Community Solutions' founder, Arthur Morgan, saw the strong and democratic small community as both the seedbed of virtues and an antidote to the ills of globalization. Beginning in 1940, Morgan and Community Solutions' work helped inspire experimentation in community land trusts, intentional communities, cooperatives and local currencies. As we celebrate our organization’s 75th year, we will be reflecting on the work of Arthur Morgan, and how his message of conscious, cooperative living is particularly meaningful - historically, currently and into the future.
During the 2014 conference, Richard Heinberg noted that the United States has become the most hyper-individualized and atomized society in history—he suggested that we need to relearn the skills of community in order to respond appropriately to the challenges facing all of us. In this vein, we offered presentations, workshops, tours, storytelling, and nuts-and-bolts demonstrations of tools for transition to a lower-carbon, higher-quality way of life, including:
- Practical tools to help individuals and communities eliminate their greenhouse emissions and thrive within personal, social and planetary limits, such as voluntary simplicity, housing retrofits, permaculture, carbon budgeting and strategies for becoming a change agent with your community; as well as Transition Town movements, intentional communities, resilience networks, faith groups and student actions.
- Economic and political tools that offer solutions and alternatives to unsustainable institutions; alternatives such as Time Exchanges, local currencies, local investing and legal defense strategies for protecting the commons.
- Psychological and spiritual tools - through music, storytelling, and workshops - to help increase emotional resilience, including coping with the stresses of fostering social and environmental change.
- Exploring how different communities are organizing around climate education and energy reduction. What are challenges and successes? Where does interest in energy reduction start and how does it spread? How are schools and churches, universities, and town officials involved? What are the best practices that we can share with one another?
Attendees were able to design their schedule around a wide offering of activities, allowing individuals to pursue the topics and skills that are most interesting and relevant to them. Continuing Education Units for social workers and therapists were available for several workshops.
Susan M. Schaller Scholarship