre on Wednesday 13 Feb at 7pm. $15 at the door or on byroncentre.com.au.


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