REVITALIZED COMMUNITIES: Building a New Society as We Approach Environmental Limits
Presentation by Nicole Foss and Laurence Boomert, October 25, 2013, 7-9pm lecture, reception to follow,
Minneapolis College of Art and Design main auditorium
Free Admission * Donations Requested
Economic growth has been the sole driver of development for our society, but that will soon change. Globally, we are approaching the limits to growth and we will have to face the reality of resource depletion and climate change. We cannot continue along the unsustainable path we have in the past. We must adapt our societies in order to build a new future.
The global financial crisis is far closer to its beginning than its end. Recent events in Europe demonstrate the fragility of the global financial system. We must be prepared to navigate a period of rapid contraction while still doing the work needed to restructure society from the bottom up, building resilient communities and developing human capacity. Only then can our financial recovery rest on a solid foundation.
Nicole Foss is Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth, a big-picture website. Since January 2008, she and writing partner, Laurence Boomert, have been chronicling and interpreting the ongoing global credit crunch. Their work integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and real politik to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what we can do about it.
Nicole will paint a comprehensive picture of where we stand today, how our financial and social systems function, how and why they are acutely vulnerable, and what we can do about it. She will conduct a world tour, using different countries as illustrations of different points in a cycle of economic and societal expansion and contraction, highlighting the critical factors for change.
Laurence will explain how our current crisis reflects an unprecedented opportunity to create a better future through an increasingly empowered global grassroots. Laurence will present a wide range of working examples of how neighborhoods and communities have woken up to their power to create a smarter, kinder world, using myriad sophisticated and simple social innovations, along with networked, yet decentralized, systems for meeting human need.
Humanity stands on the edge of a precipice, and where we go from here is in our own hands. We are the first generation with the ability to learn and apply the lessons of history. This is an unprecedented opportunity we simply cannot afford to waste.
Nicole Foss holds a BSc in Biology from Carleton University in Canada, where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology. She received her post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, and an LLM in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK. She was granted the University Medal for the top science graduate in 1988 and the law school prize for the top law school graduate in 1997.
Prior to the establishment of The Automatic Earth, Nicole was editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and finance. She also ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects, grid connections for renewable energy and Feed-In Tariff policy development. While living in the UK she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where she specialized in nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and conducted research into electricity policy at the EU level. She also has significant previous experience practicing as an environmental consultant.
Laurence Boomert has a long history in contingency planning, green business development and community up solutions. In the early 1990s he founded the 500-member Environmental Business Network. He currently runs the Bank of Real Solutions, an online database of community can-do success stories. He co-published, and was a writer for the New Zealand Edition of "Fleeing Vesuvius: Responding to the Effects of Economic and Environmental Collapse," published in 2011.
Laurence has been an organic farmer, a television presenter, and founder of a new political party - the New Economics Party. He has been actively involved in the development of Transition Town initiatives in New Zealand and is one of the country's foremost proponents of complementary currencies and new trading systems. He is featured in the 2013 book True Wealth: Money and the Making of a New Collaborative Culture.
Sponsored by MN350, MCAD Sustainable Design Program, Transition St. Anthony Park and Transition Longfellow